This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you buy from my links, at no additional cost to you, I get a small commission so I can buy even more books to review.
The Hustler by Walter Tevis
Length: 224 pages
First Published: 1959
“A wonderful hymn to the last true era when men of substance played pool with a vengeance.”-Time Out
When it was first published in 1959, The Hustler was the first–and the best–novel written about billiards in the 400-year history of the game. The book quickly won a respected readership and later an audience for the movie with the same name starring Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason. The Hustler is about the victories and losses of one “Fast” Eddie Felson, a poolroom hustler who travels from town to town conning strangers into thinking they could beat him at the game when in fact, he is a skillful player who has never lost a game. Until he meets his match in Minnesota Fats, the true king of the poolroom, causing his life to change drastically. This is a classic tale of a man’s struggle with his soul and his self-esteem.
“If Hemingway had the passion for pool that he had for bullfighting, his hero might have been Eddie Felson.”-Time
About Walter Tevis
Walter “Walt” Stone Tevis was an American novelist and short story writer. Three of his six novels were adapted into major films: The Hustler, The Color of Money and The Man Who Fell to Earth. A fourth, The Queen’s Gambit, was adapted into a mini-series with the same title and shown on Netflix in 2020. Wikipedia→