Poker, Beef Jerky and Death by Colson Whitehead “I have a good poker face because I am half dead inside.” That first sentence let me know that this book would be full of the dry, sometimes, self-deprecating humor that I have come to love about Colson Whitehead. Originally published as a series of essays for the magazine Grantland, The Noble Hustle documents Whitehead’s participation in the World Series of Poker tournament in Las Vegas. We follow him from his practice runs in Atlantic City, where his descriptions of his fellow players are hilarious, to the big event with a few poker flashbacks.
I have no knowledge of poker and reading about some of the technical aspects of the game made this not as enjoyable for me. I kept reading because the stories of the people who participate in these tournaments, including himself, and all of their different strategies and motivations were fascinating to me. I’ve gone on record about my love of Colson Whitehead over and over again. He is firmly ensconced in my top ten favorite writers and there he will remain.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.