Titanic Thompson The Man Who Bet on Everything This raucous retelling of the life of a consummate gambler grifter and quintessential American character Kirkus Reviews introduces Alvin Titanic Thompson who traveled with golf clubs a

  • Title: Titanic Thompson: The Man Who Bet on Everything
  • Author: Kevin Cook
  • ISBN: 9780393340570
  • Page: 348
  • Format: Paperback
  • This raucous retelling of the life of a consummate gambler, grifter and quintessential American character Kirkus Reviews introduces Alvin Titanic Thompson 1892 1974 , who traveled with golf clubs, a.45 revolver, and a suitcase full of cash A terrific read for anyone who has ever laid a bet, Titanic Thompson recaptures the colorful times of a singular figure.

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      348 Kevin Cook
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      Published :2019-02-04T17:12:37+00:00

    One thought on “Titanic Thompson: The Man Who Bet on Everything”

    1. A cracking read. The true story of American hustler Titanic Thompson, who gambled his way around the states from 1910 until the 70's, winning and losing millions in the process. He was a card sharp, sharp shooter, athelete, golfer who would bet on almost anything and invariably come out on top. He rubbed shoulders with and conned everybody from Al Capone to Harry Houdini. It's a real insight into a bygone age. Having read it, you can't believe how much the world has changed in 100 years. Did you [...]

    2. I've been reading this book frantically, desperate to get onto the next exploit of the great Titanic Thompson. I love books (and films) about con-men, just because their ploys are usually so crafty and intelligently put together - I find them fascinating despite the obviously dubious morality. And this is a great example of that, covering the wayward, rambling life of an unknown American legend and his quest for riches at the expense of gamblers and marks up and down the America of the '20s and [...]

    3. Small room literature. Enjoyable list of tales of the annoying bloke from the pub who would ask you to bet on 'anything'. Strange to believe how gullible people must have been in yesteryear. Golfing tales were enjoyable and more realistic than throwing items over high-rise buildings. Credit to the author who hasn't portrayed Mr Thompson/Thomas in anything but a good light. He remained a selfish, arrogant individual who didn't care who he fleeced and displayed no care or much attention to his fam [...]

    4. Cook's style makes this a great and interesting read. He provides context to immerse the reader in the period and considerations of the time that might not otherwise resonate in 2017. His subject is interesting and sympathetic while being a significantly flawed individual. Enjoyed the story of Thompson's life. The end is bittersweet, but it is clear Titanic Thompson lived his life to the fullest and we each should do the same. I liked the epilogue notes quite a bit which helped provide perspecti [...]

    5. The book is well-written and has some interesting passages and vignettes of the era. The problem with the book is that the story is repetitive: one hustle after another, ad infinitum. The lead character is neither admirable nor particularly charming: he's what Sherwood Anderson would call a "grotesque," obsessed with one thing.

    6. Interesting account of a fascinating con man- reminds me of myself (that is, if I were smarter, better coordinated, and more dedicated to separating rich people from their money).

    7. Interesting readingI gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 due to personal bias. The author did an excellent job of making the book a fast-paced read that is difficult to put down, as well as regret over how soon it is finished.I recommend this book to all who enjoy a good story about little known people that lived larger than life. Few readers will not enjoy the time spread on this book.

    8. Fantastic book about a very interesting self-made man. Works his way up through the ranks of gamblers and con-men to become one of the best at what he does. Easy to read in a couple sittings

    9. This was a story I was excited to begin, but finished disappointed. It's one of those biographies that made me like the subject less and less as it went on. This was a man considered to be legendary in gambling circles, as well as on the golf course. As you read on, though, you realize that he was a man that could have only ever existed in the time that he did. God knows what he'd have done in today's world. The things that made him a folksy legend then make him a total asshole now. He was less [...]

    10. I was at the wonderful Library Center in Springfield, Missouri, perusing their gift shop before settling in to the coffee shop to read for a bit, when I ran across this book. I had taken note of it when it first came out because "Titanic" Thompson was the inspiration for Sky Masterson, a role my brother once played in the musical Guys and Dolls. What I did not know was that he was from the Missouri Ozarks, which makes sense why they would have bought a lot of this book in their library system wh [...]

    11. Titanic Thompson is a character that you need to meet. He bet on anything -- as long as he knew he was going to win. From an era when people would never welsh on a bet, Titanic cheated on cards, played golf like a pro, threw bottle caps over 2 story buildings, married a few teenagers and killed 4 men. He won through cheating and he won through practice, and he respected the latter more (although he practiced his cheating, too). When he met Houdini, he appreciated the fact that the escape artist [...]

