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Super Casino: Inside the "New" Las Vegas

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Pete Earley

FormerWashington Postreporter Pete Earley, whose several books include a study of Leavenworth Prison, turns his meticulous journalistic eye on yet another notorious venue: Las Vegas. Don't expect him to unearth a spate of scandalous doings, though: Sin … see full wiki

Tags: Books, Cafe Libri
Author: Pete Earley
Publisher: Bantam
1 review about Super Casino: Inside the "New" Las Vegas

On the Inside

  • Jan 30, 2000
Rating:
+5
Earley has combined two books in one. In the first, as a cultural anthropologist, he examines the creation and evolution of what has become one of the world's most fascinating communities. In the second, as a journalist, he focuses on The Luxor to which he was given almost complete access. We are thus provided with an abundance of historical information which creates a frame-of-reference within which to examine virtually every component of a single casino. In so saying, I do NOT in any way want to suggest that Super Casino is in any sense dry, dull, etc. On the contrary, it is a page-turner. There are so many colorful "characters" ("players"?) portrayed, so many spell-binding plots and subplots, so many memorable moments. We tag along with Earley as he observes and interacts with a veritable "feast" of humanity and inhumanity. They're all here. Pioneers. Con artists. Celebrity entertainers. Pinstriped Samurai. Mobsters. Visionaries. Pimps and prostitutes. Bottom feeders. Victims. Victimizers. Perhaps not since ancient Rome was most glorious and most decadent has there been another community on this planet in which the best and worst qualities of the human race have been more in evidence than within the gaming segment of Las Vegas.

Those who read this book may incorrectly conclude that the Strip and Las Vegas are the same. They are not. It has been my great privilege and pleasure to explore the metropolitan area and, in terms of its (non-casino) business climate and quality of life, I would rate it very highly. Indeed, superior to almost all other metropolitan areas. But that is not the subject of Earley's book.

Who will most enjoy reading it? My guess is that they would include those who have already experienced Las Vegas and perhaps have asked "How did all this happen? What really occurs behind the scene? What is the inside story on all the changes which have occurred?" Also those who have never been to Las Vegas but have seen the movies (eg Ocean's Eleven and Casino), have heard about the antics of celebrities (eg Howard Hughes, Elvis, Sinatra and his Rat Pack, Liberace, Wayne Newton), have read about the extravagances (Steve Wynn's art collection), and ask "How much of this is true? Is it really like that?"

This is a "great read."

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