Reflections on Gambling and Loss
Harvest Books, Paperback, 9780156010702, 208pp.
Publication Date: May 21, 2001
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.
Barthelme teaches at the University of Southern Mississippi.