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Double Down: Reflections on Gambling and Loss ebook

by Steven Barthelme,Frederick Barthelme


Double Down" by Frederick and Steven Barthelme falls into the category of autobiography I like best: written by non-celebrities (meaning people with no popular public image to maintain) who know how to use words well (both authors were college writing professors); but this book is also.

Double Down" by Frederick and Steven Barthelme falls into the category of autobiography I like best: written by non-celebrities (meaning people with no popular public image to maintain) who know how to use words well (both authors were college writing professors); but this book is also unique in that it has two authors, who also happen to be brothers. This meant having to become accustomed to alternations between first person ("we") and third ("Rick", "Steve", "he")

Fredrick Barthelme (born October 10, 1943) is an American novelist and short story writer, well known as one of the seminal writers of minimalist . With Steven Barthelme) Double Down: Reflections on Gambling and Loss. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999.

Fredrick Barthelme (born October 10, 1943) is an American novelist and short story writer, well known as one of the seminal writers of minimalist fiction.

Double Down book The fascinating story of Frederick & Steven Barthelme and their three year gambling splurge in Mississipi casinos.

Start by marking Double Down: Reflections on Gambling and Loss as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read. The fascinating story of Frederick & Steven Barthelme and their three year gambling splurge in Mississipi casinos. Both brothers teach at the University of Southern Mississipi and are well educated men who find themselves spiralling downward! From back cover

Steven Barthelme (born 1947) is the author of numerous short stories and essays.

Steven Barthelme (born 1947) is the author of numerous short stories and essays. His published works include And He Tells the Little Horse the Whole Story, Double Down: Reflections on Gambling and Loss (with brother Frederick Barthelme), and The Early Posthumous Work (essays which originally appeared in The New Yorker, New York Times, Oxford American, Elle Decor, and other publications). His brothers Donald and Frederick also became notable authors.

Frederick Barthelme and his brother Steven were both accomplished, respected writers with stable adult lives when . Double Down - Frederick Barthelme. Double down: reflections on gambling and loss/. Frederick and Steven Barthelme. 1st Harvest ed. p. cm.

They had already lost their other brother, just a few years earlier. Suddenly they were on their own, emotionally unmoored-and unprepared for what would happen next. Their late father had been a prominent architect, and the brothers were left with a healthy inheritance.

book by Frederick Barthelme. Double Down is a true story, a terrifying roller-coaster ride deep into the heart of two men, and into the world of floating Gulf Coast casinos. A brilliant book about gambling compulsively. com User, November 10, 1999.

Barthelme, Frederick. amp; Barthelme, Steve. Double down : reflections on gambling and loss. Double Down is the story of how Frederick and Steven Barthelme got into this predicament. Boston : Houghton Mifflin. Barthelme, Frederick. and Barthelme, Steve. Double down : reflections on gambling and loss, Frederick and Steven Barthelme Houghton Mifflin Boston 1999. It is also a reflection on the pull and power of illusions, the way they work on us when we are not vigilant. Compulsive gambling - Mississippi. Compulsive gamblers - Mississippi - Psychology.

With his brothers Donald and Frederick, Steven has made the Barthelme name . With Frederick, Steven co-authored the brilliant and devastating casino memoir, Double Down: Reflections on Gambling and Loss.

With his brothers Donald and Frederick, Steven has made the Barthelme name synonymous with some of the best short-fiction writing of our time.

DOUBLE DOWN is the sometimes wryly told, often heartbreaking story of how Frederick and Steven Barthelme got into this predicament

DOUBLE DOWN is the sometimes wryly told, often heartbreaking story of how Frederick and Steven Barthelme got into this predicament. It is also a reflection on the pull and power of illusions, the way they work on us when we are not careful. When both of their parents died within a short time of each other, the writers Frederick and Steven Barthelme, both professors of English in Mississippi, inherited a goodly sum of money.

