Book Review: A Gambler’s Anatomy by Jonathan Lethem

August 4, 2016

A Gambler’s Anatomy by Jonathan Lethem is a novel taking place in Germany and Berkley, California. Mr. Lethem is an award winning American writer.

  • 304 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385539908

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My rat­ing for A Gambler’s Anatomy5
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A Gambler’s Anatomy by Jonathan Lethem is an odd story with several twists which found me just as I was about to lose interest. It was fascinating to read about characters with a strange sense of morality, but like other people you meet everyday, have a sense of decency in them which is difficult to pinpoint.

The story, written in Mr. Lethem’s unique style, made me care about these selfish, vain characters which are complex, yet accessible.  There is a slight supernatural node in the story, but I could never figure out if it was just in the character’s head or it was an actual “power” – not that it matters, after all if we really believe something, it’s real to us.

The description of backgammon games is exciting, but that’s maybe because I know how to play. I was a bit disappointed because, it was my understanding, part of being a professional backgammon player is knowing how to cheat properly as part of the game, but I guess mind reading could be considered cheating.

This is a well written novel, capturing a slice of life most of us will never know. A cast of quirky characters and artful descriptions make this book a joy.

Bruno Alexander travels the world as a professional backgammon player, he comes to Berlin after a run of bad luck in Singapore. In Berlin Bruno passes out and is sent to the local hospital where it turns out that the blot he’s been seeing is actually a tumor.

In despair, Bruno turns to a childhood acquaintance, Keith Stolarsky, who is now a captain of industry – but still a jerk. Stolarsky reassures Bruno that he can, and will, pay for all expenses, but as we all know, nothing is for free.

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Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free
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