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Players: Con Men, Hustlers, Gamblers, and Scam Artists

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  18 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Once I hear the clatter of chips I almost go into convulsions," said Dostoyevsky, while Anatole France wrote, "The gambler is driven by the fascination of danger at the bottom of all great passions." The characters the reader meets in Players—chess grand masters, poolroom hustlers, or street-hardened practitioners of the short con—are all alike propelled by the ecstasy of ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published December 31st 2002 by Running Press (first published December 30th 2002)
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Jul 15, 2008 Bobby rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2008
Con Men, Hustlers, Gamblers, Scam Artists...They're all here, and they all want your money. And they'll stop at nothing to get it. It's a beautiful thing.

This anthology explores the many facets of The Grift, in all it's wonderful variations. Pool halls, poker games, lotteries, long cons and short cons. And an army of writers with enough muscle to strong arm the cash right out of your hand.

Masters like Dostoyevsky and Borges rub shoulders with modern mavericks like Nick Tosches and Harlan Ellison
A cheesily packaged but surprisingly well curated collection of stories and shorts. Hardly any clunkers! And who knew I'd like this passage from some obscure self-help book as much as I do:

"The strategy, 'Fake it till you make it' is a way of lying consciously. This means that we know we are faking it; we know we are wearing a mask, and we give ourselves permission to do so without self-judgment, without justification, without making any excuses. 'Fake it till you make it' means we are acting; w
Good and fun, certainly worth a read if you're into this stuff. One or two pieces may have run a bit long, e.g. the Pushkin piece, but some pieces are longer and worth it. This is the kind of anthology where I'll probably pick up two or three books to read based on seeing excerpts here.
Adam Garbinski
Sep 13, 2007 Adam Garbinski rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
this anthology was a gift to my roommate from his then girlfriend. i think i snagged it and read it first.

it's pretty amazing, features authors such as Borges, Baudelaire, Dostoevsky, Luc Sante, Runyon, Brecht, Saul Bellow, Nick Pileggi, Hunter Thompson, David Mamet, Nick Tosches and Martin Amis.

It's a hard book to describe, since it's a collection of pieces loosely based on gambling and con men. It is way better than I thought it would be. Couldn't put it down... ha... reading cliche.
A great anthology of shorts and excerpts from longer works dealing with all aspects of con men and gamblers. You get everybody from Borges to Jim Thompson to David Mamet, My big discovery here was Nick Tosches, whom I'd heard of but never read . The excerpt from his book Cut Numbers made me run out and get it, and I'm looking forward to digging into it.
Saanvi Kothari
I loved reading about history’s known and unknown grifters. This book had pieces by some of my favorite writers too including Hunter S. Thompson and Saul Bellow. A great find that I recommend to any devious mind.
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