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Breaking Vegas Paperback – 1 Oct 2005
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"Riveting . . . [Mezrich has] become a master at delivering fast-paced, tightly structured narratives that keep readers engaged every step of the way. . . Most impressive . . . What [Mezrich has] done, beautifully, is craft a riveting story about kids with excess brainpower taking on casinos with excess money. He has penned a gripping true-life adventure that will keep you reading well past your bedtime" (Boston Globe)
"A very enjoyable read that makes you feel like you're right there in Vegas playing along. Semyon's story is a fascinating, true life adventure" (Kevin Spacey)
"Very stylish and captivating. . . Mezrich brilliantly captures the tension and excitement. . . A must read at all costs" (Daily Mirror)
"Glamorous, exciting and true, it's a tale to send the Oceans Eleven back to bussing tables for tips" (Arena)
"It's fast paced and believable, but does it really tell you how to win at blackjack? To find out, you'll have to buy the book, a small price to pay for the thousands you could make" (Daily Express) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
The book Vegas doesn't want you to read...
Another page-turning true story of the underbelly of Las Vegas from Ben Mezrich, a successor to his bestselling Bringing Down the House. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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The writing style would not be out of place in an english essay of a 14 year old, and feels as if somebody has just scattered cliched phrased throughout an already written manuscript, but not bothered to read the rest of the sentence to make sure it still works. At least once a chapter, you need to stop and re-read a couple of sentences, to double check it said what you thought it said!
Not to give the storyline away, but you know almost exactly what is going to happen inside 20 pages of the book, and you will be shouting at the "MIT geniuses" for being so stupid in their choices. You do not have to be a maths genius to see how fundamentally flawed their plans were; their betting patterns are a prime example. One would have thought that people with the brains described in the book would have figured it out for themselves.
Finally, as interesting as the "powerful techniques" are, they require no complex mathematics (as stated throughout the book), instead they are simple counting and card manipulation. They are nothing that you couldn't teach to a teenager without a Maths GCSE, so the stated need to the an "MIT geek" to carry it all off just doesn't wash.
My wife and I read it at the same time, and the main enjoyment came from mocking the writing style, and terrible decisions made by the supposed team of MIT geniuses.
I know nothing about cards and a lot of the terminology went over my head but nonetheless it was written in such a way that anyone could follow it. The reality was gripping and I was really impressed with the tenacity of all involved. What a roller coaster of a life these people led. I actually bought the book by accident, clicking on Buy on my Kindle when I didn't mean to but Boy am I glad I did.
Breaking Vegas finds the author on old ground and at full speed in describing the ancient annals of New England education, with as much verve as; the buildings of the vicinity on the 3000 block of Las Vegas blvd. S.
The description of the people who are able to complete believable yet difficult tasks with numbers and cards is spot on. The sheer madness and indulgence that the industry wishes to bestow upon its kings and upcoming Princes is incredible. All this is put to the page awaiting your brain to download it. The book was so good I had a second read and agreed with myself that the author must have hung out for some time with someone like the characters who have the most odd and unique way of overcoming obstacles in their path. The first line in the book is a good indicator.
"Under different circumstances, the moment might have seemed almost comic" ........2 MIT kids dressed in velvet and a 40 yr old cessna in the turbulent dark.
Even if you have seen the movie '21' and that you mistakenly might think that it covers this type of book. Read it!!
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