Oct 24 2015

Busting Vegas by Ben Mezrich

Wait, so this is the second book he wrote about MIT students who figured out how to scam casinos?

Anyway, the story itself is compelling enough, but the writing is violently purple. The best description I’ve encountered of his writing style is “non-fiction pulp”: tolerable enough for a book, I guess, and much improved by the time The Accidental Billionaires, the only other book I’ve read of his, is published 4 years later. And while I enjoyed Semyon’s story (and found the techniques they discussed absolutely fascinating) I thought the epilogue rather disingenuous, and am willing to put the blame for that more on Ben Mezrich than Semyon: if there had been a progression displayed in the book of Semyon’s movement from sheer self-interest to enlightened enmity towards the casinos, then I’d have found it much more believable.

As it is, very useful for those interested in blackjack and casinos, tho the writing style is a bit of a slog.

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