The Noble Hustle: Book summary and reviews of The Noble Hustle by Colson Whitehead

The Noble Hustle

Poker, Beef Jerky, and Death

by Colson Whitehead

The Noble Hustle by Colson Whitehead X
The Noble Hustle by Colson Whitehead
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  • Published May 2014
    256 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

"I have a good poker face because I am half dead inside." So begins the hilarious and unexpectedly moving adventures of an amateur player who lucked into a seat at the biggest card game in town - the World Series of Poker.

In 2011 Grantland magazine sent award-winning novelist Colson Whitehead to brave the harrowing, seven-day gauntlet of the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. It was the assignment of a lifetime, except for one hitch - he'd never played in a casino tournament before.

With just six weeks to train, our humble narrator plunged into the gritty subculture of high-stakes Texas Hold'em. There's poker here, sure, which means joy and heartbreak, grizzled cowboys from the game's golden age, and teenage hotshots weaned on internet gambling. Not to mention the overlooked problem of coordinating Atlantic City bus schedules with your kid's drop-off and pick-up at school.

And then there's Vegas.

In a world full of long shots and short odds, The Noble Hustle is a sure bet, a raucously funny social satire whose main target is the author himself. Whether you've been playing cards your whole life or have never picked up a hand, you're sure to agree that this book contains some of the best writing about beef jerky ever put to paper.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Whitehead serves up an engrossing mix of casual yet astute reportage and hang-dog philosophizing, showing us that, for all of poker's intricate calculations and shrewd stratagems, everything still hangs on the turn of a card." - Publishers Weekly

"Entertaining and absorbing, Whitehead's look at the subculture of gambling and casino tournaments will appeal even to nongambling readers. Also recommended for those who enjoy memoir." - Library Journal

"A minor work by a major novelist, a busman's holiday, but engaging in its color and character." - Kirkus

This information about The Noble Hustle was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Colson Whitehead Author Biography

Colson Whitehead was born in 1969, and was raised in Manhattan.

After graduating from Harvard College, he started working at the Village Voice, where he wrote reviews of television, books, and music.

His first novel, The Intuitionist, concerned intrigue in the Department of Elevator Inspectors, and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway and a winner of the Quality Paperback Book Club's New Voices Award.

John Henry Days followed in 2001, an investigation of the steel-driving man of American folklore. It was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Fiction Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. The novel received the Young Lions Fiction Award and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award.

The Colossus of New York is a book of essays about the city. It was published ...

... Full Biography
Link to Colson Whitehead's Website

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