In The Ballad of a Small Player, the dark and elegantly crafted second novel by Lawrence Osborne (following The Forgiven), readers experience the world of high-stakes gambling in Macau's glitziest casinos and glimpse the insatiable and desolate nature of addiction. The narrator, known as Lord Doyle, despite having no real claim to the noble title is not a particularly sympathetic character. He is a morally bankrupt lawyer, guilty of embezzling hundreds of thousands of pounds from an aging woman placed in his financial care back home in England. When he realizes that he's close to getting caught, he takes the money and flees to Macau the Chinese territory famous for its casinos and, what some may call, a superstitious worship of luck.
The story a terribly lonely, but beautifully written first-person narrative follows Lord Doyle through his ...
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