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Twelve Grand [Paperback]

Jonathan Rendall
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Paperback £10.99  
Paperback, 25 Oct 2000 --  

Book Description

25 Oct 2000
Jonathan Rendall was given #12,000 by Yellow Jersey Press in August 1997. The catch was that he had to spend all the money on gambling, and write a book about his experiences in doing so.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd; New edition edition (25 Oct 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224059955
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224059954
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 223,547 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

I'll get straight to the point: you probably have to be a gambler to really enjoy reading this.

The book is all about indulgence, mainly on the betting front, although sex, booze and drugs are also high up on the inebriated agenda. The other caveats (do you need any more?) are that swearing and blasphemy feature regularly.

But the most frustrating aspect of the book is that the author sometimes uses abbreviations for common words. It is not always obvious what he means, although you get the general gist.

The main character is clearly in a state of (alcoholic) decline as he relates what he does with the £12,000 given him by a publishing company (coincidentally, Yellow Free Press, the book's publishers) to fritter away on gambling. He ends up waging a "silent war" against a lot of things in his life, some of them imaginary; a state of mind induced by his almost-perpetual intoxicated condition?

Despite its obvious faults, it is a clever and sometimes humorous book that gets you thinking.

It neatly alternates between the past and present, until the twain inevitably meet, and it is an interesting read on the whole, as long as you do not mind the bad language, etc.

You (eventually) end up feeling sorry for the writer and applaud his raw honesty, although you sometimes feel intoxicated yourself reading the book, particularly the fuzzy ending. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"A clever book, with a vulnerable heart inside its tough outer shell." - "Independent

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It'll have you dazed by it's brilliance 11 May 2012
Ok, so I like this book, very much. I don't think you have to be a gambler to enjoy it. Just go along with the ride which Rendall takes you on and enjoy something pretty unique. Twelve grand to be gambled in a unique format which sends the author on a journey which takes in his life. The book absorbed me and the result at the end was, well, read it and find out for yourself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. 12 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A brilliant book by a brilliant writer.
It is incredibly sad that we will no longer be able to enjoy the insightful, witty and candid writings of this brilliant wordsmith.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bleak, humourous and insightful 16 Nov 2000
By A Customer
Jonathon Rendell did not get ahead of the curve. He wrote a first book (despite it being his second) and not a third. Being offered £12k to write a book, with the sole condition that he use the money to gamble, and the book being based on the result, he alternates between a life history of events and his current existence. With the vulnerability of the child, he places the pieces in the jigsaw that lead us to the person who will ultimately conclude the tale. We develop a sympathy for the writer who has few redeeming features, through our understanding of the route he took. Introducing friends and characters who also sit well in this slightly malodorous lifestyle, the reader is encouraged to view them all with a distaste matched by the Publisher, who made the initial proposal. Many seem to have arrived at the same soiled point in life as the writer, (from much the same point of origin) and it is this journey, interwoven with the recurring quest for his first love, which enthralls the reader. Starting the book with a tenuous grip on life, the journey increases in pace and urgency as you rush to return to the conclusion, unsure as to whether his health or morals have enabled him to conclude the challenge. If you can ignore his apparent distaste for vwls. and insistence on abbrev. which is clearly designed to encourage haste and indicate a degenerating state of mind, and yet just irritates, Jonathon Rendell satisfies yet leaves you wanting more. Richly comic, bleak and suprisingly touching, I can genuinely recommend this as a fine read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great book 7 Mar 2014
By Kieran
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book for 1p plus postage and packaging and it was a gamble. I had read a review lauding its precise witticisms and rip-roaring prose, but it was a gamble and the book could have been terrible. Thankfully that wasn't the case. It's a real shame the author sadly passed away because I rate this book, alongside the thoroughly dissimilar Cancer Ward by Solzhenitsyn and Suite française by Némirovsky, in the top bracket of books. It was a pleasure to read.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true writer 11 Nov 2006
Basically, when all is said and done, the guy is a shithot flatout ballbusting writer. Just when I had given up hope of ever having a great English writer who could stand up to the American giants of the new journalism, Wolfe and the mighty Hunter S, along comes Jonathan Rendall under the radar. The guy has written a heroic tale with such touchingly raw emotional truth that I'd never thought I'd see the likes of escape the pen of an Englishman.
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