In a poignant new memoir, the brothers of deceased author Donald Barthelme describe their harrowing experience with organized gambling in the wake of their parents' deaths, how they lost a fortune at the gaming tables, and how they recovered from this addiction. First serial, The New Yorker. Tour.
Marilbine
"Double Down" by Frederick and Steven Barthelme falls into the category of autobiography I like best: written by non-celebrities (meaning people with no popular public image to maintain) who know how to use words well (both authors were college writing professors); but this book is also unique in that it has two authors, who also happen to be brothers. This meant having to become accustomed to alternations between first person ("we") and third ("Rick", "Steve", "he"). But the ambiguities in the book toward the subject matter of gambling were not confusing so much as a reflection of just how life is.
I expected two authors would present a broader perspective than one, but the book's insights seem quite general, as if they were limited to impressions they shared and mutually understood. Instead of the stark, sometimes brutal, honesty that often results from an individual writer confronting a blank page, this book was the product of a writer, his brother, and the page, which left me wondering to what extent the effort to be honest was compromised by the authors' awareness of their own role and image within the family dynamic. I can't remember any memoir I've read before that was so much a collaborative project; I'm not convinced the best way to arrive at the truth is by concensus.
The authors are not only siblings, but also apparently codependent enablers in their gambling endeavors. Assuming most parents do the best they can, it's possible for great parents to have messed up children, and for messed up parents to have children who turn out to be wonderful people, but I've often thought there should be a statute of limitations regarding how long an adult is allowed to blame their parents for their own problems. I mean if a person (like the authors) is in their fifties and their life is still a mess in some way (and, really, whose isn't?), some of it is their own doing.
If the authors weren't siblings I wonder if they would have left out the sort of material I always prefer be kept private, such as descriptions of their mom's last few months in the hospital, or a recitation of the litany of cleanup and organizing tasks they dutifully performed after their dad passed away suddenly. They even discussed their parents' parents! I found myself wishing the authors would give up trying to completely understand their parents (or anyone else for that matter, including themselves), if only for the sake of getting on with their own lives. I'm sure the authors were a big part of their parents lives, but, if they're anything like most families, I suspect they weren't the whole thing (especially since they had three other siblings), and their parents had a life separate from them that, according to the nature of intimate relationships, will always remain a mystery to outsiders to some extent.
Around page 119/120 (I read the Harcourt Harvest 2001 paperback edition), the authors expressed the impossibility of understanding the experience and appeal of gambling by reading about it, but I think they do an impressive job of coming as close as any writer ever has to helping a reader vicariously experience their win-lose rollercoaster. The authors go on to say "ordinary analysis is inadequate to explain completely" the outcome of a gamble. I was amazed they seemed surprised by something that's clearly so self-evident. The authors almost seemed disappointed, as if for some reason they had expected an easy answer would be revealed.
Despite all the authors' efforts at introspection, I couldn't quite determine if they were looking too deep or not deep enough. They discuss the possibility that their gambling had become an addiction, or that they were just driven by a belief in their own exceptionalism, instilled at an early age (of course), a sort of toxic work ethic that believes quitting is worse than losing, that to not quit when losing is some kind of triumphant victory.
It was hard to tell if gambling for the authors was just a manifestation of the proverbial mid-life crisis, or a case of something that was fun until it wasn't, which was (without me going into details) around the time when they were drawn into a legal matter (which remained strangely unresolved at the end of the book) involving a casino they had frequented and were no longer welcome at. At least they finally seemed to mature a bit by realizing most occupations are selective to some degree: that is, they're not a consequence of simply what one wants or chooses to do, but whether others also approve of one doing it.
Still I didn't detect much regret on the authors' part because all along the way, no matter how things turned out, every reckless decision was presented by them as somehow seeming like a good idea at the time. The authors went to extraordinary lengths to rationalize their gambling activity, as if they refused to accept there wasn't a comprehensible explanation that would make perfect sense. While repeatedly admitting they realized on some intellectual level that the odds favored the house and -- crucially -- always would, their commitment to their own special brand of magical thinking impelled them onward.
Few people are neutral in their opinion of gambling. I admit to being superstitious about gambling with money -- I tend to avoid it because I believe most things balance out in the long run (which, ironically, is almost the same logic the authors employed when they asserted betting eventually approaches breaking even). But the authors insist their gambling wasn't about money, and wasn't entirely about mere thrill, either.
The authors describe themselves as creative people, and I have no reason to doubt that, but I couldn't help wondering how bored a person must be, or how lacking in imagination, to rely on gambling, which can get so bad so quickly, to so satisfactorily fulfill so many of their emotional needs to the exclusion of just about everything else in the world. 
It's hard to determine if the authors' gambling experiences helped them to grow in some spiritual way, or whether they used gambling to actually avoid growing spiritually, but, overall, their gambling seemed like a big waste of time. I confess I don't have much patience for people who live as if they have a million years, especially those who have every reason to know better.
I can understand gambling wasn't boring for the authors because they were constantly analyzing and scheming about it, and their social lives seemed to revolve around it, but in the end there was none of the truth they seemed to be looking for to be found in the casinos -- at least none worth knowing, let alone paying for -- and probably no beauty whatsoever. Maybe they figured they could at least redeem something interesting from it and write a book to recoup their losses.
To me there's a difference between chance, luck, and uncertainty. Chance involves risk that can be determined using statistical probability. Luck involves the belief that an otherwise random outcome can be influenced by appeal to a supernatural power for intervention. Uncertainty occurs when there's just no way of knowing. Uncertainty isn't doubt, but it is an element of life that seems to have driven the authors into a tailspin, and may help explain why they seemed convinced their out-of-control gambling spiral had something to do with the deaths of their parents.
Mortality may be certain, although its timing may not be; immortality may be certain, although its form may not be. All people contend with the physical anxiety associated with fate and death, the social anxiety associated with conscience and being accepted, and, at some point, the spiritual anxiety associated with confronting the concept of meaninglessness. In the milieu of casino gambling, the brothers tried to transcend their anxiety by the only time-tested surefire method: faith -- unfortunately, it turned out to be a misplaced blind faith in a soulless rigged system where the deck would forever be stacked against them.
To sum up, although the contents could be depressing at times, "Double Down" has many worthwhile moments and only a couple of minor typographical errors, so I recommend it.
Uaha
This is great story about two brothers who are on a journey to win it big but they don't know when to quit. They keep losing and yet keep hoping that they will eventually win. Maybe it can be called a classic tale about gambling addiction, but you really have to read this to get the joy out of it. I recommend it to others. A great read.
Nekora
A beautiful reflection on what goes into a love affair with gambling. Some of the Barthelme's phrasing borders on the sublime; e.g. The disembodying feeling of a winning streak likened to being thrown out on the ice in the Olympics and finding that "suddenly, inexplicably, you can skate like an angel." They are equal parts aware of their behaviors and invested in them, and the texture created between these two sides of themselves manifests itself beautifully throughout the work.

