The unreal but true story of the unknown casino that changed Las Vegas forever! Warning! Contains nudity, prostitution, vintage Vegas, celebrities, and (some) mobsters!
After a horrific blaze destroyed Willie Martello's El Rey Club in 1962, 50 years would pass before anyone knew of how that casino and one-time brothel influenced Las Vegas casinos, upset the mob, and inadvertently launched the career of Francis Ford Coppola.
Were it not for the chance discovery of a single photo in a Las Vegas museum, the El Rey Club would only be known as the seedy brothel where Senator Harry Reid learned to swim. Martello's accomplishments should place him among magnates like Howard Hughes or Steve Wynn, yet very few know his name.
"Who else could tell the story of Willie Martello? The rare photos alone are worth the price of admission. My only regret is that I didn't write this book." (Robert Graysmith, New York Times best-selling author of Zodiac, Auto-Focus, and Black Fire)
"Quick, funny, and extremely intelligent!" (Mark L. Walberg, Host, Antiques Roadshow)
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Interesting, Funny, Informative
It's difficult to pick just one. There were a few stories in particular that made me laugh out loud and a few that were particularly touching.
His voice. Hearing the story told in the author's voice added so much to this story. You can hear the admiration and respect in his voice when he speaks of Willie Martello and others in the book. You can hear the sadness when he speaks of loss, even the loss of those with whom he only shared a connection through his research.
I am not a fan of non-fiction, truth be told, but I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The author added much to the story from a personal perspective. The addition of his humor and of his experiences during the research made this a great story more than a historical narrative.
- C A H