Synopses & Reviews
MEET PETER ALSON
An overeducated underachiever, he's spent his postcollege decades doing his best not to grow up. Now, having just turned the incomprehensible (to him) age of fifty, and staring down his own mortality, this rambling- gambling bachelor decides it's time to settle down. After years of equivocating, he pops the question to his longtime girlfriend. A wedding date is set for just after Labor Day, and to pay for it, a plan is hatched involving poker and a trip to Vegas.
Alson boards a plane bound for the neon desert on his way to the biggest game in town, the 2005 World Series of Poker. Thus begins Take Me to the River, a first-person account of one inveterate gambler and bad boy's quest to grow up while at the same time compete with more than 5,000 players vying for over $56 million in prize money during a scorching Vegas summer.
Take Me to the River is a hilarious, heart-wrenching tale of Las Vegas and an exploration of what it means to be part of one of the fastest-growing and most popular sports in the United States, at the moment of its apogee, and of the lessons that poker has to teach about probability and luck, good and bad fortune, patience, perseverance, and -- most fitting for a man with marriage in his near future -- commitment.
"Alson's crystalline prose takes us through a risk-lover's garden of terrors and earthly delights during the course of his comic, at times moving quest for luck, love, and the new American dream. Take Me to the River
is, without question, one of the finest poker books ever written."
-- James McManus, bestselling author of Positively Fifth Street
"Alson writes like he's making a late-night long-distance call from a phone booth in the middle of the desert, with his head buzzing as he digs into his pockets for more change. His transparent prose is ferociously honest and deceptively simple."
-- Matthew Klam, author of Sam the Cat and Other Stories