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5.0 out of 5 starsA Rollicking Ride in the Desert with One of Nevada's Most Bombastic and Unforgettable Personalities
Reviewed in the United States on February 27, 2014
The author has crafted a fascinating and incisive biography of the outrageous and over-the-top Nevada gambler and casino owner, Willie Martello. The book details, with great precision, heart, and humor, the sometimes hardscrabble, and always exciting and glamorous life of Martello, who almost singlehandedly put the dusty desert town of Searchlight, NV. on the map. Filled to overflowing with tasty anecdotes of the wild and wooly times of the impeccably groomed gambling man, the book is further enhanced by DOZENS of super-rare archival and family photos that show Martello comfortably ensconsed in his kingdom of lovers, winners and losers. Andy Martello has succeeded (in spades!) in bringing this important historical figure his just due, and the story literally begs for a future cinematic treatment. Major kudos for a brilliant and entertaining work that I will revisit soon.
5.0 out of 5 starsA humorous, smart, and fun read about a colorful Southern Nevada character
Reviewed in the United States on February 20, 2014
Andy Martello's approach to writing "The King of Casinos: Willie Martello and The El Rey Club" is surprisingly refreshing. Many historic pieces focus so much on dates and linear timelines that they fail to actually tell an interesting story. The author does an excellent job of including the pertinent dates, but only as is necessary to share a fun story. I appreciate that he uses his humorous approach to the storytelling. But more than that, I appreciate that this story became very personal to him and he wasn't afraid to share that. Throughout the book he talks of all of the wonderful people he has encountered as a result of his research, and his love for them shows through. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that this is an excellent biography of Willie Martello and the El Rey Club, a story you will find nowhere else. Andy Martello is truly the expert. As a great bonus, the book is filled with so many pictures and excerpts that your experience is continually enhanced. I truly enjoyed the read.
2.0 out of 5 starsNot very fluid, not very interesting
Reviewed in the United States on April 3, 2017
Not really that interesting. May state one thing i.e. "Casino was built in 1952" and then go on to quote several other people with various dates about when it was built...etc. Not a good read and not that interesting. And the author keeps writing about how he wrote the book, throughout.
3.0 out of 5 starsA good read that leaves you fufilled, but lacks a certain something.
Reviewed in the United States on August 12, 2015
An interesting premise and an obvious labor of love that falls a bit short as far as a cohesive narrative of Willie Martello's life. Anecdotal and always written with fervor, it seems to jump around too much to ever catch a hold of the reader. I look forward to more from Andy Martello; this book has the spark of someone with a lot to say who knows how to say it. I hope he options the movie rights, because as a character Willie Martello is second to none. Well worth the read!
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat read, well researched and well written
Reviewed in the United States on April 17, 2014
This book spins a great story about a sadly overlooked part of Nevada gaming history. The author tells the story like you are sitting at home with him, having a drink and a cigar with him on the back deck. Very entertaining. And the pictures...remarkable all the things that the author has been able to dig up during his eight years of research. I highly recommend this book to anyone, not just history buffs.