Days: Minnesota Fats, Wimpy Lassiter, Jersey Red, and America's Great Age of Pool||
Hustler Days: Minnesota Fats, Wimpy Lassiter,
Jersey Red, and America's Great Age of Pool
by R. A. Dyer
Minnesota Fats was a brilliant pool player, but he was even
better at lying about his past. Wimpy Lassiter, the gentleman hustler, started
playing at age seven, and for the rest of his life lived for the rush of victory
and high stakes. Violent and determined, Jersey Red made and lost a fortune at
With a passion for the game evident on every page, R.A. Dyer takes
us through the smoky bars and late nights where a win was just as dangerous as
a loss. He captures the game's popularity in the thirties, its dark days in the
fifties, and its renaissance and apex in the sixties, fueled by the smashing success
of Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason going toe-to-toe in The Hustler. It was an era
that culminated in the legendary nationally televised tournaments in Little Egypt,
Illinois, where Jersey Red and Wimpy Lassiter went at it for hours. And it was
an era that ended in perhaps the most dramatic scene in all of pool. Just as Jersey
Red beat Wimpy Lassiter in 1969, after a decade of bitter rivalry, the police
shut down the tournament. Cameras in tow, they arrested eighty hustlers--including
the new champion!
From Fats's first showdown--in Brooklyn, with a Texas-style
gunslinger in cowboy boots and revolvers--to world championship clashes, Hustler
Days is a rollicking portrait of one of our national treasures.
A rollicking portrait of the kings of the cues.
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