- Paperback: 447 pages
- Publisher: Ian Scott Press (October 1, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0970834403
- ISBN-13: 978-0970834409
- Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.2 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,830,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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From the Publisher
The price you pay when living it up and doubling down in Atlantic City.This book is a must read for any one who has a family member or friend being "comped" in the casinos. The author, in his main character Richie V., will take you on a roller coaster ride of a lifetime as he reveals his short-lived High Roller adventures in the casinos of Atlantic City. From his first room being "comped" to the limos, helicopters, and lavish penthouse suite's that the casinos provide as they cultivate their mark.
From the Author
In the early '80s at the age of 32, I walked through the elegant brass and glass arched doors of what was once known as the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino. Within a few months, I walked through every casino door Atlantic City had to offer and was considered (Especially in my own head) a "High Roller." The title lasted less than 7 months, leaving me to fight through what I call today, "The Casino Wars." For over fifteen years I have been doing thorough research on all books written about casino gambling. From the how-to-win books, books on how the casinos operate, and the few and far between horror stories written about the darker side of Atlantic City and Las Vegas. In all these years, I have yet to come across one book, newspaper article, investigating report or movie that has told the true story. Comped is based on a true story. I have written as fiction because I know if I would have written it in nonfiction, the casino industry would go to the farthest means in order to stop its publication. That may sound like a robust claim, but after you read Comped, you will understand why.
Top Customer Reviews
The gambling action is fantastic: descriptions of the highs and lows are very good, true to their volitile and destructive form, and are finally, very authentic. A very insightful and unencumbered perspective into pathological gambling is offered from a very interesting angle. Maybe it's the Atlantic City 'patois', but I wasn't too impressed with the dialog -- it was a little over-the-top, and more testosterone-driven than what I'd expected - certainly from what I've seen personally from the `regulars' of the high limit gaming areas. At times, it felt like "The Fast and the Furious" meets "The Gambler".
Atypical of your textbook pathological gambler, who is normally very reserved and diminutive in nature, the main character acts a little outside the profile of what I think is consistent with such a character. I have a slight issue with the title, but I can occasionally see the argument for it, and thus overlook it. The book improves considerably towards the end, picking up manic rhythm and interest just as the pathology is in full bloom. The last chapters are wonderful! Overall, I would offer this book as an interesting read and recommend it.
So, I guess I'm on the "buy it anyway" side of the fence. There aren't many books like it, and if you're into gambling literature, it's certainly worth its place in your collection. BUT NOTE: I didn't get my copy of the book from Amazon; however, if it's the same, be weary of the pages falling out once they're turned over. Quality of the physical publication isn't very strong.
That being said, the narrator and main character is pretty unpleasant and lacks all self-awareness, which makes his dominance of the story pretty overwhelming at times. If the book was being written as a cautionary tale, I'd think that a more sympathetic main character would have worked better, since when the final few pages tried to turn his addiction into a cautionary tale against the casino's enticements, after hundreds of pages of loudmouth bragging, pushiness, and general knuckleheadedness, it read more like yet another attempt by Richie V. to absolve himself of any blame for his actions.
I also don't think that I've ever read a book that paid so much attention to ethnicity, which might have been accurate for the area and time period, but a few hundred pages of every character being described as a goy or Jew or whatnot (and with just about every ethnicity, curse, etc. in italics for added emphasis) just grew tiresome. Perhaps because of this the book felt a lot longer than it needed to be, with long chapters about Richie's childhood and business operations.
So I'd still give the book a nod for the casino-based heart of the story, but there's a lot besides that to work around.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great tale of the ups and down the casino life will bring you and the ultimate and inevitable demise!Published 7 months ago
Awesome book! I loved the gambling action. Would recommend to any gambling fan.Published 17 months ago by Star Dust
Written with incredible passion and reality. Reading it you live the experiences, both high and low - only someone who has been there could be able to write this. Read morePublished on September 22, 2014 by H
Once you read this book you will develop an acute dislike for the casino culture and all that it stands for. Read morePublished on September 18, 2014 by VIVEK SHIVDASANI
I have been through the ups and downs of gambling. I can relate to Bill's story. The casinos have ruined my life. Probably the best book I have ever read. Read morePublished on March 23, 2014 by Jared
A powerful story of how gambling can quickly destroy a successful person's life. There should be more publicity of the dangers of gambling addiction as it spreads throughout our... Read morePublished on December 5, 2013 by fkirsh
Excellent book. captures the drama of gambling very well. makes you think twice gambling and the effects it can have on people.Published on April 9, 2013 by Steven Askin