Capturing the spirit of a freewheeling era, this rollicking biography brings to life the gambler-hero who inspired Guys and Dolls. Born in a log cabin in the Ozarks, Alvin "Titanic" Thompson (1892-1974) traveled with his golf clubs, a .45 revolver, and a suitcase full of cash. He won and lost millions playing cards, dice, golf, pool, and dangerous games of his own invention. He killed five men and married five women, each one a teenager on her wedding day. He ruled New York's underground craps games in the 1920s and was Damon Runyon's model for slick-talking Sky Masterson. Dominating the links in the pre-PGA Tour years, Thompson may have been the greatest golfer of his time, teeing up with Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Lee Trevino, and Ray Floyd. He also traded card tricks with Houdini, conned Al Capone, lost a million to Minnesota Fats, and then teamed up with Fats and won it all back.
A terrific listen for anyone who has ever laid a bet, Titanic Thompson recaptures the colorful times of a singular figure: America's original road gambler.
"Cook's raucous narrative introduces readers to an eccentric, fascinating personality." (Publishers Weekly)
"[R]eaders will revel in every rambunctious page about an outlaw spirit who lurked on the frontiers of society, sports, and fair play." (Booklist)
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You could not make this up!
Yes and I have several times now as it is just a great listen, unbelievable character and person, not always legit, but a remarkable story of one mans fight against the odds.
It is one of those books that you listen to and think that this would make a great film!
The court case against him for murder...
you could not make this up!
I'm sure that at some stage you think hang on this is ridiculous, how can he have done that, especially the golf bets that he took on. I really enjoyed the listen, great stories, massive bets, he was either very good at what he done or bonkers!
- John Hayes