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Titanic Thompson

The Man Who Bet on Everything

Kevin Cook (Author)

Overview | Formats

“The ultimate hustler . . . a rollicking tale.”—Sports Illustrated

This "raucous retelling of the life of a consummate gambler, grifter and quintessential American character" (Kirkus Reviews) introduces Alvin "Titanic" Thompson (1892-1974), who traveled with golf clubs, a .45 revolver, and a suitcase full of cash. A terrific read for anyone who has ever laid a bet, Titanic Thompson recaptures the colorful times of a singular figure.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • November 2011
  • ISBN 978-0-393-34057-0
  • 5.5 × 8.3 in / 288 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverTitanic Thompson: The Man Who Bet on Everything


Endorsements & Reviews

“Highly enjoyable.” — Wall Street Journal

“Titanic Thompson is as emblematically American as Babe Ruth or Mark Twain. . . . Cook gives us the real deal.” — Los Angeles Times

“Remarkable.” — Audie Cornish, NPR

“A crackerjack biography.” — Seattle Times

“Here's a wonderful contradiction: a delightful, breezy account of the most outrageous grifter who ever worked the dark side streets of the American dream. If there'd been any money in the pro game back then, he might have been the most talented golfer of a generation that included Nelson and Hogan. He became, instead, the premiere con man of the twentieth century who never held public office. If this was fiction, you wouldn't believe a word of it. You still might not believe it, but it's all true, and it's all here.” — Mark Frost, author of The Greatest Game Ever Played and The Match

“Kevin Cook’s biography vividly illuminates the life of Titanic Thompson, perhaps the craftiest golfer and poker player—and certainly the most dangerous hustler—of his, or just about any, generation.” — James McManus, bestselling author of Positively Fifth Street and Cowboys Full

“Titanic was a legend, one of the toughest, smartest gamblers of all time. Kevin Cook’s terrific book brings him back to life.” — Doyle Brunson, two-time winner of the World Series of Poker, member of the Poker Hall of Fame

“Even money you’re going to read this book in a night, maybe two. Five to one you’re going to practice shuffling cards or throwing quarters against a wall or chipping golf balls into a shot glass when you’re finished. Ten to one you’re going to claim you can throw a peanut over a three-story building. Hundred to one you’re going to get married a bunch of times, kill a few people, make and lose a fortune and...oh, read the book and find out. You won’t be disappointed.” — Leigh Montville, author of The Mysterious Montague

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