Whale Hunt in the Desert

Secrets of a Vegas Superhost
Narrated by: Ed Walters
Length: 10 hrs and 23 mins
Categories: Biographies & Memoirs
4.5 out of 5 stars (41 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Whale Hunt in the Desert divulges the unbridled lengths to which casinos go to bag the world's biggest gamblers - the whales. This definitive exposé reveals the shrouded world of ultra-high rollers and the Faustian pacts they forge with their hosts, the casino representatives whose job it is to part them from their fortunes. Private jets, penthouses, personal chefs, show-up money, rebates on losses, and the most beautiful women on Earth - nothing is too excessive. 

This is the only book ever to examine the lifestyles and motivations of this rarest of breeds, as well as the highly guarded inner workings of the most money-oriented culture known to man. This third edition includes a foreword by Anthony Curtis and an extensive update about Las Vegas, the "greening" of gambling, the nightclub and dayclub scenes, the evolving host position, and much more - all in the words of the superhost, Steve Cyr.

©2014, 2018 Huntington Press (P)2018 TalkingBook

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Robot Narrator

The story is very interesting but the person reading the book is either an artificial intelligence robot or someone who seriously needs to develop a better reading style. An exciting story is made almost unbearable to listen to.

2 people found this helpful

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Wondered what it was like to be a high roller?

If you want to hear about Las Vegas's highest of high rollers, "whales," and what a casino will do to keep them happy, then this story won't fail to satisfy. Along the way you'll meet Steve Cyr, a young Turk casino host. A host is the casino's employee whose job it is to look after the big players and to keep them happy and, more importantly, keep them coming back and gambling more and more.

Much of the book is built around Cyr and his style (his style can be both inspiring and annoying). Cyr is about 70% time-share/condo salesperson and 35% cruise director and 10% Kato Kaelin (yeah, he's 115%). But the story is more than Cyr and his successful effort to modernize the way casinos market to high rollers. You'll meet some of the whales themselves. You'll find out about the mini-palaces casinos have built just for them. And one subject usually kept off the record is covered: do casinos provide sex to their top players?

The audiobook is not a superficial People Magazine of famous celebs who frequent Vegas. It's about both sides of the table, the whales and the casinos and hosts who harpoon them. The dark side of gambling is offered up as gamblers spin downward out of control, losing millions. There are plenty of details and that's what really distinguishes this. Other books have touched on the fantasy of the high roller's life. Such as Lifestyles of a High Roller, Anderson's Burning the Tables, Rubin's Comp City and a couple specials on the Travel Channel, but nothing has offered up the depth or detail of Whale Hunt.

The only thing missing from the audiobook is more.

1 person found this helpful

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Nice look behind the scenes.

Really enjoyed the book. Expected to hear some of the really outrageous stuff but it was actually sort of tame and slightly disappointing in that area. Other than that it was an excellent book.

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Should Have Read It To Myself

The story is fantastic. The narrator is really, really difficult to listen to. I've never been so excited to listen and so apprehensive at the same time. The narrator is robotic and truly sounds like a computer reading the story. It takes about 30 minutes to become numb to his cadence and identical inflection sentence after sentence. Would prefer Gilbert Gottfried to have read it.

The story is fascinating and definitely worth the READ. The only way I'd recommend this narrator was if you had a hostage situation and you were really pressed for time.

2 people found this helpful

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A Whale of an Audiobook!

Take a spectacular author writing about a spectacular person and you end up with a spectacular audiobook!! This is an incredible listen...it is by far the best book on high rollers and their hosts ever written. It is an "insider" view of Vegas that is both fascinating and revealing: a high octane blast of Superhost Steve Cyr and his multi-million dollar casino "whales." If you want a glimpse of how a top casino host operates, the kinds of comps and treatment afforded high rollers, and the lifestyle and gambling habits of the truly wealthy...this book is for you. It's the next best thing to a seven figure credit line! Enjoy.

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Profile Image for neill h.
  • neill h.
  • 09-16-19

Great stories, voice terrible

Book was great but the voice over was the worst thing about it by a mile!