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Pocket Kings

Pocket Kings

Ratings: (0)|Views: 31 |Likes:
Published by Workman Publishing
In this dead-on satire of online obsessions, a novelist with writer’s block finds a new—and very lucrative—stream of income in a virtual world that appears to give him everything he lacks in the real world.When frank Dixon, a frustrated writer who has seen his career crash and burn, decides to dabble in online poker, he discovers he has a knack for winning. In this newfound realm, populated by alluring characters—each of them elusive, mysterious, and glamorous—he becomes a smash success: popular, rich, and loved. Going by the name Chip Zero, he sees his fortunes and romantic liaisons thrive in cyberspace while he remains blind to the fact that his real life is sinking. His online success, however, does not come without complications, as he comes to realize that his “virtual” friends and lovers are, in fact, very real, and one rival player is not at all happy that Mr. Zero has taken all his money.Heller’s cautionary tale is continually surprising and startlingly real, a tour de force of satirical storytelling in the vein of Jonathan Tropper and Sam Lipsyte.
In this dead-on satire of online obsessions, a novelist with writer’s block finds a new—and very lucrative—stream of income in a virtual world that appears to give him everything he lacks in the real world.When frank Dixon, a frustrated writer who has seen his career crash and burn, decides to dabble in online poker, he discovers he has a knack for winning. In this newfound realm, populated by alluring characters—each of them elusive, mysterious, and glamorous—he becomes a smash success: popular, rich, and loved. Going by the name Chip Zero, he sees his fortunes and romantic liaisons thrive in cyberspace while he remains blind to the fact that his real life is sinking. His online success, however, does not come without complications, as he comes to realize that his “virtual” friends and lovers are, in fact, very real, and one rival player is not at all happy that Mr. Zero has taken all his money.Heller’s cautionary tale is continually surprising and startlingly real, a tour de force of satirical storytelling in the vein of Jonathan Tropper and Sam Lipsyte.

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Publish date: Mar 27, 2012
Added to Scribd: Jun 25, 2013
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9781616201470
List Price: $13.95

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08/29/2014

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9781616201470

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Publishers Weekly reviewed this
The anti-hero of Heller's third novel (after Funnymen) is Frank Dixon, a resentful schlub who's failed at everything he's puts his mind to: athletics, painting, and, most recently, writing. Stuck in a midlife crisis, Frank finds Internet poker and discovers that he has some talent after all. He immerses himself in a virtual community where he makes friends and potential lovers, all while winning money unstoppably. As he alienates people in the real world-from his wife to his literary agent-he delves further into his online relationships and begins to lose himself to his addiction. As "Chip Zero," he builds a fortune, but his success breeds resentment, and one player in particular plots revenge to get his money back. The obnoxious narrator, his endless failures, and the instant messaging all grow tiresome, but Heller should be commended for creating a thoroughly repellent character whose story is captivating, even compulsive, reading. While the book has the gritty, unpleasant feel of a novel by Chuck Palahniuk or Sam Lipsyte-another futile diatribe against the barrenness of 21st-century American (male) life-it's a well-crafted and entertaining satire on the world of modern publishing, as well as the perverse artificiality of the Internet. The prose equivalent of nails on a chalkboard, Heller still manages to make the reader laugh and rage at more or less the same time. Agent: Matthew Elblonk, the Creative Culture. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

2012-01-09, Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly reviewed this
The anti-hero of Heller's third novel (after Funnymen) is Frank Dixon, a resentful schlub who's failed at everything he's puts his mind to: athletics, painting, and, most recently, writing. Stuck in a midlife crisis, Frank finds Internet poker and discovers that he has some talent after all. He immerses himself in a virtual community where he makes friends and potential lovers, all while winning money unstoppably. As he alienates people in the real world-from his wife to his literary agent-he delves further into his online relationships and begins to lose himself to his addiction. As "Chip Zero," he builds a fortune, but his success breeds resentment, and one player in particular plots revenge to get his money back. The obnoxious narrator, his endless failures, and the instant messaging all grow tiresome, but Heller should be commended for creating a thoroughly repellent character whose story is captivating, even compulsive, reading. While the book has the gritty, unpleasant feel of a novel by Chuck Palahniuk or Sam Lipsyte-another futile diatribe against the barrenness of 21st-century American (male) life-it's a well-crafted and entertaining satire on the world of modern publishing, as well as the perverse artificiality of the Internet. The prose equivalent of nails on a chalkboard, Heller still manages to make the reader laugh and rage at more or less the same time. Agent: Matthew Elblonk, the Creative Culture. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

2012-01-09, Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly reviewed this
Struggling writer Frank Dixon takes to online gambling as a means of supplementing his rather stagnant income, but forgets that in the gaming world he shouldn't cross the wrong people. Narrator William Roberts delivers a stellar turn as Dixon-a man so easily carried away by the prospect of free money that he loses himself and his life in the process. Roberts all but transforms himself into Dixon in this audio edition, sinking deeper and deeper until the point of no return. The highs are as genuine as the lowest of the lows for Dixon, and Roberts manages to paint a realistic portrayal of a man who stands to lose everything he has-including his life. As Dixon, Roberts's tone is stern yet frustrated. But as luck abounds, Roberts adjusts accordingly to capture a man on the rebound, who believes his dreams might not be that unattainable after all. Of course, luck has to run out at some point, and when it does, Roberts captures the moment perfectly. An Algonquin paperback. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

2012-06-25, Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly reviewed this
Struggling writer Frank Dixon takes to online gambling as a means of supplementing his rather stagnant income, but forgets that in the gaming world he shouldn't cross the wrong people. Narrator William Roberts delivers a stellar turn as Dixon-a man so easily carried away by the prospect of free money that he loses himself and his life in the process. Roberts all but transforms himself into Dixon in this audio edition, sinking deeper and deeper until the point of no return. The highs are as genuine as the lowest of the lows for Dixon, and Roberts manages to paint a realistic portrayal of a man who stands to lose everything he has-including his life. As Dixon, Roberts's tone is stern yet frustrated. But as luck abounds, Roberts adjusts accordingly to capture a man on the rebound, who believes his dreams might not be that unattainable after all. Of course, luck has to run out at some point, and when it does, Roberts captures the moment perfectly. An Algonquin paperback. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

2012-06-25, Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly reviewed this
The anti-hero of Heller's third novel (after Funnymen) is Frank Dixon, a resentful schlub who's failed at everything he's puts his mind to: athletics, painting, and, most recently, writing. Stuck in a midlife crisis, Frank finds Internet poker and discovers that he has some talent after all. He immerses himself in a virtual community where he makes friends and potential lovers, all while winning money unstoppably. As he alienates people in the real world-from his wife to his literary agent-he delves further into his online relationships and begins to lose himself to his addiction. As "Chip Zero," he builds a fortune, but his success breeds resentment, and one player in particular plots revenge to get his money back. The obnoxious narrator, his endless failures, and the instant messaging all grow tiresome, but Heller should be commended for creating a thoroughly repellent character whose story is captivating, even compulsive, reading. While the book has the gritty, unpleasant feel of a novel by Chuck Palahniuk or Sam Lipsyte-another futile diatribe against the barrenness of 21st-century American (male) life-it's a well-crafted and entertaining satire on the world of modern publishing, as well as the perverse artificiality of the Internet. The prose equivalent of nails on a chalkboard, Heller still manages to make the reader laugh and rage at more or less the same time. Agent: Matthew Elblonk, the Creative Culture. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

2012-01-09, Publishers Weekly
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