    12. Cook's superbly readable biography chronicles the life and times of Titanic Thompson (1892–1974), an amazingly ballsy hustler who gambled on everything — everything. Dude traveled the country tossing coins, hustling cards, shooting pool and dice, and betting on his mad gun shooting and golf skillz. Thompson would take weeks, even months, to perfect scams ranging from ambidextrous golf shots to things like high-stakes games of horseshoes, in which he offset the distance between uprights by a [...]

    13. Nice to have a book collecting dozens of the famous Titanic Thompson stories. I don't feel this broke any new ground, but the anecdotes were fun. The story petered out - predictably, considering the outcome - by detailing Ty in his old age, dying eventually in his 80's. This is the last 20% of the book, and could have been improved by chopping it down to a neat summary - nothing much happens to him.The author fills out the stories with a fair amount of fanciful background data of time and place: [...]

    14. This is a fun book about a character who long ago disappeared from anyone's memory (except the author). Titanic Thompson was just what the subtitle says--a man who made his way through life by betting, and winning, in the most improbable ways. Forget the card table, roulette, and other casino games. Thomson bet on more exotic things, from golf shots to whether he could throw an orange completely over a building.He won from angles--convincing the other side that he had to do the impossible, then [...]

    15. A very entertaining read sometimes bordering on the incredulousness yet Titanic Thompson actually existed! Ti interacted with so many famous (some infamous) people that the trivia game based on the "small world phenomenon" concept should be re-named "Six Degrees of Titanic Thompson". I don't know why some Hollywood producer hasn't brought Titanic to the "big screen" yet. This book has a little bit of everything for all - golf fans, history buffs and gamblers will all be captivated as they envisi [...]

    16. A contemporary of Nick “The Greek” Dandolos one of if not the most legendary of the 20th century (who estimated he wagered ~$500M in his lifetime), Titanic Thompson is a close second. Golf, pool, poker, dice etc. if you can think of it, this guy bet on it and probably won a huge pot although like Nick he died relatively poor. But then to these guys it isn’t necessarily how much you end with, it’s how much you have in your pocket at the end of the bet while you’re on your way in search [...]

    17. An enjoyable biography. It's easy to cheer for this con man because his proposition bets relied on both astounding skill and the greed of his target, making him more folk hero than scoundrel. The anecdotes are clearly polished by decades of retelling, resulting in polished quips worthy of a current screenplay. Some of the later travelogue lags, but this is a limitation of the genre, not the fault of the author.

    18. I know the response is "Guys and Dolls" but man is this a story that needs to be made into a movie! Cook's story is just the right combination of biographical detail and historical setting. A very entertaining biography that allows the reader to imagine his or her own script and storyboarding ideas.

    19. Great book about a con man that was probably the greatest golfer and card shark that ever lived. Great stories of his life on the road as a scam artist, golfer and poker hustler. Set in the early 20th century.You will be truly entertained throughout the book of true stories about the mob, Minnesota Fats, Ben Hogan and Lee Trevino. A+

    20. Interesting story about an interesting period of history in which the road gambler, or in Titanic's case hustler, could operate successfully. While he was basically a cheat and a con man, he was still able to amass gigantic fortune's at the expense of overly gullible individuals that did not yet know his name.

    21. I think this books captures the essence of a professional gambler. Beyond that, the book takes you through a period of time in American history from such an interesting perspective, that you will not be disappointed. I never understood golf was fundamentally about gambling! Quite a revelation.

    22. Interesting story of the greatest hustler of the twentieth century. Not a redeeming character but a fascinating one nonetheless. Cast of mobsters, financiers, Hollywood and sports legends. Quick, fun read.

    23. SuperbHad never got to read it until downloading the Kindle edition. Incredibly researched, beautifully detailed, you'll know some of the stories but I'll bet you won't know them all.

    24. Interesting book about a legendary road gambler. I had no idea that the famous golfers that announcers talked about in hushed tones (Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead) all started out as golf hustlers before the PGA was big

    25. Great book super interesting character. See kids practice and math are both your friends! What an interesting fellow he must have been. Love all the stories. This was a fun quick and entertaining read.

    26. One of those guys who made an amazing life for himself, but so very focused on only that, himself. His brain was wired just a little differently than everyone else and that made all the difference. Would have been cool to meet him.

    27. This guy was crazy. I mean, really. C'mon! He gambled millions and millions of dollars and didn't really care about the money. He just wanted to win! Cook is a sympathetic writer, and the book was very engaging. It's always weirdly fun to read about the underbelly of society.

    28. Story about the gambling version of the "Catch Me If You Can" guy who lived in the early 1900's. This guy conned Al Capone - awesome. He also lived his life with no morals - not awesome. Fun read regardless.

    29. The guy sounds basically amoral, but that doesn't stop him from being fascinating. This is a lively and well-written biography that follows him from birth almost to death. This is a man who truly was "larger than life." Highly recommended if you want a really fun and interesting read.

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