All Or Nothing
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.
New York Times Book Review, Sun., June 15, 2008
"As a cartographer of autodegradation, Allen takes his place on a continuum that begins, perhaps, with Dostoyevsky's Gambler, courses through Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano, William S. Burroughs's Junky, [and] the collected works of Charles Bukowski and Hubert Selby Jr...Like Dostoyevsky, Allen colorfully evokes the gambling milieu...Like Burroughs, he is a dispassionate chronicler of the addict's daily ritual, neither glorifying nor vilifying the matter at hand. Yet he never wallows like Lowry nor amuses like Bukowski. His spare, efficient prose could be called medium-boiled."
Library Journal, Nov. 15, 2007
"Allen's new novel poignantly depicts the life of P . . . Told without preaching or moralizing, the facts of P's life express volumes on the destructive power of gambling. This is strongly recommended and deserves a wide audience; an excellent choice for book discussion groups."
Kirkus Reviews, Sept., 15, 2007
"A gambler's hands and heart perpetually tremble in this raw story of addiction . . . Allen's brilliant at conveying the hothouse atmosphere of hell-bent gaming."
ForeWord, Jan/Feb. 2008
"All or Nothing is funny, relentless, haunting, and highly readable."
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Review: All or NothingUser Review - Paula - Goodreads
I liked the book- I HATE the protagonist- I don't even want to use that word to describe the Bus Driver. I have close friends and family who struggle with addiction, so I was prepared to relate and ... Read full review
Review: All or NothingUser Review - Elly Wendy - Goodreads
A good book! I knew nothing about being a gambler -- and now I'm sure glad. Read full review