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The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky, and Death
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Published:
Books on Tape 2014
Format:
OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen
Edition:
Unabridged
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description

The Noble Hustle is Pulitzer finalist Colson Whitehead’s hilarious memoir of his search for meaning at high stakes poker tables, which the author describes as “Eat, Pray, Love for depressed shut-ins.”
 
 
On one level, The Noble Hustle is a familiar species of participatory journalism—a longtime neighborhood poker player, Whitehead was given a $10,000 stake and an assignment from the online online magazine Grantland to see how far he could get in the World Series of Poker.  But since it stems from the astonishing mind of Colson Whitehead (MacArthur Award-endorsed!), the book is a brilliant, hilarious, weirdly profound, and ultimately moving portrayal of—yes, it sounds overblown and ridiculous, but really!—the human condition.
    
 
After weeks of preparation that included repeated bus trips to glamorous Atlantic City, and hiring a personal trainer to toughen him up for sitting at twelve hours a stretch, the author journeyed to the gaudy wonderland that is Las Vegas – the world’s greatest “Leisure Industrial Complex” — to try his luck in the multi-million dollar tournament.   Hobbled by his mediocre playing skills and a lifelong condition known as “anhedonia” (the inability to experience pleasure) Whitehead did not – spoiler alert!  - win tens of millions of dollars.  But he did chronicle his progress, both literal and existential, in this unbelievably funny, uncannily accurate social satire whose main target is the author himself. 
 
Whether you’ve been playing cards your whole life, or have never picked up a hand, you’re sure to agree that this book contains some of the best writing about beef jerky ever put to paper.

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Street Date:
05/06/2014
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780804191128
Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Colson Whitehead. (2014). The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky, and Death. Unabridged Books on Tape.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Colson Whitehead. 2014. The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky, and Death. Books on Tape.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Colson Whitehead, The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky, and Death. Books on Tape, 2014.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Colson Whitehead. The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky, and Death. Unabridged Books on Tape, 2014.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Anne Arundel County Public Library11
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Grouped Work ID:
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Date Added:
Sep 24, 2020 11:55:39
Date Updated:
Dec 08, 2020 23:12:41
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Feb 20, 2024 14:02:47
Last Metadata Change:
Feb 04, 2024 09:01:27
Last Availability Check:
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Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
Feb 23, 2024 04:05:54

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The Noble Hustle
fullDescription

The Noble Hustle is Pulitzer finalist Colson Whitehead’s hilarious memoir of his search for meaning at high stakes poker tables, which the author describes as “Eat, Pray, Love for depressed shut-ins.”
 
 
On one level, The Noble Hustle is a familiar species of participatory journalism—a longtime neighborhood poker player, Whitehead was given a $10,000 stake and an assignment from the online online magazine Grantland to see how far he could get in the World Series of Poker.  But since it stems from the astonishing mind of Colson Whitehead (MacArthur Award-endorsed!), the book is a brilliant, hilarious, weirdly profound, and ultimately moving portrayal of—yes, it sounds overblown and ridiculous, but really!—the human condition.
    
 
After weeks of preparation that included repeated bus trips to glamorous Atlantic City, and hiring a personal trainer to toughen him up for sitting at twelve hours a stretch, the author journeyed to the gaudy wonderland that is Las Vegas – the world’s greatest “Leisure Industrial Complex” — to try his luck in the multi-million dollar tournament.   Hobbled by his mediocre playing skills and a lifelong condition known as “anhedonia” (the inability to experience pleasure) Whitehead did not – spoiler alert!  - win tens of millions of dollars.  But he did chronicle his progress, both literal and existential, in this unbelievably funny, uncannily accurate social satire whose main target is the author himself. 
 
Whether you’ve been playing cards your whole life, or have never picked up a hand, you’re sure to agree that this book contains some of the best writing about beef jerky ever put to paper.

