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Full House - Pete Hautman, editor


None February 14th, 2008

fullhouse


Putnam

The poker craze may have hit its peak already, but apparently no one notified the book industry, because the past year has seen a rash of fiction set in its 52-card world. Among the most notable are "The Picasso Flop," a "Texas Hold 'Em mystery" by bad-actor-turned-bad-novelist Vince Van Patten, and "Dead Man's Hand," a collection of crime fiction compiled by venerable anthologist Otto Penzler.

And now there's "Full House," which presents 10 all-new stories about poker. The twist? It's written for kids. You know, kids "¦ that segment of the population we don't allow to gamble?

Edited by National Book Award winner Pete Hautman ("The Bloodwater Mysteries"), the anthology utilizes mostly seasoned writers of young-adult books, each contributing a short story. As expected, most involve a teen getting in over his head in regards to the game.

But some stand out. Hautman's own "The Scholarship Game" has a gambling bully temporarily hammer out a truce with the school math prodigy to aid in card counting, while Bill Fitzhugh's "Fiddy Dollar Smile" has two students plot revenge via poker against the class stud for date-raping their friend.

All in all, it's a tight little volume that can be enjoyed by many ages, and doesn't require you know anything about the game; the glossary and guide to poker hands goes far there.

"”Rod Lott

 
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