Preston L. Allen’s witty, charming, and very likable school bus driver, named P, is a desperate gambler. He has blown the hundred thousand dollars he won at the casino six months ago, but his wife and family still think he’s loaded. P spins out of control on the addict’s downward spiral of dependency, paranoia, and depression, as he must find ways to keep coming up with the money to fool his family and fund his growing addiction. The bets get bigger and bigger, until finally, faced with the ultimate financial crisis, he hits it really big. Yet winning, he soon learns, is just the beginning of a deeper problem.
The one constant for P–who rises from wage-earner to millionaire and back again in his roller-coaster-ride of a life–is that he must gamble. That his son has died, that his wife is leaving him, that his girlfriend has been arrested, that he has no money, that he has more money than he could ever have dreamed–are all lesser concerns for P as he constantly seeks out new gambling opportunities.
While other books on gambling seek either to sermonize on the addiction or to glorify it by highlighting its few prosperous celebrities, All or Nothing is an honest, straightforward account of what it is like to live as a gambler–whether a high-rolling millionaire playing $1,000-ante poker in Las Vegas or a regular guy at the local Indian casino praying for a miracle as he feeds his meager life savings into the unforgiving slot machine. All or Nothing is the first novel to dig beneath the veneer to explore the gambler’s unique and complex relationship with money. If you’ve ever wanted to get into the heart and psyche of a compulsive gambler, here is your chance.