All or Nothing

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 thePreston 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 money to fool his family and fund his growing addiction The bets get bigger and bigger, until finally, faced with the ultimate financial crisis, he hits it really big Yet winning, he soon learns, is just the beginning of a deeper problem.The one constant for P who rises from wage earner to millionaire and back again in his roller coaster ride of a life is that he must gamble That his son has died, that his wife is leaving him, that his girlfriend has been arrested, that he has no money, that he has money than he could ever have dreamed are all lesser concerns for P as he constantly seeks out new gambling opportunities.While other books on gambling seek either to sermonize on the addiction or to glorify it by highlighting its few prosperous celebrities, All or Nothing is an honest, straightforward account of what it is like to live as a gambler whether a high rolling millionaire playing 1,000 ante poker in Las Vegas or a regular guy at the local Indian casino praying for a miracle as he feeds his meager life savings into the unforgiving slot machine All or Nothing is the first novel to dig beneath the veneer to explore the gambler s unique and complex relationship with money If you ve ever wanted to get into the heart and psyche of a compulsive gambler, here is your chance.Preston L Allen is a recipient of a State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship and author of the thriller Hoochie Mama, as well as the collection Churchboys and Other Sinners His stories have appeared in numerous magazines and journals and have been anthologized in Brown Sugar Penguin and Miami Noir Akashic He lives in South Florida.New York Times Book Review, Sun June 15, 2008 As a cartographer of autodegradation, Allen takes his place on a continuum that begins, perhaps, with Dostoyevsky s Gambler, courses through Malcolm Lowry s Under the Volcano, William S Burroughs s Junky, and the collected works of Charles Bukowski and Hubert Selby Jr Like Dostoyevsky, Allen colorfully evokes the gambling milieu Like Burroughs, he is a dispassionate chronicler of the addict s daily ritual, neither glorifying nor vilifying the matter at hand Yet he never wallows like Lowry nor amuses like Bukowski His spare, efficient prose could be called medium boiled Library Journal, Nov 15, 2007 Allen s new novel poignantly depicts the life of P Told without preaching or moralizing, the facts of P s life express volumes on the destructive power of gambling This is strongly recommended and deserves a wide audience an excellent choice for book discussion groups Kirkus Reviews, Sept 15, 2007 A gambler s hands and heart perpetually tremble in this raw story of addiction Allen s brilliant at conveying the hothouse atmosphere of hell bent gaming ForeWord, Jan Feb 2008 All or Nothing is funny, relentless, haunting, and highly readable.
All or Nothing 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 fam

  • Title: All or Nothing
  • Author: Preston L. Allen
  • ISBN: 9781933354415
  • Page: 330
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “All or Nothing”

    1. 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 [...]

    2. 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 [...]

    3. 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 feed [...]

    4. 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 h [...]

    5. 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 [...]

    6. 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 [...]

    7. 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 [...]

    8. 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 [...]

    9. 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.

    10. 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.

    11. 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.

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