New fictional story makes blackjack strategy fun

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Connecticut author releases debut book that provides insight into playing blackjack as his characters reach the crossroads of their lives

The first review is in for "Life and Blackjack": "Life and Blackjack" is the first novel from, of all people, a person who is a career general manager for a large, global manufacturing firm.

It is a masterfully written story into which are woven many messages. It could be aptly subtitled "Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em" - in both cards and relationships, that is.

It is a love story - in places reaching the level of a bodice ripper.

It is an instruction manual - for the game of blackjack and for human relationships. The instructions, although deep, are in simple terms and make ample use of models and situations. As Einstein said, "Simple, but not simpler."

It is a search - for the fulfilling game; for the fulfilling relationship.

It seems authentic - and uses language appropriate to its characters. The apology in the book for some of the seamier language is in the vein of maintaining the balance between good and evil, a balance that the author manages skillfully throughout the book.

The author ("Ben") displays such deep wisdom in the affairs of both the game and the heart that this blackjack book also appears to be autobiographical; or, perhaps it is of the genre of an historical novel, where the author is allowed to take license with actual history.

The genius of the book resides in the cast of characters that the author has selected, developed, and deployed with clever intersections of their lives at the blackjack table. On one hand, the characters illustrate the do's and don'ts of the game. On the other, the dramatis personae bundle a wide range of human behavior - most readers, this reviewer suspects, will be able to identify with one or more of the characters and their situations. Such identification makes the novel emotionally powerful. It is a rewarding investment of reading time, even for readers who don't want to learn how to play blackjack. Those who do want to learn to play blackjack better will gain a double return." - RTW

Further description, reviews and more are available online at

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Rich Marcia

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