Living It Up and Doubling Down
By Andres Martinez
(Dell, Paperback, 9780440509097, 352pp.)
Publication Date: November 7, 2000
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In the spring of 1998, mild-mannered, Ivy League-educated Andrés Martinez took $50,000--most of the advance his publisher was paying for this book--and headed to Las Vegas for thirty days, ten casinos, and a wild ride through the belly of a neon beast. The result: this brilliant, often hilarious chronicle of flesh, flash, and gambling in a city where everyone dreams of hitting the jackpot--and once in a while, someone actually does.
From seedy strip clubs to sprawling suburbs, from the sumptuous Bellagio to the Liberace Museum, Martinez meets a host of colorful characters...gathering tricks of the trade from blackjack dealers and fellow bleary-eyed gamblers, attending Easter Sunday mass on the Strip, befriending a family man who raised six kids while losing eight million dollars as a sports gambler. An exhilarating joyride of a read, 24/7 is a breathless tour of America's Sin City...as seen through the eyes of a man making $1.65 million in wagers in a single month. Guess how much he took home?
Before setting off to Vegas with his wad of traveler's checks, Andrés Martinez, a native of Mexico, had once been a sober journalist and attorney. He studied history at Yale University, obtained a master's degree from Stanford, and then earned a law degree from Columbia, where he made Law Review. After a judicial clerkship and a brief stint at a law firm, Martinez joined the editorial board of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He has also been a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal. He lives in New York City with his wife, Kathy, and their cat, Trotsky. He is currently writing a novel.
"A colorful glimpse of the sometimes sordid, sometimes spectacular capital of capital risk."
"A whiz-bang book...call it pop sociology, gonzo journalism, or social criticism: It's all good fun...[Martinez] is a sharp and witty observer...he has a delicious sense of irony."
-- Kirkus Reviews
"A quality package tour through [the] new Las Vegas...Martinez is a thorough reporter and a wittily personable cicerone."
-- The Boston Globe
"Entertaining--A funny and perceptive account."
-- The New York Book Review
More than 150 writers from 40 events will gather in New York City for PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, April 28 – May 4, 2014.
For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org