In this darkly funny story, Ray and Jewel Kaiser try (and push) their luck at the Paradise casino. What curious events ensue, what tricks of fortune and misfortune, make up the fabric of this novel about wising up better late than never.Jewel's 14-year-old daughter, Ray's dead father, and a mother convinced that a sitcom star is visiting across the street from her house feature in the Kaiser's adventures. Dazed casino denizens, a lusty grocery-store manager, body-pierced children, and hourly employees in full revolt enhance the setting. This is the story of a couple who, after tumbling headfirst out of their middle-class Garden of Eden, discover they've landed in an even more fertile garden outside its walls.
"In his lovingly detailed focus on American life in the fast-food lane, Barthelme achieves a kind of updated American Gothic." (The New York Times)
"The genius of Barthelme's jazzed-up comic art is to look at life's familiar, junky stuff and, by some act of affection, make it mysteriously new." (The New Yorker)
"Adams Morgan does author Frederick Barthelme a distinct favor: In the tradition of unexpressive performance style, he gets out of the way....Bob the Gambler has enough quirkiness all by itself and doesn't need any added complications." (AudioFile)
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