College Dropout Struggles with Challenges of ‘Real Life’ in New Novel

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'Where Gods Gamble,’ follows a main character who must choose between a conventional "nine-to-five" job or a career in professional gambling at the racetrack.

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When the great gelding John Henry ran in the 1980 San Juan Capistrano Handicap, something clicked inside of me. Immediately I knew I had to write a ‘good versus evil’ novel.

C. Bradford Eastland, like the main character of his new novel 'Where Gods Gamble: A Tale of American Mythology', has suffered through several nine-to-five jobs to support himself, while gambling at horse racetracks across the globe.

“When the great gelding John Henry ran in the 1980 San Juan Capistrano Handicap, something clicked inside of me,” says Eastland. “Immediately I knew I had to write a ‘good versus evil’ novel.”

Getting his book into print, however, was no easy feat. It took years before the book was ready to be published by a small press in Utah, but Eastland says two weeks before its official print date the publishing house was raided at gunpoint by the Utah State Attorney General’s office for embezzlement and fraud.

“Because I’ve lived and breathed this book for 30 years, its journey to get into print has been a defining aspect of my life,” says Eastland.

'Where Gods Gamble,' set at the fabled Santa Anita Racetrack in 1980s Los Angeles, follows 24-year-old Charlie Barnes’ return home from a desperate, failed literary pilgrimage to New York City. Charlie is no closer to achieving his “American Dream” than when he’d left, but finds solace among the die-hard loyalists and colorful lunatics of the racetrack. It’s here that Charlie discovers his true calling—but will he risk the security of a full-time job for a career as a professional gambler?

'Where Gods Gamble' is a foray into the exciting world of horse racing and America’s place in post-Vietnam world politics, in which a young man must find redemption in the unlikeliest of places.

About the Author:

C. Bradford Eastland writes a sports column for an online newspaper in Los Angeles, and has visited and wagered at race tracks worldwide. “I know the horse racing game inside out, and I think it shows in the novel,” says Eastland. He graduated from University of California at Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in history and minor in journalism, and has also authored two collections of short stories. Eastland lives in Los Angeles with his 14-year-old son, and is working on his fourth novel.


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