Reflections on Gambling and Loss
Publication Date: May 2001
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Double Down is a true story, a terrifying roller-coaster ride deep into the heart of two men, and into the world of floating Gulf Coast casinos. When both of their parents died within a short time of each other, the writers Frederick and Steven Barthelme, both professors of English in Mississippi, inherited a goodly sum of money. What followed was a binge during which they gambled away their entire fortune-and more. And then, in a cruel twist of fate, they were charged with cheating at the tables.
Told with a mixture of sadness and wry humor, and with a compelling look at the physical aura of gambling-the feel of the cards, the smell of the crowd, the sounds of the tables-Double Down is a reflection on the lure of challenging the odds, the attraction of stepping into the void. A cautionary tale (the brothers were eventually exonerated), it is a book that, once read, will never be forgotten.
Frederick Barthelme is the author of eleven books, most recently BOB THE GAMBLER and THE PAINTED DESERT. He directs the writing program at the University of Southern Mississippi and edits the literary journal Mississippi Review. Mr. Barthelme currently lives in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.