All or Nothing

All or Nothing

by Preston L. Allen

Allens witty, charming, and very likable school bus drivernamed Pis a desperate gambler.

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 dreamedare all er 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 gamblerwhether 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 gamblers unique and complex relationship with money.

If youve 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.

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 Dostoyevskys Gambler, courses through Malcolm Lowrys Under the Volcano, William S.

Burroughss Junky, and the collected works of Charles Bukowski and Hubert Selby JrLike Dostoyevsky, Allen colorfully evokes the gambling milieuLike Burroughs, he is a dispassionate chronicler of the addicts daily ritual, neither glorifying nor vilifying the matter at hand.

His spare, efficient prose could be called medium-boiled."Library Journal, Nov. 15, 2007"Allen's new novel poignantly depicts the life of P .

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 .

  • Language: English
  • Category: Fiction
  • Rating: 4.04
  • Pages: 280
  • Publish Date: November 1st 2007 by Akashic Books
  • Isbn10: 1933354410
  • Isbn13: 9781933354415

Read the Book "All or Nothing" Online

Have been meaning to add my review of my pal Preston's book, but I've talked so much about it recently that I've not much new left to say. The novel chronicles the sad, twisted, yet ever-interesting life of "P," who starts out as a schoolbus driver battling gambling addiction and winds up living the highroller dream and everything in between before the novel's surprising end.

No, it's a more spirited, intriguing, real-world look into the mind of a gambler and how the addiction feels, highs and lows. The author takes the reader on a tour of the soul, making real what for some of us is only a distant and abstract notion.

I must note that the pacing is also the only real comparison that can make between the two authors.

Hes got a wife, and two kids, and two big-screen TVs, and two cars, and an addiction. His kid has an asthma attack and he leaves his cell number with the nurse at the emergency room desk. When P leaves his family and moves to Las Vegas, the shame of hiding losses and making up storiestwo stories, one for winning and one for losingalso disappears over the horizon. They just want you to get out there and win. P sends money home to his wife and sons. Even though money doesnt have value in a casino like it does at a Wal-Mart. Of course, the story doesnt end there: the lonesome cowboy looking into the mirror, cards spread out on a hotel room dresser. Gambling is the most addictive addiction of them all because there is never a reason to stop, Preston Allen writes.

I liked the book- I HATE the protagonist- I don't even want to use that word to describe the Bus Driver. The book looses me completely in P's (the main character, The Bus Driver") interaction with the "book publisher" who he abuses terribly but who then takes pains to make sure he is described in the book in loving terms as a mentor for "teaching her a lesson" - but its the kind of lesson an ignorant person would say about a rape victim who no longer wears suggestive clothing.

The first part of the book nails addiction so well that it was kind of tough to read despite the page-turning quality of the writing.

As an addict, I understand this craziness.

Brilliant man.

Allen is the author of the new novel, EVERY BOY SHOULD HAVE A MAN (Akashic 2013) Preston L. Stone Prize in Fiction, and his novels ALL OR NOTHING and JESUS BOY have received rave reviews from the New York Times Book Review, Publisher's Weekly, Library Journal, The Kirkus Review, Florida Book Review, The Feminist Review, and Foreword Magazine.