- Paperback: 266 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; Second Edition edition (May 7, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1499393849
- ISBN-13: 978-1499393842
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
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Early Out: Las Vegas' Casino Subculture Second Edition Edition
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About the Author
Jesse was born in the United States and raised in Canada. Jesse drifted through various occupations. Farm worker, mill worker, landscaper, door to door sales, gravedigger, masseur, dice dealer, process server, day labor, phone room, baker, janitor, security guard, and many other mostly dead end jobs. Jesse spent over nine years in LasVegas working for the casinos. From the age of 13 until the age of 48 was a 35 year odyssey of drug and alcohol use, abuse, and addiction. Jesse has been clean and sober for over ten years now. Jesse lives in New Westminster, BC. His life consists of going down to the park with a bag of bread crumbs and nailing pigeons in the head.
Top customer reviews
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... Probably no other city in the world is associated with greater highs and lows than this glitzy oasis in the Mojave Desert. `Sin City' is synonymous with gangsters, gambling, the Rat Pack, and Elvis. The saying "What happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas" wasn't invented for no reason.
For me Las Vegas was not that kind of city. I got married there (like the Presleys, the Michael_Caines, and Miley Cyrus' parents wed there too). In the late 80's, I watched a lot of great boxing fights there, saw David Copperfield do his magic, and listened to B.B. King. Thus I was looking forward to reading what Jesse Kaellis' book would reveal.
Even though I have very fond memories of Las Vegas I knew that the city is also reason for many broken dreams. However, "Early Out" hits harder. Jesse Kaellis' authentic, raw and powerful language describes what I missed altogether. To people, who work in Vegas there is no glitter, no glory, and no magic, and nobody hits the high notes.
"...I worked from four am till twelve noon. I'd step out of there into the blazing sun and go get a drink at the Shoe. I felt like I was on some alien landscape."
Of course, like everybody else, I knew that Las Vegas' casinos operate around the clock. However, since I myself would never gamble at in the middle of the night I had never thought about that obviously some dealers had to be working at these hours. And, I had never thought about what kind of toll such shift work would take on a man, if he had to do this for a prolonged time. Jesse Kaellis did drugs for relaxation and to keep himself afloat. There is nothing romantic about being a dealer playing Lady Luck - or not:
"... You will rub up against some very talented dealers . Dealers who were at the top and screwed up some way and are on a downward trajectory. You look at these guys and you are looking at your future. You can tell yourself that it won't happen to you, but you know. You know.... "
Yes, "Early Out" is an eye-opening book.
The stories are not presented in chronological order, which fits to how Jesse perceived his life. He survived cancer, was trying hard to make a living and to get ahead, but life in Las Vegas wears him down, over and over.
"...Within a month, the mall manager, the guy from Lake Placid, had been demoted to the pool. He was the pool manager, and maybe he had the tennis courts. One of the female receptionists, a pretty young girl, had gone upstairs and dropped a dime on him. I don't know what she said or what the guy actually did, but you never know who holds power in Vegas..."
While the novel is not written in polished, perfectly edited language, it is its authenticity, which draws in the reader. But most powerful are the shocking truths I found in "Early Out":
"...I didn't ask him what he meant. I knew exactly what he meant. From the time I got to Vegas, particularly when I broke in on dealing, it was a climb up the ladder just like anywhere else in the world . The difference is the public nature of these jobs and the intensity, the intensity! All focused on one thing: money. People aren't even a close third in Vegas..."
To me that was the most shocking realization, though it is probably logical. While tourists may think of dealers as experts in the art of shuffling cards to their employers dealers are just means to turn over money. With so much money in plain sight - all day and all night, people don't count.
When Jesse decides to get finally clean and quit using drugs, his clarity of thought is astonishing:
"...How I stopped? I could see my future coming up fast. And I didn't want it. Not that. I had my fun and then it wasn't fun anymore. It ain't fun when you have to do it. More than anything, I just outgrew it..."
These, Jesse's thoughts, read as if he calculated his odds at the gambling table.
"Early Out" is a powerful book on many levels. Like very few books I have read it shows the reader the many bad spirals we can get caught in, almost accidentally. And also, how brutal and merciless this around the clock lifestyle between glitter and unreality is. (Not coincidentally it was also the begin of Elvis` losing control over his life.)
Jesse tells his story well. It is a gripping tale. Recommending this book to any person, who gambles, does drugs, and/or is interested what really goes on behind Las Vegas' neon façade.
Gisela Hausmann, author and blogger
Jesse doesn't complain much about the bad stuff that happened to him, you just read his delivery and it hits you even when you're doing something else. I found myself thinking about him all times of the day and night, trying to digest his world and life. Most of the book is about how Jesse dealt with life after his almost non-existent childhood, and how and why he decided to change things, his getting clean of an array of addictions. I'm glad to admit that reading Jesse became an addiction for me.
Apparently there was some dispute with his editor(s) about the chronology of his writing, but I like it the way it is. He's all over the map, and I think he writes the way the brain works. His style works. When I got close to being finished with the book, I admit that I stopped because I didn't want it to end, but after a few days I had to go back to it and finish. Wow.
Jesse Kaellis is a real human soul who invites you into his world from the very first word. He doesn't sell anything, has no subtle point to make, is not trying to convince you of anything or change your life. However, the more you read, the more Jesse becomes your own conscience. You have no problem understanding him, because you become him. Genius.
The books ends in a satisfying way, which makes it a meaningful story. It's told from the heart. I feel like I know the author and shared some of his adventures. Kudos to Mr. Kaellis on a great first novel!
Most recent customer reviews
Reviewed by Lucy Pireel
I got this book as an ARC quite a while ago.Read more