Fast Eddie Felson has a reputation as a pool hustler to be feared, but his ambitions go far beyond taking small-town punks for a few bucks here and there. He has the talent to make big money, but he soon learns that it takes more than natural ability to become a real winner. He heads to Chicago to test himself against the legendary Minnesota Fats in more than forty-hours of high-stakes pool. Can he find the will to overcome his failings and fulfil his potential as the best there is? Even if you've seen the movie, don't let it stop you from reading this, and Tevis's other work. I can't think of an author not that I'm thinking too hard right now whose novels are quite so varied pool, science fiction of various types, and chess.
The Hustler is a novel by American writer Walter Tevis. The film was a critical and commercial success and was nominated for multiple Academy Awards. It remains widely regarded as a classic. After losing to Fats, Eddie could spiral down to the scrapheap, but he meets Bert Gordon, a stakehorse.
An aside at this early stage. Which Tevis to read next? He wrote just five novels, three reissued here. A friend cites another, Mockingbird , as a favourite in her home. That leaves The Steps of the Sun , about which I know less than nothing.