Contemporary Book Essay
Bringing Down the House
Bringing Down the House is a non-fiction novel that brings you into the underground world of gambling. It is a page-turner that will keep your mind racing, and on edge. B.D.H is a relatively easy read, but has a few challenging parts consisting of the math that is behind it all. The most amazing part about this novel is that Ben Mezrich did not make it up, rather that he crafted this thrilling book based on a true story.
This book is the type of read one would recommend to a friend, however may not be up to the AP curriculum standards. On one hand the book is smart, funny, and exciting. While on the other hand it is simple and at times feels overwritten, as if Mezrich tried too hard. For example, there are moments where the action becomes so enticing and Mezrich manages to ruin it by trying to convince the reader how exciting all of this really is. Specifically, in describing one particular hand, Mezrich writes, "Kevin drew a nine for a solid nineteen. Martinez drew another queen, a strong twenty. The dealer had a six showing. Heaven on felt.(pg. 82)" The last portion of that description is a bit cliché and tacky, and it is made clear that Mezrich was trying too hard. Going back to an earlier point, had Mezrich trusted the thrill of the action more and left off the unnecessary insight at the end of the sentence, he would have been better off. The most exhilarating parts of Mezrich's book describe the paranoia that sweeps through the players once they discover that the Vegas security agency is on to them. This is where Mezrich is able to shine, through the use of intense description and a tantalizing depiction of the events that follow. For example, “The team was in disarray, their future as a profitable venture utterly uncertain.(pg. 189)” That sentence alone sets the tone for the next five chapters, where the MIT students are in a scramble to save the teams as well as their own futures.
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