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The Hustler

Narrated by: Joe Barrett
Length: 6 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Summary

To Fast Eddie Felsen, a young pool hustler, there was only one thing that mattered: to make the big time and the big money in the world of pool by beating the best in the country.

Hustling suckers in small towns for good stake money was practice for his goal, and when he felt ready he went to Bennington's pool hall in Chicago to find Minnesota Fats. Eddie and Fats pit nerve against skill in a fantastic match over an unbroken 36 hours. Eddie's final painful loss teaches him that nerve alone isn't enough - guts, stamina, and character make the difference between winners and losers.

It takes an interlude with Sarah, an alcoholic and a born loser, to bring the lesson home, and the shrewd advice and backing of Bert, a professional gambler, to put it into practice. Bert knows talent without character is nothing and stakes Eddie to a climactic all-or-nothing rematch. When it is over, Eddie knows a great deal more about big-time pool, about money, and about himself. In beating Fats he became the best in the country.

©2014 Walter Tevis (P)2016 Tantor

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Profile Image for Darryl
  • Darryl
  • 01-07-16

Love Tevis in general

Though this "format" of brash youngster going against the King/establishment has become a bit cliche in structure (see all Tom Cruise movies where he plays same character repeatedly) I still enjoyed this early Tevis. It is a classic and though it is rather linear and stripped down it works. There are a few surprises still. Tevis knew what he was doing and gets better in next novels. There are hints of more mythic elements in this with the lame girl and limping janitor hinting at some wasteland motif, but he doesn't dwell on or develop this until his more poetically and symbolically written Man Who Fell to Earth and Mockingbird. And the film of this, classic as it is and well done, changes some things, one of which I can understand whether i liked it or not, and the other which I think detracts from one of his main themes at the end. You don't need to know pool to enjoy it and I was unfamiliar with a few items, but it is still well written and drew me to research a couple things. There are a few great videos on youtube with Willie Mosconi who I believe was a consultant on the film, and Minnesota Fats who was not real, but claim-jumped and moniker taken by New York Fats I believe. In either case good novel.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Charles Garcia
  • Charles Garcia
  • 11-03-20

Good as the movie!

I have watched the movie many times and when I saw this on audible couldn't wait to listen. I enjoyed it as much as I did the movie. Will now listen to "The Color of Money" Cant wait.

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Profile Image for Michael Todd Clevenger
  • Michael Todd Clevenger
  • 12-11-18

A step back in time. A great story.

I really liked this book. It was far better than the film as most books are. A simpler time, when people aren't glued to their mobile electronic phones.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Simon
  • Simon
  • 31-10-17

it was a good book. I liked the story and the deta

It was a good book. I liked the story and the detail that they put in

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Mckenzie
  • Mckenzie
  • 31-07-17

Pool life

It was a good easy listen, not to much fat in the story! Some great points!

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Profile Image for Timothy Majors
  • Timothy Majors
  • 20-12-16

better than the movie

never will you find a more direct route into the soul of a pool player than by listening to the hustler.