Busting Vegas

The first book of Ben Mezrich's that I've read, Bringing Down the House, was about a group of MIT students who used a group blackjack technique to make a lot of money until casinos began to figure out their system and brought heat down on them. This new book, Busting Vegas, is about a group of MIT students who used a group blackjack technique to make a lot of money until casinos began to figure out their system and brought heat down on them. Seriously. A chapter in I had to double-check to make sure I wasn't just reading the same book over again. And perhaps because he knows that he's repeating himself somewhat, Mezrich is trying way too hard here. It's a dramatic story, but the prose is overblown and Mezrich tries to make even walking through a trendy Boston neighborhood seem psychologically intriguing.

And the dialogue... At one point Mezrich notes that interview subjects often meet him in noisy places to defeat the recording devices they presume he's carrying and notes that he's "not that kind of writer." Well, he might want to start, because the reconstructed dialog he puts in people's mouths is stilted and unrealistic. (I would quote you some, but I gave the book away minutes after I finished.)

FuzzyCo grade: C.