This is the 1959 book "The Hustler" by Walter Tevis, that was made into a movie "The Hustler", a 1961 movie staring Jackie Gleason as Minnesota Fats and Paul Newman as "Fast Eddie Felson". In the movie, they are competing in a high stakes gambling game for money to determine who is the best player of the game of straight pool in the world.
In the opening scene in the movie, Fast Eddie Felson and his friend Charlie are traveling across the country. They stop in a small town at a local pool hall. They start playing pool against each other while pretending to be drunk. Fast Eddie Felson shows himself to be an average pool player, but not as good as Charlie, and misses many easy shots. Finally, the other players in the pool hall which is also a bar start to take an interest in the big money game they are betting on. A situation arises where Fast Eddie Felson sets up a difficult shot. He bets Charlie he can make this shot. Charlie says it is impossible, that he cannot do it, but he does not have enough money to bet. Then, another spectator in the pool hall says he will take that bet and bet that Fast Eddie Felson cannot make the shot. They both put their money on the table. Amazingly, Fast Eddie Felson makes the shot, picks up the money and quickly leaves the pool hall, followed by Charlie. They get in their car and speed away.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.47(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
One of my favorite movies of all time is the Hustler with Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason. This is not unusual for a poolplayer. However, I had never read the book, until recently when a friend, who by the way does not play pool, told me about how great the book was. I told him I would try to find time to go out an get it. The next day, he brought it with him to work and gave it to me. I figured I would never find time to read it since I never seem to find time for anything beyond work and pool. Not to mention that I had not read a book in years, though I used to thouroghly enjoy reading. Several nights later, I decided to pick up the book and read a chapter or two. Hours later, I found myself propped up in bed, reading page after page, chapter after chapter, and I just couldn't put it down. My wife finally told me to turn out the light so she could get some sleep. The next morning I woke up thinking about the book. It wasn't long before I had a cup of coffee in front of me, and the book in my hands. I completed the book in what seemed to be mere moments. This is truely a page turner, and a very well written book. I really like the fact that they stay away from the dark story line of the movie that detracted from the true story, the story of the man and the poolplayer, the hustler, Eddie Felson. This book does a great job of really getting in to the mind of a poolplayer. The way the pool rooms were described, I could almost smell the cigars and hear the balls clicking around. My heart raced as if I were the one playing for thousands of dollars. If you have ever played pool you will truely love this book. If you love pool the way I do, you will have an experience in reading that you have not had since you were a kid. Once you have read this, you will want to read the Color of Money, which is the sequel. If you have seen the movie with Tom Cruise, you will find the book to be 100% different. There is no young prodigy named Vincent. The book is about an aging Eddie Felson, trying to climb back on top of the pool world. After you read the book The Color of Money, you will probably wonder the same thing that I did, why didn't they make the movie like the book. Not that the movie they made was bad, but the plot of the book was so much more complex and interesting than the movie was. I highly recommend reading the Hustler, and the Color of Money.