Synopses & Reviews
Minnesota Fats was a brilliant pool player, but he was even better at lying about his past. Wimpy Lassiter, the gentleman hustler, started playing at age seven, and for the rest of his life lived for the rush of victory and high stakes. Violent and determined, Jersey Red made and lost a fortune at the table.
With a passion for the game evident on every page, R.A. DYER takes us through the smoky bars and late nights where a win was just as dangerous as a loss. He captures the game's popularity in the thirties, its dark days in the fifties, and its renaissance and apex in the sixties, fueled by the smashing success of Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason going toe-to-toe in The Hustler. It was an era that culminated in the legendary nationally televised tournaments in Little Egypt, Illinois, where Jersey Red and Wimpy Lassiter went at it for hours. And it was an era that ended in perhaps the most dramatic scene in all of pool. Just as Jersey Red beat Wimpy Lassiter in 1969, after a decade of bitter rivalry, the police shut down the tournament. Cameras in tow, they arrested eighty hustlers--including the new champion!
From Fats's first showdown--in Brooklyn, with a Texas-style gunslinger in cowboy boots and revolvers--to world championship clashes, HUSTLER DAYS is a rollicking portrait of one of our national treasures.
A rollicking portrait of the kings of the cues
About the Author
" Well researched and stylishly written, this salute to pool's glory days is recommended for all public libraries."--Library Journal
"People who love pool will love this book. People who love a good story -fact or fiction-will love this book."-- Morning Star Telegram
"What makes Hustler Days so engaging, and so readable for those with little interest in the game, is that Dyer subverts the hustler's life while also celebrating it. His love for the game and its hustlers is evident."--American-Statesman
"overall, a darned good book"--Ft. Worth, TX Morning Star-Telegram
"Dyer has a passion for the game, a nostalgia for those times and a gift with the profane language of the pool halls that will have you reaching for "The Hustler," if not your chalk and cue."--The Oregonian