Players Book Report

Players Book Report

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Players Book Report 395 pages (Word Count: 854)

General Questions
Part A

1. What is the title of your book? Players: Con Men, Hustlers, Gamblers and Scam Artists.
2. What is the author’s name? Edited by Stephen Hyde and Geno Zanetti.
3. Which company published the book? (Give the publishing company’s name, not the printer’s name.) Thunder’s Mouth Press.
4. When was the book published? (Give the latest date of publication.) 2002.
5. In what city was it published? (If your book lists several cities, simply give the name of the first city listed.) New York City, New York.

The book Players is a very, very good book. It is a compellation of 36 short stories and excerpts from books about gambling, con men, scam artists, hustlers and various other people.

The first story is called The Lottery of Babylon by Jorge Luis Borges. This story was about an old lottery in Babylon. The lottery started out small with just paying out money but in time it got bigger and bigger and bigger. In the end of it the prizes changed from just money to a cult of people who played it, it went from just one winner to many winners, and many losers. Some people whose numbers are pulled won a great amount of treasure, or land or other great prizes. Some would get mediocre prizes like a small amount of money, some would get nothing. The people whose numbers were pulled and deemed losers could get killed, tortured or other horrible things.

One story that is quite longer then most of the other stories is Rudyard Kipling’s The Man Who Would Be King. This is a story narrated by a newspaper editor whose friends come in and tell him of their plan to become kings of Kafiristan, which is part of Afghanistan, and then to become kings of all of Afghanistan in the name of Briton. They go to Kafiristan and carry out their plan by acting like gods using guns against the primitive Afghanis and got people to follow them and to crown them kings. At the end their plan falls apart when he tries to marry a girl who bites him at the alter. The people see blood and realize he is not a god. Then they chase all of them out of Kafiristan.

Another story is called the Merry Antics of Izzy and Moe by Herbert Asbury. This story is about prohibition in the USA in the 1920’s.

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At the beginning it talks about Izzy Einstein, who quits his job and becomes a prohibition officer and does a good job, busting many people until he misses his old friend Moe Smith and persuades him to be his partner in the force. As partners they do a great job, at the end of prohibition they confiscated 15,000,000 dollars worth of beer, thousands of gallons of kegs and made 4,392 arrests much more then any other two prohibition agents ever.
Another story is Rufus Jarman’s The Spanish Prisoner, the beautiful Senorita and You. This was about an old scam to get people to come from the USA into Mexico and give a lot of money to a person in jail in return for that person’s daughter’s hand in marriage and a trunk in a customs office with thousands of dollars worth of dollars in treasure. In reality, the person in jail was not really in jail, he did not have a daughter or the person would never see a daughter even if the person had one, their was never a trunk in any customs office. The scammers would also hire people to follow the scamee around so the person would get freaked out and get out of Mexico after giving the money to the person. Post office inspectors said that they would see 10,000 to 15,000 thousand of these letters every couple weeks.

One story is an excerpt from Son of a Grifter by Kent Walker. This is about a mother – son combo of con men. The story is told by the other son of the mother. It is mostly about one big con that the mother and son did. They went to New York and found out about a huge estate worth millions of dollars owned by an 82 year old lady. They go to live their and raise suspicion about themselves by asking around for personal information about the old lady including her social security number. They never get that information but they work the con anyways. What they do is write fake deeds, make up a fake social security number fake her signature and show it to a notary saying that the old lady can not be here because she is in her bed sick. They get a notary to notarize it and then they go on with their plan. The next part of their plan is to kill the old lady. They do this and get her out of their so cleanly that there is no evidence left behind. But, in the end the police find out about them and catch them.
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