Running the Table

  • by L. Jon Wertheim
  • Narrated by Butch Engle
  • 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From a popular senior writer for Sports Illustrated comes this high-stakes, boys-on-the-road story about the most unlikely of phenoms: a heavyset, bipolar, and endlessly charming pool hustler named Kid Delicious. In most sports the pinnacle is Wheaties-box notoriety. But in the world of pool, notoriety is the last thing a hustler desires. Such is the dilemma that faces one Danny Basavich, an affable, generously proportioned Jewish kid from Jersey, who flounders through high school until he discovers the one thing he excels at - the felt - and hits the road.
Running the Table spins the outrageous tale of Kid Delicious and his studly, if less talented, set-up man, Bristol Bob. Never was there a more entertaining or mismatched pair of sidekicks, as together they go underground into the flavorfully seamy world of pool to learn the art of the hustle and experience the highs and lows of life on the road. Their four-year odyssey takes them from Podunk pool halls to slick urban billiard rooms across America, as they manage one night to take down as much as $30,000 - only to lose so much the next night that they lack gas money to get home.
With every stop, the action gets hotter, the calls get closer, and Delicious' prowess with a cue stick becomes known more and more widely. Ultimately, Delicious sheds his cover once and for all and becomes professional pool's biggest sensation since Minnesota Fats.
In a book sure to appeal to fans of Bringing Down the House and Positively Fifth Street, Wertheim evokes a subculture full of nefarious but lovable characters and illuminates America's fascination with games and gambling. He also paints a lasting portrait of an insanely talented and magnetic hustler, who is literally larger than life.

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What the Critics Say

"Wertheim's eloquent and vivid prose...perfectly captures the squalid, sepia-toned environs of America's billiard halls." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

If you loved The Hustler...

If you loved The Hustler, well, you'll still like this one. It was a good read! Entertaining. Enjoyable to read about the fringe of society making money on the sly while people like you and me are working normal jobs and living in suburbia.

I love to shot pool so when I saw this title I had to pick it up. If you've read "Hustler Days" which is almost a precursor to the life and times of Kid Delicious, you'll already have an insight into how these folks live and how the hustle from pool hall to pool hall, city to city, never really holding a normal job and always on a quest for the next big game and the next shot at easy money.

I'll never be able to shoot pool like these guys though will always try. And will never know what it's like to lay money on the rail, playing a game for "C" note. But after reading this book I can get close to understanding what makes these guys tick and what gives them the drive to stay up all night in a smoke filled pool hall, without knowing where or when their next payday will be. I you're a fan of pool like me this is worth the time to check out.
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- Rick "Rick H."

Very Good

This book held my interest from start to end. You need not love or even know billiards to enjoy this book. The main character is the kind of person you can’t help but pull for. I highly recommend this book.
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- Garry

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-26-2007
  • Publisher: Books on Tape