24/7: Living it Up and Doubling Down
Some authors have a knack for creating engaging stories and dramatic characters, while others have the forethought to create strange, diverse worlds filled with the most bizarre characters imaginable. In 24/7, Andres Martinez has both of these handed to him in a sense: the world of his story is Las Vegas, which can at times be seen as a different planet, and the characters there are bizarre while at the same time dramatic. The brilliance of this book lies not only in the execution, but in the premise.
Martinez comes up with an incredible idea for his publisher: they give him a $50,000 advance on his book; he will go to Las Vegas, playing at 10 casinos over a period of ten weeks with this $50,000 and then come back and write a book about his experiences in the casinos. Now, that premise in itself shows a lot of personality, and that personality continues throughout the duration of the story.
The book captures the magic of Las Vegas, the manic pace of the city that never sleeps. Readers will sympathize with the characters introduced in the book, they will cheer and gasp at the situations. The book is funny, it is well-written and a good read.
Sadly, some of the places and atmosphere have changed since this book was written, but it is still entertaining prose for even the most casual casino fan. Probably one of the best books written on the casino lifestyle, and very easy to read on a plane at 352 pages.