Wednesday, March 7, 2012

POCKET KINGS by Ted Heller (Highly Recommended)

In POCKET KINGS by Ted Heller a self described loser by the name of Frank Dixon finds success in online gambling after his monumental failure in the publishing world.  Using the name Chip Zero, he scores many wins and suffers some particularly humiliating losses, while his real life suffers.  Can the love and money found online ever be lasting?  This hilarious dosing of satire and black humor nails both the delusions of wannabe writers, and also the giddy hopes of those who think "something for nothing" is a worthy--or even possible--American dream.  Narrator William Roberts, one of our favorites (and interviewed at this site), gives a Royal Flush performance in creating the character of Dixon, displaying a versatile range of emotions and accents guided by an overall sense of timing and arc, as when "Toll House Cookie" and "Second Gunman" take a cab from New York to Vegas in company of Frank, meter running.  Like Grover Gardner, Roberts' is a mellifluous voice easy on the ears, too.  Recommended for anyone who thinks the words "bestselling" and "writer" go together for any but the most lucky few, or that gambling addiction is "fun." 

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