Nolan Dalla was commissioned by Ungar in 1998 to pen his story, resulting in hundreds of hours of taped interviews and conversations. The result is the startling tale of a man who won at his game and lost control of his life.
Notorious for gambling every single dollar in his pocket, Ungar won an estimated $30 million in his lifetime, but when he was found dead in a Las Vegas motel at the age of 45, he had only $800 in cash on his person, with no bank account or home address.
©2005 Nolan Dalla; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"[A] heartfelt, respectful and accepting biography." (Publishers Weekly)
"A fascinating, cautionary tale." (Chicago Tribune)
"A standout among this year's bumper crop of poker books." (New York magazine)
Being interested in poker and its history prompted me to check this out and I was not dissapointed. It's an entertaining if tragic story of a man who for all his natural abilities could not conquer himself. I think the appeal of this book lies in its focusing on a person who came to exist so utterly on his own terms outside the borders of "normal" society that there is an attractive element of escapism to the narrative. Much of the credit for my complete immersion must go to the narrator. His individual voice characterizations, some more dramatized than others, gave the story life and his general tone of voice suited this type of story to a T. Great job. If you have an interest in poker or the gambling world in general, then this book is certainly for you. If you don't, you won't find a more fascinating entry point. Highly recommended.
A professor at Dodge College, I teach Film Music. I spent 33 years in the movie business before teaching. I LOVE books and my girls. Ta-Da!
The Stu Ungar story is engaging and compelling from the get-go. I will look for other books read by Joe Barrett - he did an amazing job. Surprisingly the callous, cliched-heart of Vegas is shattered when you hear of players and friends who tried to help Stu Ungar. Over and over it's a desperate emotional roller coaster - the life of a gifted man who went through one bad beat after another. In substance and tragedy It's Goodfellas meets Casino, meets Raging Bull.
Nollan does an incredible job telling Stu's story. He bounces back and forth, between autobigraphical material and 3rd person biography in a smooth fluent manner that let's us see the world through stuie's eyes, and stu through his friends eyes at the same time.
The stories are endless about Ungar's mental talents at cards, juxaposed with his personal demons that took his life to soon, just a few years before the big boom in poker.The story is brilliant in its scope, taking Stu from birth, to the hights of a 2 time champ, to the depths of addiction, and back to a third title, and back again.
The stories of his brilliant talent at all card games, especially ginn and poker, from the earlest age, are told and performed in rich detail that make you feel as though you were there at the felt yourself.
If you have ever herd the stories of Stu while watching poker, or in a poker room in vegas or la, then you can't miss this book. Or, if you just love a good biography about someone who is the best at his field, then it is a can't miss as well.The story is read, wonderfully unabridged with a multitude of emotion, despite a large number of difficult voices to recreate.
The work is ingaging, eluminating and makes the most compelling figure in poker history that much more compelling.... ecpecially in the audio form, that truely brings to life the incedible ups and downs of stu in a manner that the writen word just can't match.
Nolan has a lot of audio of stu not long before his death, I truely hope there is enough interest in his work to make it worth while for him to edit those tapes in some form for publishing... he's as brilliant at story telling as Stuie was at cards.bisognor
"a fascinating life told in a sincere way"
I'm a poker player so this book could not fail for me. It was my first audio book and felt I got lucky with this excellent starter.I loved hearing about stu,s life and found it fascinating. A true poker breed which unfortunately May have died with him. Rest in peace brother, we salute you! Read this story.
Great detailed biography of the greatest poker player ever. A great insight into his life, as an audio book it's very good - the reader does a great job of bringing the characters to life.
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