Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Busting Vegas

I don't read a lot of books. I've never been much of a reader. I don't really know why, I'm a slow reader and I just find it hard to get in to fiction. When I do read it's certainly non-fiction and tends to be more of the 'true crime' or 'amazing human feats' type book. A real life story like that of Sir Edmund Hillary conquering Everest, Frank Abagnale Jr. in "Catch Me if You Can" or the Uruguayan rugby team stranded in the Andes in "Alive" is what I can really get involved with. I think it's because I find real life to be more dramatic than fiction. Sure, it takes talent to write good fiction and to make up a story that's believable. But, to me, that just can't compare with what real people go through and survive.

Last week I read "Busting Vegas", in one and a half days. I just ate it up. This is the story of Semyon Dukach, an MIT student, who, under the guidance of a professor and as part of a team of freaky smart geniuses, discover that there is a science behind blackjack. And then they go to Vegas and other casinos world wide make the most of their systems. While the author takes some liberties with reality, to spice up the story, the truth behind the systems remains. It would be hard to make a story as fascinating as this one. Not that I think gambling is how I'm going to earn my fortune (although Semyon does make a compelling argument about the fact that it's not really gambling if you know what the result is going to be...), but it's hard to deny how exciting this story is.

This goes on my "Read it now!" list.

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