Winner Takes All

  • by Christina Binkley
  • Narrated by Cynthia Holloway
  • 12 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

An unprecedented up-close-and-personal look at the trio of tycoons whose high-stakes gambles, in business, make Sin City soar: Steve Wynn. Kirk Kerkorian, and Dr. Gary Loveman.The first two are world-famous for their flamboyant, often outrageous efforts to dominate Las Vegas. But it's the third - an economist from Harvard Business School, unknown even to most of the guests at his high-profile casinos - who may now have the most impact.In Winner Takes All, Christina Binkley, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, explores how these three magnates are building a bigger and better Las Vegas and how their influence is spreading beyond the city's borders.Meet the winners:
Steve Wynn is the visionary behind the Mirage, the Bellagio, and the $2.7 billion Wynn Las Vegas. Loud and passionate, with a tragic backstory - a world-renowned art collector, he is slowly going blind from retinitis pigmentosa - Wynn is often called the architect of modern Las Vegas.

Kirk Kerkorian, who is in his late 80s, is a shy, sly tactician, but his status as a billionaire dealmaker who owns half the strip - and his history as nemesis to Howard Hughes - keeps him in the forefront of Las Vegas wheeling and dealing.

Dr. Gary Loveman, the CEO of Harrah's Entertainment, Inc., represents a new, more populist future for Las Vegas, one in which gamblers will be carefully culled from databases rather than lured by flash. Loveman approaches the city as though it were a Harvard case study. On the verge of becoming Las Vegas' - and possibly the world's - biggest gambling titan, he refuses to even live there.
Peppered with celebrity cameos (from Siegfried and Roy to George and Barbara Bush), this sharp, fast-paced narrative tells the story of how billions of dollars - and an unparalleled drive for power - took three men's visions for Las Vegas from mere dreams to reality.


What the Critics Say

"As exhilarating as a high-stakes game of craps." (Kirkus)
"A full, flashy tale of powerful men and their pride, vanity, envy, [and] greed." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Fabulous book! Narrator was bleh.

Do you say Vay-guess, or do you say Vi-gus?
I've heard it called Vi-gus many a times by many who've never been there, just read about it, or were told a story or two about it. Oh, and the other reviewer was right about this narrator: she doesn't know how to pronouce the French word for water eau, which sounds like Oh. Didn't anybody reviewing the audio tell her? BTW, she also slaughtered La Reve and Beau Rivage. Come on! Regardless, the story was fantastic. I absolutlely loved hearing how Wynn and Kakorian got started, and how Vegas (Vay-guess) transformed with the opening of the Mirage.
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- Pete Kokkinis

Some hilarious mispronunciations

The book is a bit tepid, possibly because the style is dry, but mostly because the narrator sounds like a zombie. Best of all, however, are her mispronunciations. Apparently this narrator knows no foreign language or even English words with more than four syllables. For example, at one point when describing Steve Wynn's attempts to attract top chefs she pronounces the French word "eau" "ewww," then, alas, tries to render Wynn's quotation about Americans confusing "eau" with "eww" as if the words were pronounced exactly the same way. It would be nice to have a better standard for narrators so one could at least hear language pronounced somewhat close to the way it's supposed to be pronounced.
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- Judith

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-26-2008
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio