Double Down is a true story, a terrifying roller-coaster ride deep into the heart of two men and into the world of floating Gulf Coast casinos. When both of their parents died within a short time of each other, the writers Frederick and Steven Barthelme, both professors of English in Mississippi, inherited a goodly sum of money. What followed was a binge during which they gambled away their entire fortune - and more. And then, in a cruel twist of fate, they were charged with cheating at the tables.
Told with a mixture of sadness and wry humor, and with a compelling look at the physical aura of gambling - the feel of the cards, the smell of the crowd, the sounds of the tables - Double Down is a reflection on the lure of challenging the odds, the attraction of stepping into the void. A cautionary tale (the brothers were eventually exonerated), it is a book that, once heard, will never be forgotten.
"The tale they have to tell is far more richly complicated - and haunting - than any their lawyer could present.... By turns dazzingly canny and achingly abject, the Barthelmes, who write in a single voice, lure the reader into the intimacy of their self-deception." (Publishers Weekly)
"What gives their beautifully written book its power are the same gifts that distinguish the Barthelmes' fiction: their intelligence, their eye for detail, and their wry bemusement at the unlucky, unlikely hands that life so often deals." (Elle)
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