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All or Nothing [Paperback]

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Item Number 249033  
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Item description for All or Nothing by Preston L. Allen...

P, a school bus driver and family man with a growing gambling habit, finds his life spinning out of control as he struggles to keep up with his escalating addiction.

Publishers Description

Preston L. Allen’s witty, charming, and very likable school bus driver—named P—is a desperate gambler. He has blown the hundred thousand dollars he won at the casino six months ago, but his wife and family still think he’s loaded. P spins out of control on the addict’s downward spiral of dependency, paranoia, and depression, as he must find ways to keep coming up with the money to fool his family and fund his growing addiction. The bets get bigger and bigger, until finally, faced with the ultimate financial crisis, he hits it really big. Yet winning, he soon learns, is just the beginning of a deeper problem.

The one constant for P—who rises from wage-earner to millionaire and back again in his roller-coaster-ride of a life—is that he must gamble. That his son has died, that his wife is leaving him, that his girlfriend has been arrested, that he has no money, that he has more money than he could ever have dreamed—are all lesser concerns for P as he constantly seeks out new gambling opportunities.

While other books on gambling seek either to sermonize on the addiction or to glorify it by highlighting its few prosperous celebrities, All or Nothing is an honest, straightforward account of what it is like to live as a gambler—whether a high-rolling millionaire playing $1,000-ante poker in Las Vegas or a regular guy at the local Indian casino praying for a miracle as he feeds his meager life savings into the unforgiving slot machine. All or Nothing is the first novel to dig beneath the veneer to explore the gambler’s unique and complex relationship with money.  If you’ve ever wanted to get into the heart and psyche of a compulsive gambler, here is your chance.

Preston L. Allen is a recipient of a State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship and author of the thriller Hoochie Mama, as well as the collection Churchboys and Other Sinners. His stories have appeared in numerous magazines and journals and have been anthologized in Brown Sugar (Penguin) and Miami Noir (Akashic). He lives in South Florida.

New York Times Book Review, Sun., June 15, 2008

"As a cartographer of autodegradation, Allen takes his place on a continuum that begins, perhaps, with Dostoyevsky’s Gambler, courses through Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano, William S. Burroughs’s Junky, [and] the collected works of Charles Bukowski and Hubert Selby Jr…Like Dostoyevsky, Allen colorfully evokes the gambling milieu…Like Burroughs, he is a dispassionate chronicler of the addict’s daily ritual, neither glorifying nor vilifying the matter at hand. Yet he never wallows like Lowry nor amuses like Bukowski. His spare, efficient prose could be called medium-boiled."

Library Journal, Nov. 15, 2007

"Allen's new novel poignantly depicts the life of P . . . Told without preaching or moralizing, the facts of P's life express volumes on the destructive power of gambling. This is strongly recommended and deserves a wide audience; an excellent choice for book discussion groups."

Kirkus Reviews, Sept., 15, 2007

"A gambler's hands and heart perpetually tremble in this raw story of addiction . . . Allen's brilliant at conveying the hothouse atmosphere of hell-bent gaming."

ForeWord, Jan/Feb. 2008

"All or Nothing is funny, relentless, haunting, and highly readable."

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Item Specifications...

Pages   280
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.87" Width: 5.98" Height: 0.87"
Weight:   0.57 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 2007
Publisher   Akashic Books
ISBN  1933354410  
ISBN13  9781933354415  

Availability  0 units.

More About Preston L. Allen

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Preston L. Allen is a recipient of a State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship and author of the thriller Hoochie Mama, as well as the collection Churchboys and Other Sinners. His stories have appeared in numerous magazines and journals and have been anthologized in Brown Sugar (Plume Penguin 2001) and Miami Noir (Akashic 2006). He lives in South Florida.

Preston L. Allen currently resides in Miami, in the state of Florida. Preston L. Allen was born in 1964.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Literary
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Special Groups > African American Studies

Reviews - What do customers think about All or Nothing?

You Have To Read This Book!  Jul 6, 2008
I first read about this book in the New York Times. I went to this site and ordered it. It's an amazing work of fiction. Even more than that it's a real inside look at addiction, and the addiction crazed world of gambling. If there's one novel you should read this summer this it.
Very addicting book...  Jun 23, 2008
Preston has done it again. This guy keeps pumping out good books like Florida gives us sunshine and babes on the beach. I read this book in less than 48 hours, the story was very entertaining and easy to read, yet very deep and raw. I like his style, I like how he brings you around and delivers the punches when you least expect it. I love Grisham and Preston had a style that reminds me of him.
Thanks Preston...keep them coming.

Roger Pereira
Breathtaking  Jan 4, 2008
What Fyodor Dostoevsky did for The Gambler over a hundred years ago, Preston Allen does for his bus driver "P" in All Or Nothing. A degenerate gambling addict on a losing streak, "P" will do anything for the big win, believing that one vast win will save him. He gets that win, and many more, and along the way you meet all different types of gamblers. Allen proves that this addiction crosses all barriers and does not discriminate on race, ethnicity, sex, age, or class line. Anyone can be taken prisoner and held hostage by this addiction, and intellect has nothing to do with it. "P" is a lovable, warm, and generous guy, and you are rooting for him all the way, but in the end, Allen proves that no matter what the stakes are, no matter how much you is never enough. A fascinating, heartbreaking, beautifully written "must read" for anyone interested in the topic of gambling, or gambling addiction.
No Shame In His Game  Jan 2, 2008
No Shame in His Game...

All or Nothing by Preston L. Allen is a gambler's confessional. I have read many books about gambling, but have never read anything that felt as personal as this book. Many times I gasped as I read to what lengths a gambler would go to chase his or her addiction. P is a married man with a family, a bus driver by profession and a gambler by addiction. There seems to be nothing in the world he loves more than gambling. Be it the lottery scratch-off tickets, slot machines or Vegas Casinos. P places nothing before the game.

Preston L. Allen goes below the surface with his tight prose and personal insight throughout the novel. There are times when it feels as if all he is going to write about is a game, then he will hit you with a choice P made in regards to his gambling and you are left stunned. In one passage, when P discusses what he did after the death of his son, it is absolutely amazing. Reading how he would win tens of thousands of dollars and almost immediately gamble it away will have you feeling his pain. The reader will also ache for his family who had so much faith in him and was often unaware of how much he was actually losing. All or Nothing is a true gambling expose'.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in a novel on a gambler's mindset or anyone who enjoys a well-written, thought-provoking novel.

Angelia Menchan
APOOO BookClub
Great!  Dec 19, 2007
This book is in my top 3 for stories about compulsive gambling. The other two are "Nicotine Dreams" and "Stung". I really enjoy reading about people with gambling addictions and these are 3 books in which the addiction rings true. Thanks for the great story. Loved the writing style.

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