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All or Nothing

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  46 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Preston L. Allen’s witty, charming, and very likable school bus driver—named P—is a desperate gambler. He has blown the hundred thousand dollars he won at the casino six months ago, but his wife and family still think he’s loaded. P spins out of control on the addict’s downward spiral of dependency, paranoia, and depression, as he must find ways to keep coming up with the ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published November 1st 2007 by Akashic Books
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Dec 10, 2007 Celia rated it it was amazing
Have been meaning to add my review of my pal Preston's book, but I've talked so much about it recently that I've not much new left to say. Suffice it that I can't seem to get it back; I have lent it out and can't for the life of me get it returned.
The novel chronicles the sad, twisted, yet ever-interesting life of "P," who starts out as a schoolbus driver battling gambling addiction and winds up living the highroller dream and everything in between before the novel's surprising end. What I like
Eternity Philops
Jun 01, 2010 Eternity Philops rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
I found this book while perusing the shelves at my local library. Though I'd never heard of the author, the content sounded interesting so I figured I'd check it out.

And I'm glad I did!

This book is about gambling addiction, but not in a bland "this is how gambling ruined my life" kind of way. No, it's a more spirited, intriguing, real-world look into the mind of a gambler and how the addiction feels, highs and lows. The author takes the reader on a tour of the soul, making real what for some of
Apr 12, 2010 Craven rated it it was amazing
Great fast-paced story of a compulsive gambler. It reads as quickly as a Palahniuk except the author is able to create a really solid fleshed-out character and doesn't have to rely on fun facts to distract you from that. I must note that the pacing is also the only real comparison that can make between the two authors. I couldn't get over the way that the main character, P., was presented, he does a lot of really repulsive things and risks the welfare of his family (eventually losing them) to fe ...more
Sep 12, 2013 Paula rated it liked it
I liked the book- I HATE the protagonist- I don't even want to use that word to describe the Bus Driver.

I have close friends and family who struggle with addiction, so I was prepared to relate and sympathize, but the main character is so morally bankrupt-without so much as a pennies worth- that I cant wait for a terrible end for him if there is Karma in the world instead of just dumb luck. Not because he gambles- His gambling addiction is more a symptom of his overall sociopothy than his diseas
Heather Shaw
Nov 04, 2008 Heather Shaw rated it it was amazing
P is a bus driver in Miami. He’s got a wife, and two kids, and two big-screen TVs, and two cars, and an addiction. Smoke cigarettes, and you might get cancer. Shoot heroin, and you might O.D. Drink, don’t drive.

But what’s the consequence of gambling? You might get broke. Or you might not. “There are only two kinds of gamblers,” protagonist P says, “the lucky and the broke.”

While P still lives with his family, he is shameless. He calls in sick and sneaks out to the casino. His kid has an asthma a
Oct 30, 2008 trickgnosis rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This is a damn good read, the best I've sampled thus far from Akashic Books (the Brooklyn publisher). Allen is a talented writer. The first part of the book nails addiction so well that it was kind of tough to read despite the page-turning quality of the writing. The big turn the plot takes is a bit of a stretch, but not so much as to strain our suspension of disbelief, and it does lift the book beyond being simply a depressing account of a small-time addict. There's some fascinating stuff in he ...more
Juanita Johnson
Jun 01, 2012 Juanita Johnson rated it really liked it
As an addict, I understand this craziness. Preston Allen does a good job taking you into the head of a compulsive gambler. The one in which he takes you from scene to scene allow you to go from disliking him to empathizing with all that he goes through. Most profound is the skill in which he portrays the desperate need to continuing acting out. While P, our hero, slowly sinks to find his bottom, at no time do we doubt that there is no other course. And when stops gambling, we all understand that ...more
Apr 14, 2009 Judith rated it it was amazing
A book about a gambler that is as exciting and suspenseful as gambling itself. I read it in 2 short sessions because i couldn't put it down. This is probably more interesting to those of us who enjoy gambling, but it should also be read by people who are trying to understand why other people love to gamble, especially if you are involved or related to someone who gambles. It's pure fiction, not a self-help book, but he really has extracted the essence of the fascination with gambling, whether it ...more
Jun 19, 2009 Alex rated it it was amazing
Brilliant piece of work. This piece will capture you from the first chapter where the narrator takes his allergy burdened child to the hospital in order to sneak out and go gambling.

The novel is about the gambling addiction, and follows a man, P, who has it. It's avant-guard, powerful, and hilarious. I know the author personally. He was my professor. Brilliant man. I highly recommend this book and any other book he's written.
Apr 11, 2011 Emily rated it it was amazing
I read this book while I was writing a good bit of personal narrative pieces on alcoholism. I was endlessly fascinated as to how addiction translates similarly, no matter what the substance is, and how the voice throughout the novel maintained a balance between all-knowing and self-deprecating.
May 30, 2012 Andrea rated it it was amazing
It is a dark, depressing novel -- probably wouldn't have read it if I realized just how depressing it was -- but I also found it to be intriguing and enlightening. I appreciated the unique writing style as well as the honest portrayal of the life of a gambling addict.
Apr 14, 2011 Adam rated it liked it
This is good. Not my kind of book, really, but good.

Part of IAMBIK's 'crime collection'.
Aug 01, 2008 Desiree rated it it was ok
Semi-interesting book about a degenerate gambler. Very depressing.....
May 28, 2008 Daver rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Good quick read, nice insight into the addiction of gambling with a twist.
Elly Wendy
Dec 27, 2015 Elly Wendy rated it really liked it
A good book! I knew nothing about being a gambler -- and now I'm sure glad.
Mar 19, 2008 Yvonne rated it liked it
Wow this is a eye opening look into a gamblers mind.
Aug 15, 2015 Nikki rated it it was ok
Shelves: own-a-copy
I much preferred Jesus Boy to this.
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Great Book 1 3 Nov 14, 2008 11:38PM  
Preston L. Allen is the author of the new novel, EVERY BOY SHOULD HAVE A MAN (Akashic 2013)

Preston L. Allen, a graduate of the University of Florida (BA '87) and Florida International University (MFA '94), is a recipient of a State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship and a recipient of the Sonja H. Stone Prize in Fiction. His work has been published in the Seattle Review and the Crab Orchard R
More about Preston L. Allen...

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