Highly recommended for its wisdom, and the seriousness with which it takes an often reviled vice and pays it its due.
Lamranilv
This book is almost totally about growing up, father, mother and the two messed up brothers. It you are into psychological stuff like that, this book rates 5 stars. On the other hand, if you want an entertaining read about gambling, this book rates 1 star. So I give it 3 stars. This book is depressing.
Doktilar
First, the obvious: neither Barthelme brother would have cushy college-teaching jobs had not their eldest brother, Donald, been a trendy post-modernist icon. The younger brother, Steven B., has managed to publish exactly one (1) book of short stories; Rick, the larger, plumper one, has some sort of gossamer reputation among those who like trailer-park fiction. There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of better writers with better qualifications who would kill and maim with gleeful abandon for jobs at Southern Mississippi -- and who would devote themselves to those jobs, and to their students, rather than run off two or three times a week to squander Daddy's money at the blackjack tables [disclaimer: the undersigned thinks she is one of those "better writers"]. That said, this slender volume does indeed fascinate: I read it straight through in five hours, and so will most readers of a literary bent. The brothers B. have in fact done me a service, one years of shrink visits and antidepressants have failed to do -- in one stroke, they have made me glad, glad, glad that I abandoned the academy, failed to obtain a Ph.D., and find myself teaching high school English thirty years after my Iowa fiction MFA. Theirs is a cautionary tale, of what may happen to smart people with minimal reality contact and few, if any, day-to-day responsibilities. The cavernous lack of common-sense knowledge they display in their forays to the Gulf Coast casinos would be inconceivable to anyone who's punched a clock or handled an insurance claim. They are actually surprised to find that casinos have a corporate identity! Gee, they thought those people were their friends ... gahh! As for the dead father they apparently despised, I felt sorry for D. Barthelme Sr. His hard work, his habits of deep thinking and attention to detail, become monstrosities in the ham-hands of his two youngest sons, who in fifty-plus years on this planet have not managed to obtain perspective one. The book is good -- the descriptions of gambling's intoxications, the minute processing of each foolish and silly and self-deluding thought as it arises, are executed with consummate skill -- and yet one can't help concluding, as the memoir shrinks down upon itself into a puddle of anticlimax, that six months or so in prison would have been good for these men, taught them a painful life-lesson or two. Crucial to an understanding of the brothers' plight is the fact that neither Barthelme bothered to have children, thus giving themselves the right to be babies forever. They are not so much perpetual adolescents as they are pre-pubescent (wife and girlfriend notwithstanding), mired forever in Fiftiesland where, if you want to be a cowboy, you just put on the hat and yell, "Bang-bang!" They are not intellectual -- or accomplished -- enough for the ivory-tower defense they so quickly assume; what they are, are second- and third-tier journeymen blessed with a famous name and a glib ability to sling the relativist Crisco. While one may end up wishing Barthelme Sr., who unlike his sons appeared to be able to distinguish right from wrong, had willed his inheritance somewhere else, this reviewer is grateful for the folly of his heirs. A job at Southern Mississippi may be gravy, but that thin gruel isn't nourishing. Real life is the real meat.
Double Down: Reflections on Gambling and Loss ebook
Author:
Steven Barthelme,Frederick Barthelme
Category:
Arts & Literature
Subcat:
EPUB size:
1563 kb
FB2 size:
1783 kb
DJVU size:
1788 kb
Language:
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin (November 22, 1999)
Pages:
208 pages
Rating:
4.2
Other formats:
mobi lrf mbr lit
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