The first two are world-famous for their flamboyant, often outrageous efforts to dominate Las Vegas. But it's the third - an economist from Harvard Business School, unknown even to most of the guests at his high-profile casinos - who may now have the most impact.
In Winner Takes All, Christina Binkley, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, explores how these three magnates are building a bigger and better Las Vegas and how their influence is spreading beyond the city's borders.
Meet the winners:
©2008 Christina Binkley; (P)2008 Tantor
"As exhilarating as a high-stakes game of craps." (Kirkus)
"A full, flashy tale of powerful men and their pride, vanity, envy, [and] greed." (Publishers Weekly)
Do you say Vay-guess, or do you say Vi-gus?
I've heard it called Vi-gus many a times by many who've never been there, just read about it, or were told a story or two about it. Oh, and the other reviewer was right about this narrator: she doesn't know how to pronouce the French word for water eau, which sounds like Oh. Didn't anybody reviewing the audio tell her? BTW, she also slaughtered La Reve and Beau Rivage. Come on! Regardless, the story was fantastic. I absolutlely loved hearing how Wynn and Kakorian got started, and how Vegas (Vay-guess) transformed with the opening of the Mirage.
The book is a bit tepid, possibly because the style is dry, but mostly because the narrator sounds like a zombie. Best of all, however, are her mispronunciations. Apparently this narrator knows no foreign language or even English words with more than four syllables. For example, at one point when describing Steve Wynn's attempts to attract top chefs she pronounces the French word "eau" "ewww," then, alas, tries to render Wynn's quotation about Americans confusing "eau" with "eww" as if the words were pronounced exactly the same way. It would be nice to have a better standard for narrators so one could at least hear language pronounced somewhat close to the way it's supposed to be pronounced.
Dahlonega, Georgia USA
I totally agree with some of the other reviewers regarding the narrator. I've listened to hundreds of audio books, and have NEVER heard such verbal butchery. People, places, foreign pronunciations - nothing is spared. There are literally hundreds of errors made throughout the reading. Has this person ever read a newspaper, watched the news, been to school? Where is the editor? It's pretty shocking.
The story itself is usually entertaining and interesting. If not for the glaring ineptitude of the narrator, it would have been far more enjoyable.
One of the quickest books I have listened to. Las Vegas has become a playground controlled by a few, financed by many. The book gives great insight into the stories behind the different casinos. Christina Binkley goes into great detail on how Steve Wynn changed the face of Las Vegas along with insight into the ways Harrahs uses its data to attract its customers. If you ever wanted to know the story behind the building of Las Vegas this book will provide the answers.
Las Vegas is clearly a fairy tale story and it's interesting to see the mechanics and machinations behind the magic. A modern history of this cultural icon of the desert, the New Las Vegas is shown to have clearly broken with its mobster past, by embracing the more legitimate mobsters of Wall Street and the investment banks. The reader/narrator mispronounces so many words that it becomes almost laughable. It's not a deal breaker, but close, saved by the sheer interest value of the story itself. This book ranks in among my top five Most Poorly Read Books list.
Some very good stories about Wynn, Kerkorian, and Lovemen. Lots of cool info that I did not know about originally. I am a huge Vegas buff and if you are also, you will find this book enjoyable. Give it a shot.
This was a pretty interesting book on some of the kings of vegas. It was disappointing in the way Steve Wynn was pictured, I was hoping he would have been a more normal guy.
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