The Gambler and the Bug boy

gamblerandbugboyPre-WWII Los Angeles is the stuff of legend. Yet, somehow, this fascinating story of gambling and corruption has not yet been told. Fortunately, John Christgau picks up that slack and spins this tale nicely. A very strong narrative rings at the heart of this history.

Christgau brings the title characters into light and sets the stage effectively. The basic premise is simple: an unscrupulous gambler reels in an athlete. It rings a bit of Eliot Asinof’s Eight Men Out, but does not achieve the same grand scale. Nonetheless, it is a well- researched piece that recounts a great story of intrigue in a place filled with mystery.

—Jason Strykowski

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