Excellent character study, as Fast Eddie Felson progresses from cocky small time hustler to what exactly learning about himself, general life lessons priorities and what it takes to succeed win Although the details of the game play itself are executed superbly, this is not really about pool at all, much of a pure human drama. You probably know the story of The Hustler from the 1961 Paul Newman movie of the same name It s the tale of small time pool hustler Eddie Felson who wants to move from the small time to the big time by playing the best pool player, Minnesota Fats He loses to Fats, falls for a woman, gets his thumbs broken, is taught how to win by gambler Bert, and has a rematch with Fats It s all there, the pleasure comes in the prose of Tevis writing.The prose is sepia tinged as it should be for the world it s conjuring for the reader Tevis uses highly descriptive language, he s painting the words on thickly I recently read Tevis The Man Who Fell to Earth which was written only about five years after The Hustler and he doesn t use the thickly descriptive adjectives as he does in Hustler It s obviously a choice Tevis made in the writing.The conclusion of The Hustler is a little straightforward than the movie, and leaves you a bit in limbo, because that s where Tevis leaves Eddie, in limbo with Sarah Are they made for each other Are they both locked into their contract of depravity and they can only be with each other After the second match with Minnesota Fats has Bert sunk his claws far enough into Eddie to keep him hustling for him Walter Tevis The Hustler was an instant classic It received critical acclaim at it s publication and of course being made into a movie Tevis may have been a bit out of step with his contemporaries in incorporating a traditional writing style than Jack Kerouac or The Beats but Tevis style holds up after almost sixty years and still reads as freshly as the day it was written. The Hustler is pretty close to perfect And better for your morale than a half dozen self help books, chased with a handful of Xanax When I started reading it I had twenty dollars to my name, now I have five the book wasn t free , and all the secrets to the universe It s always nice to feel the risks fall off your back And winning that can be heavy on your back too, like a monkey You drop that load too when you find yourself an excuse Then, afterward, all you got to do is learn to feel sorry for yourself and lots of people learn to get their kicks that way It s one of the best indoor sports, feeling sorry Bert s face broke into an active grin A sport enjoyed by all Especially the born losers Fats, he said, grinning, feeling good, all the way, let s you and me play a game of straight pool. so far i ve read three walter tevis books this, Loved this Loved it The perfect antidote to the last five The story of Fast Eddie s attempt to become the greatest pool player in America, a hill that he must climb over the corpse of Minnesota Fats the names, right The Names Fast, sharply written, a meditation on, basically, the Will to Power as expressed over a pool table The character sketches are divine, I spent a lot of time reading it and laughing loudly in bars Definitely check this out.
Carole Morin, author of Spying on Strange Men, reviews the fiction of Walter TevisPaul Newman was told he wasn t sexy enough to be an actor A rich man s son, he didn t have the street cred of Brando and Dean who studied at Lee Strasberg s Actors Studio around the same time.His performance in The Hustler makes a mockery of Strasberg s judgment The Hustler, Walter Tevis first novel, is exceptional not only in being a brilliant book but the movie based on it is also great Three of Tevis s 4 novels are movies The Hustler is so good it s almost as good as the book Its sequel The Colour of Money, an uncharacteristically bland movie directed by Scorsese, bears no resemblance to the emotionally complex novel apart from the Eddie Felson character, played by Paul Newman in both movies.Every rock star has a movie role in him, or wants to Mick Jagger s was Performance David Bowie s The Man Who Fell to Earth If Performance was the final death knell of an era of peace and love and the beggining of a decade of violence and nihilism, The Man Who Fell to Earth was, like Bowie, a reflection of its times from a mirror that s one step ahead If some readers come to Walter Tevis via the Nic Roeg movie that can only be a good thing Queen s Gambit, about an alcoholic young chess genius, is the only one that s not a movie The main theme of Tevis s work is obsession His own alcoholism is reflected in Newton s, but it s an imaginative if not quite romantic self destruction It s impossible to read one of Walter Tevis s books without wanting to read the other three.Is there Life on Mars And if so, are they playing pool An absolutely perfect novel Tevis is a writer who makes me go Holy shit, did you fucking see what he just did there That was bad to the ass Seriously, a textbook about how to write a perfect novel I read it in three hours. Such great writing precise, hardboiled, real sounding dialogue and vivid, sad characters It s been years since I ve seen the movie but I couldn t help but visualise Paul Newman while reading this, he just nailed that part.