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Book Review: Running the Table

Posted 01-07-2011 at 05:53 PM by gunzby

I ordered this book after hearing about just how good it was and of course because I have watched Danny Basavich play and you just can't help, but like the guy.

The story gives you a very real idea of what modern era hustling was like before every action game had an AZBilliards thread to accompany it before the coin was even flipped. You get a very real sense of just how much Danny absolutely loves the game. He loves it so much that it seems to be the only thing that keeps himself regular. In a nutshell pool is his mind altering drug, which speaks volumes about mind over matter when you consider just how serious his bouts of depression are.

More than anything you will probably find yourself rooting for Danny throughout the book. I was rooting for him to follow his heart by doing something that he absolutely loves. When depression left him bedridden I rooted for him (in a Burgess Meredith from Rocky voice) "get up you sonofa*****" and get back on the table. I also of course rooted for him to show his heart, come back and take set after set for the cash.

Throughout the book you get this sense that Danny is so well liked that his opponents had a little bit of fun giving money to him. Where a player like Bucktooth is known for pissing people off until they practically throw their wallets at him, Kid Delicious draws them in with jokes and a beaming smile.

Overall I absolutely loved the book and highly recommend it to anyone wanting to read a non-instructional billiards book. I read the first 200 pages the day I got the book in the mail and finished the remaining 42 pages when I woke up the next day. It is such a good book that I would hope it to be a movie some day, but it will be very hard to find anyone other than Danny to play himself.

Next on the list that I ordered are Playing Off the Rail and Hustler Days. If those books are nearly as good as this one I should be able to have both read in a week.
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