“I have a good poker face because I am half dead inside.” That first sentence let me know that this book would be full of the dry, sometimes, self-dep“I have a good poker face because I am half dead inside.” That first sentence let me know that this book would be full of the dry, sometimes, self-deprecating humor that I have come to love about Colson Whitehead. Originally published as a series of essays for the magazine Grantland, The Noble Hustle documents Whitehead’s participation in the World Series of Poker tournament in Las Vegas. We follow him from his practice runs in Atlantic City, where his descriptions of his fellow players are hilarious, to the big event with a few poker flashbacks.
I have no knowledge of poker and reading about some of the technical aspects of the game made this not as enjoyable for me. I kept reading because the stories of the people who participate in these tournaments, including himself, and all of their different strategies and motivations were fascinating to me. I’ve gone on record about my love of Colson Whitehead over and over again. He is firmly ensconced in my top ten favorite writers and there he will remain....more
I'm not sure why I wanted to read this book. I don't like musicals particularly. I wasn't a fan of Star Search when it was on. Maybe I just had a "whe I'm not sure why I wanted to read this book. I don't like musicals particularly. I wasn't a fan of Star Search when it was on. Maybe I just had a "where are they now" kind of curiosity about Sam Harris. I'm really glad my need to know won out, because Ham was one of the best memoirs I've read recently. The book isn't set up chronologically, but is more like setting down with a friend as they tell you stories from their life. Sometimes they are hilarious gems featuring divas (the Liza Minnelli wedding is worth the price of the book alone). Or childhood remembrances of being different in a sea of same. Or making tough adult decisions about sobriety and parenthood. Harris' humor drew me in from page one and his willingness to share his life kept me reading.