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Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted August 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer


    I wanted to read this book because a movie was made of it. I've not seen the movie, as usually the book is better than the movie version. In this instance; however, I think watching the movie would help in understanding what they are describing in the book, being that I am not a gambler of any sort.

    It was an interesting book all the same, and makes me realize how people can get addicted to gambling and that way of life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2008

    A reviewer

    I am amazed by all the positive reviews of this book. Completely shocked actually. With all due respect, many seem rather confused. I agree that the language is colorful and the story is engaging. But the book reads like a movie script in its cliches, lack of depth, fast pace, cheesy lines, and ridiculous dialogue. Mezrich needs to stick to FICTION. Ah, where to begin. This story, as he tells it, is ninety percent fiction! Consider the hotel break in scene. Can anyone actually conceive of hotel security conducting an orchestrated break in of a guest room? That is criminal behavior. Would a Las Vegas hotel really take such a risk? But it must be true because Mezrich says so, right? Here is another example. This book is supposedly Kevin's story. Now consider the vividly described Bahamas attack scene. Are we to believe the Vegas baddies pursued members of the team to a foreign country? And then here's the big problem. Kevin wasn't even there, but he is the source of the story. Of course at the blackjack tables, there was always a seat available when the table count became favorable. And of course splitting 20's in blackjack can be a good strategy. Right. I could not figure out what IRS audits had to do with card counting. I wonder how the IRS felt when they learned Kevin was earning all these winnings under various aliases, with the fake ID's to boot. Furthermore, these MIT students don't seem real bright. They horded high value chips from different casinos. Naturally the casinos would never keep track and notice such a thing. Also why would the whiz kids sneak large quantities of cash through airport security? What was that all about? There are far less risky ways of transporting money from one state to another 'not from one country to another'. Maybe it should have been smarter to rent a humble apartment in Vegas rather than to stay at the hotels they were plundering. Now lets talk about how the story is written. Several chapters are devoted to the author interviewing random people for the book. These people never make another appearance in the book. They do not enter the story at a later time, in anyway. For example, we met the guy at the shooting range, then never saw him again. As a result the book shifts between first and third person and back again several times. How bizarre. Many high school freshman seemed more intelligent than these MIT geniuses. How about these lines: 'I feel like James Bond,' 'You guys are crazy,' 'This was about him, his life, his choices,' 'This is our turf.' As you can see, this is real deep stuff. The back of the book says this is a story 'Vegas doesn't want you to read.' Of course they do. I am surprised Vegas hotels do not sell copies for one dollar each. They would love to have everyone read this book and believe that they have it in them to duplicate these 'real life' 'laugh' results of these spoiled rich kids, and hang out with Kevin Costner and James Caan at the same time. This whole fantasy scenario is the appeal of this book, along with its simplicity, stupidity, and the illusion of easy money.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2009

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