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The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky, and Death by [Colson Whitehead]
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The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky, and Death Kindle Edition

3.3 out of 5 stars 158 ratings

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Length: 258 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, May 2014: Every year, thousands of card players converge in Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker, all hauling varying levels of hope and skill with them into the southern Nevada desert. As a regular in a neighborhood game, Colson Whitehead didn’t harbor that kind of ambition—until Grantland.com staked him $10,000 for a seat at the WSOP. Whitehead goes all-in with a Rocky IV-worthy regimen, hiring a personal trainer to prepare himself for the long, grueling table hours and a tournament-hardened coach to navigate the mysteries of Texas Hold’em. When he arrives at the tournament, he navigates using a set of laws essential to any aspiring card sharp: which casino restaurants provide poker-appropriate nutrition; how to hit the bathrooms ahead of the mad rushes of the game breaks; and, of course, the necromancy of a successful Hold’em hand. With its cast of poker-universe luminaries and aspiring misfits, the tournament stuff is fun, especially to this gambling rube. But Vegas is Vegas, and between the notes of the Wheel of Fortune slot machines, one can hear the suck of entropy. Whitehead--whose previous books landed him on the short-list for the Pulitzer, as well as a MacArthur "Genius" grant--has the wry sense of humor to observe the twisted reality of the “Leisure Industrial Complex” without mocking it; he’s the kind of writer who can see the human condition reflected in the windows of a failed Vegas market that sells only beef jerky (and other jerky-like products). Buy the ticket, take the ride.--Jon Foro

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* This is not one of those poker books about a gang of math whizzes from Harvard who go to Vegas and win a gazillion dollars. About those guys, Whitehead says, The part of the brain they used for cards, I used to keep meticulous account of my regrets. And, yet, Whitehead has some personality quirks that make him a decent poker player: I have a good poker face because I am half dead inside. A self-described citizen of the Republic of Anhedonia, whose residents are unable to experience pleasure, Whitehead, author of Zone One (2011) and other novels, agrees to enter the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas and see how far his half-dead poker face and a $10,000 stake can take him. Not very far, as it turns out, despite reading countless poker books and working with a coach and physical trainer. Yes, he learns a little, but in the end, people, as ever, are the problem. Specifically, those nine other people at the table, their weathered faces showing the underlying narrative of their decay. Yes, Whitehead’s account may seem at first like just another sad story about a pair of Jacks, but it’s really something very different, much sadder and much, much funnier. He calls his book Eat, Pray, Love for depressed shut-ins, and that pretty much says it, if you remember that the eating part is mostly about beef jerky and the praying is for aces. If you’re looking for read-alikes, forget other poker books and pick up Geoff Dyer’s Out of Sheer Rage: Wrestling with D. H. Lawrence (1998). --Bill Ott --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Publication Date : May 6, 2014
  • File Size : 2151 KB
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print Length : 258 pages
  • Publisher : Anchor (May 6, 2014)
  • Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN : 0385537050
  • Language: : English
  • ASIN : B00GL3OJQQ
  • X-Ray : Enabled
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.3 out of 5 stars 158 ratings

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3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5
158 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on May 14, 2014
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Reviewed in the United States on July 23, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on June 9, 2014
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Reviewed in the United States on July 18, 2014
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Reviewed in the United States on July 18, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on February 22, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on June 16, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on March 28, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

Scaramouse
5.0 out of 5 stars Colson Whitehead, Saint Augustine on speed
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 28, 2016
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Victor Niklasson
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 25, 2014
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Robert P. Brown
2.0 out of 5 stars A Bust
Reviewed in Canada on April 1, 2015
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Russell Holmes
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it!
Reviewed in Canada on June 10, 2014
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Nate Small
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst. Poker. Book. Ever.
Reviewed in Canada on July 9, 2014
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3 people found this helpful
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