The Ballad of A Small Player

The Ballad of A Small Player

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
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A riveting tale of risk and obsession set in the alluring world of Macau's casinos, by the author of the critically acclaimed The Forgiven .
 
As night falls on Macau and the neon signs that line the rain-slick streets come alive, Doyle - "Lord Doyle" to his fellow players - descends into his casino of choice to try his luck at the baccarat tables that are the anchor of his current existence. A corrupt English lawyer who has escaped prosecution by fleeing to the East, Doyle spends his nights drinking and gambling and his days sleeping off his excesses, continually haunted by his past. Taking refuge in a series of louche and dimly lit hotels, he watches his fortune rise and fall as the cards decide his fate.
 
In a moment of crisis he meets Dao-Ming, an enigmatic Chinese woman who appears to be a denizen of the casinos just like himself, and seems to offer him salvation in the form of both money and love. But as Doyle attempts to make a rare and true connection, all that he accepts as reality seems to be slipping from his grasp. 
 
Resonant of classics by Dostoevsky and Graham Greene, The Ballad of a Small Player is a timeless tale steeped in eerie suspense and rich atmosphere.

Publisher: London : Hogarth, c2014
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780804137973
0804137978
Branch Call Number: OSB
Characteristics: 257 p. ;,22 cm

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u
uncommonreader
Jan 15, 2016

Osborne paints a picture of purgatory. Not recommended.

z
Zapacuerno
Jan 11, 2015

I really liked this book. The setting was partly familiar to me having been inside casinos a few times and also to Hong Kong. Most of the action is in Macao, but the author deftly captures the decadent vibe emitted by many ex-pat Westerners adrift in Asia. The writing has great mood and atmosphere even though the tale is somewhat bleak and pointless.

l
LucasHill
Dec 21, 2014

"What I discovered was a taste for losing." The mind of a player, the psyche of a loser. This story's been told before, but the writing here is so careful and precise that I can forgive cliche.

f
fancy_pants
Apr 26, 2014

i think this is a very cool book: but i don't understand the ending. It seems like Doyle is dreaming when he goes on a tear of incredible luck. Does anyone else feel that way?

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