The unreal but true story of the unknown casino that changed Las Vegas forever! Warning! Contains nudity, prostitution, vintage Vegas, celebrities, and (some) mobsters!
After a horrific blaze destroyed Willie Martello's El Rey Club in 1962, 50 years would pass before anyone knew of how that casino and one-time brothel influenced Las Vegas casinos, upset the mob, and inadvertently launched the career of Francis Ford Coppola.
Were it not for the chance discovery of a single photo in a Las Vegas museum, the El Rey Club would only be known as the seedy brothel where Senator Harry Reid learned to swim. Martello's accomplishments should place him among magnates like Howard Hughes or Steve Wynn, yet very few know his name.
If you could sum up The King of Casinos in three words, what would they be?
Interesting, Funny, Informative
What was one of the most memorable moments of The King of Casinos?
It's difficult to pick just one. There were a few stories in particular that made me laugh out loud and a few that were particularly touching.
What does Andy Martello bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
His voice. Hearing the story told in the author's voice added so much to this story. You can hear the admiration and respect in his voice when he speaks of Willie Martello and others in the book. You can hear the sadness when he speaks of loss, even the loss of those with whom he only shared a connection through his research.
Any additional comments?
I am not a fan of non-fiction, truth be told, but I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The author added much to the story from a personal perspective. The addition of his humor and of his experiences during the research made this a great story more than a historical narrative.