The House Always Wins: A Novel by Brian Rouff

The House Always Wins: A Novel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a good book, and a fun book. I live in Las Vegas myself, and I can report that the general tone of the city is replicated well here. One caveat: the neighborhood in question (it’s real) is much too far from the Strip for any resort to want to buy it out. But, hey, it makes for a good story. This is a ghost story, the ghost being a former mobster named Meyer. I never knew what the name Meyer meant, so the reveal at the end of the meaning of Meir (yeah, spelling, I know) was a nice surprise. One hint: it’s a good name. And our Meyer is a good guy, who helps our heroine overcome a nasty old Vegas power player’s avarice. (It is possible that the nasty old Vegas power player is modeled on a real person, but I’m not gonna go there.)

In short, if you want a good mystery, thriller, and ghost story to read while you learn some things about the real Las Vegas, this is your book. Read it! I did, and I liked it!

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Pirates Attacking Tampa Bay
Pirates Attacking Tampa Bay

I only review things that I like. And usually I don’t write much about what I review. You know, I’ll say, “nice movie” or “good book,” that sort of thing, but dag-nab it, this one I have to say more about. I mean, Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman. It’s a best seller, and for good reason. If you haven’t read it, then do like the title of this post says. Soon, hear?

Here’s my favorite sentence (well, not quite all of it) from the book. Daisy looked up at him with the kind of expression that Jesus might have given someone who had just explained that he was probably allergic to bread and fishes, so could He possibly do him a quick chicken salad: . . .

Gaiman’s book, American Gods, is now on TV, of course, and this book is in the same world, but not the same place. No cold, frozen North here. Lots of Florida and London, and a small and fictional Caribbean island. London isn’t warm, but it’s not cold, either. Florida and the Caribbean, they’re warm, aren’t they?

I have been reading Gaiman’s books because I truly love his style. I’m hoping that I am programming┬ámy brain to┬áproduce more flowing, descriptive, and generous prose. Anansi Boys is all of those things, and it has the best ending I’ve read since Stardust, another Gaiman masterpiece.

So, take a hint. If you want to write like a master, you need to read the masters, right? Here’s your chance. Don’t wait for the movie, read it today! You’ll be glad you did!