Many readers probably wonder why there would be a review of a gambling book on an adventure book website, but I think any that have read Bringing Down the House will strongly agree that this is non-fiction adventure at its best. The book follows Kevin, a M.I.T. student that joins the blackjack club in hopes of some excitement and challenge. What ensues is a fascinating account of a group of college students winning millions from the casinos using card counting techniques.
I have always had an interested in cards, gambling, and statistics, so Bringing Down the House seemed like a great fit and Mezrich excellently weaves all of these items into an adventure book. Filled with stressful situations, shady characters, and fascinating card play I could barely put the book down.
Bringing Down the House is well written, action packed, and very easy to read. Mezrich does a great job of providing details on blackjack and advanced techniques for the reader, while never overwhelming them. He intricately weaves the details right into the story, so the reader can easily pick up on them while being entrenched in the story.
Overall there is no doubt that this is not your typical adventure story and because it strays so far from the common sub-genres found in adventure I would not expect everyone to enjoy it. However, with that said this is one of my favorite books of all time. Bringing Down the House is exciting, stressful, fascinating and very well written.
Side Note: Bringing Down the House was made into a movie by the name 21. The movie deviates quite a bit from the book and I was very disappointed having read the book first. I have spoke to people that saw the movie without ever reading the book and they enjoyed the movie, which is fairly typical of books turned movie.