CD 's Reviews > Hustler Days: Minnesota Fats, Wimpy Lassiter, Jersey Red, and America's Great Age of Pool

Hustler Days by R.A. Dyer
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's review
Sep 05, 08

bookshelves: non-fiction, favorite
Read in August, 2008

Let's Go!

The hustler's cry of challenge from the dim not so distant past is the imperative of this book.

R. A. Dyer takes the reader on a reverent romp through a chapter of forgotten or little known history. This story is from a segment of America that did its best to hide for most of the first half of the 20th century. Then, as it was about to wane forever, a renaissance driven by a Hollywood movie gave rise to a new chapter chronicled here through the stories of three important figures and many additional characters.

If the reader has even fleeting memories of the days of Minnesota Fats, Willie Mosconi, Steve Mizerak, or the story of the film "The Hustler", here you will find the rest of the real stories. Or at least a some of them in one version or another.

The geography of this high stakes world is also fascinating where big money changes hands in locations little or unknown today in the early 21st century. From the still lightly traveled and some still dusty back roads of the Midwest, to areas of Texas that have changed, to once vibrant military communities that are now a shadow of the once time glory the anonymous haunts of the pool hustlers is brought to life.

A great read if incomplete or to centric to a few specific tournaments or mini-biographies. The scope of the period of the wandering hustler is but a segue to get to the great early tournaments and the return of billiards. A very informative backdrop to today's professional pool scene, now inhabited by and showcasing women players.

Highly recommended even with omissions and a very selected view of the world of a not too distant past.
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