Picks and Pans Review: Confessions of An Ivy League Bookie
Page-Turner of the Week
AT 33, THE AUTHOR OF THIS intriguing memoir was going nowhere fast. The early literary promise that Alson, a nephew of Norman Mailer's, displayed as a Harvard undergrad had faded after a decade of infrequent writing assignments and odd jobs. Was it any wonder that when he learned an acquaintance was pulling down 150 g's a year working for a New York City sports-betting outfit, he's tempted to gamble?
Soon Alson's on a roll in a subculture peopled with Day-Glo characters like Steak Knife and Tuna, but the gap between the gritty realities of his job and his lofty aspirations only exacerbates his self-doubts. Alson's unusual story and punchy style make this one a good bet. (Crown, $23)