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source:
        - Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
      • content: "Whitehead serves up an engrossing mix of casual yet astute reportage and hang-dog philosophizing, showing us that, for all of poker's intricate calculations and shrewd stratagems, everything still hangs on the turn of a card."
      • premium: False
      • source:
        -Kirkus Reviews
      • content: "As a novelist of considerable range, Whitehead consistently writes about more than he's ostensibly writing about...here writing a poker book that should strike a responsive literary chord with some who know nothing about the game...Engaging in its color and character."
      • premium: False
      • source:
        -The Wall Street Journal
      • content: "Colloquial, with many personal digressions and heavy on pop-culture references, it reads like a memoir crossed with a literary guide to the often bizarre world of casino-poker tournaments..."
      • premium: False
      • source:
        -The New Yorker
      • content: "[Whitehead's] reporting on the grimy glitz of casinos and competitive gambling has a funny, tragic, loser-chic sesibility."
      • premium: False
      • source:
        -The Washington Post
      • content: "...A witty, wandering book about poker...Tom Wolfe crossed with Tom Pynchon,"
      • premium: False
      • source:
        -The New York Times Book Review
      • content: "Whitehead goes to the table himself, and like a reporter on the front line of battle, he files stories as the action heats up...[Whitehead] uses poker to expand our sense of how human beings work."
      • premium: False
      • source:
        -The Chicago Tribune
      • content: "Whitehead was rarely lucky - and maybe that's what makes this crass, sardonic tour through America's wasteland of bright lights, overpriced all-you-can-eat menus and windowless banquet hall behemoths so funny."
      • premium: False
      • source:
        -The Economist
      • content: "Mordantly funny from the first sentence...Mr. Whitehead may not have gone home in the money, but he has a way with upstanding sentences."
      • premium: False
      • source:
        -The Miami Herald
      • content: "...Clever and entertaining, and Whitehead employs entertaining throw-away lines that make you think"
      • premium: False
      • source:
        - The Boston Globe
      • content: "Whitehead proves a brilliant sociologist of the poker world. He evokes the physical atmosphere vividly, 'the sleek whisper of laminated paper jetting across the table,' as the dealer shuffles. But he also conjures the human terrain, laying bare his own psychology and imagining his way into the minds of others. His book affirms what David Foster Wallace's best nonfiction pieces made so clear: It's a great idea... to turn a gifted novelist loose on an odd American subculture and see what riches are unearthed"
      • premium: False
      • source:
        -Flavorwire.com
      • content: "When a writer is good enough to blur the line between fiction and reality, that's a trick I like to see over and over again...The Noble Hustle is a book that says a lot about America without trying to make any grand sweeping statements; it works because Whitehead paid close attention to everything going on around him, and distilled it in his own unique way... The Noble Hustle, though, is just as great of a look at a real America as it is a book about poker, all seen through the eyes of a writer we know best through the very unreal world of fiction."
      • premium: False
      • source:
        -The San Francisco Chronicle
      • content: "
        "Shares with [David Foster] Wallace's work the close attention of a wry, sharp intelligence to a populist pastime, a mix of casual and highfalutin diction, a self-deprecating voice that you're never sure is totally truthful in its deprecation, and a fondness for broad cultural pronouncements... Whitehead hips us to the popularity and atmosphere of the contemporary game, all without our having to endure a bus trip to Reno or have everything removed from our pockets but the lint."
      • premium: False
      • source:
        -Mother Jones
      • content: "The Noble Hustle, part love letter, part dark confessional, captures perfectly the mix of neurosis and narrative that makes gambling so appealing."
      • premium: False
      • source:
        -New York Daily News
      • content: "The Noble Hustle is fierce, funny and totally worth the buy-in."
      • premium: False
      • source:
        -Entertainment Weekly
      • content: "Whitehead captures the sketchy and zombielike nature of poker tournament play well enough to leave you wishing this book came with a free bottle of Purell."
      • premium: False
      • source:
        -Booklist (Starred Review)
      • content: "This is not one of those poker books about a gang of math whizzes from Harvard who go to Vegas and win a gazillion dollars... A self-described citizen of the Republic of Anhedonia, whose residents are unable to experience pleasure, Whitehead, author of Zone One and other novels, agress to enter the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas and see how far his half-dead poker face and a $10,000 stake can take him... Whitehead's account may seem at first like just another 'sad story ab
      • premium: True
      • source: AudioFile Magazine
      • content: Some authors have a feel for narrating; others come across as stilted. But when a book takes an introspective look at a subject the writer knows well, it can be a perfect marriage. And that's what Colson Whitehead has brought here. The author's voice fits his writing because, of course, it's his writing: a semi-stream-of-consciousness, personal, sarcastic, often humorous, and sometimes self-deprecating look at what goes on in one poker player's mind. Sounding almost constantly out of breath, Whitehead paces the book like only he can. A section on tweets is especially well done. While some instructional advice on poker is given, the book relies on a more memoir-ish approach, so don't expect when-to-hold-or-fold advice. M.B. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from February 10, 2014
        The eternal tension between good luck and remorseless odds animates this loose-limbed jaunt through the world of high-stakes poker. Novelist Whitehead (Zone One) was staked to a berth in the World Series of Poker by Grantland magazine, a mission for which he frankly declares himself unqualified, owing to his rather desultory pick-up games, haphazard training regimen featuring yoga lessons, deep and semi-baffled immersion in the arcana of poker-playing manuals, and bus trips to Atlantic City for seedy practice tournaments. His journey unfolds in a series of jazzy, jokey riffs on the cultural detritus of poker: the take-over of the game by young “Robotrons” honed by online gaming; Vegas’s “Leisure-Industrial Complex,” a terrain of soulful soullessness where “your true self is laid bare with all its hungers and flaws and grubby aspirations.” Along the way, poker emerges as the national sport of “the Republic of Anhedonia,” his habitually depressive, fatalistic State of mind that recognizes that “eventually, you will lose it all”—and that playing it safe is therefore the ultimate sucker’s strategy. Whitehead serves up an engrossing mix of casual yet astute reportage and hang-dog philosophizing, showing us that, for all of poker’s intricate calculations and shrewd stratagems, everything still hangs on the turn of a card.

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shortDescription

The Noble Hustle is Pulitzer finalist Colson Whitehead’s hilarious memoir of his search for meaning at high stakes poker tables, which the author describes as “Eat, Pray, Love for depressed shut-ins.”
 
 
On one level, The Noble Hustle is a familiar species of participatory journalism—a longtime neighborhood poker player, Whitehead was given a $10,000 stake and an assignment from the online online magazine Grantland to see how far he could get in the World Series of Poker.  But since it stems from the astonishing mind of Colson Whitehead (MacArthur Award-endorsed!), the book is a brilliant, hilarious, weirdly profound, and ultimately moving portrayal of—yes, it sounds overblown and ridiculous, but really!—the human condition.
    
 
After weeks of preparation that included repeated bus trips to glamorous Atlantic City, and hiring a personal trainer to toughen him...

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      • description: Games & Activities / Card Games / Poker
      • code: HUM003000
      • description: Humor / Form / Essays