Pocket Kings

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Algonquin Books, Mar 27, 2012 - Fiction - 368 pages
4 Reviews

In this dead-on satire of online obsessions, a novelist with writer’s block finds a new—and very lucrative—stream of income in a virtual world that appears to give him everything he lacks in the real world.

When Frank Dixon, a frustrated writer who has seen his career crash and burn, decides to dabble in online poker, he discovers he has a knack for winning. In this newfound realm, populated by alluring characters—each of them elusive, mysterious, and glamorous—he becomes a smash success: popular, rich, and loved. Going by the name Chip Zero, he sees his fortunes and romantic liaisons thrive in cyberspace while he remains blind to the fact that his real life is sinking. His online success, however, does not come without complications, as he comes to realize that his “virtual” friends and lovers are, in fact, very real, and one rival player is not at all happy that Mr. Zero has taken all his money.

Heller’s cautionary tale is continually surprising and startlingly real, a tour de force of satirical storytelling in the vein of Jonathan Tropper and Sam Lipsyte.


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User Review  - diovival - LibraryThing

Not a bad book. Really, it's not! It's just that I wanted to shake the narrator violently pretty much the entire time I was reading it. He is an extremely unlikable douchebag. Although the writing is ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Thomas_Cannon - LibraryThing

Harsh words for many mainstream authors. Wonder if there is any fallout from that. it was an intriguing story and kept me reading. Definitely an original story. It was not as funny as I hope. Read full review

Selected pages


Part I Hole The first fiftythousand
Part II Flop 250000
Part III Busted
I Could Write a Book
About the Author
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About the author (2012)

TED HELLER is the author of Slab Rat, which GQ magazine called “diabolically witty” and the Washington Post called “uncommonly smart, funny, and dead on” and named as one of the 10 best novels of the year. He is also the author of Funnymen, which the Guardian of England called “a masterpiece of comic invention” and the Times of London called “one of the most satisfying books in years.” Previously a senior writer at Nickelodeon Magazine, Heller lives in New York.

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