Scared Money

Cynthia Morgan, Author, Mark Cramer, Author
Cynthia Morgan, Author, Mark Cramer, Author City Miner Books $5.95 (134p) ISBN 978-0-933944-15-2
Reviewed on: 08/04/1987
Release date: 08/01/1987
``Scared Money is about... building the self-confidence necessary to prevail in a game where 98 percent of the players habitually get beaten,'' writes horseracing expert Cramer (Thoroughbred Cycles) in a preface here. And that's the problem with this first novel, the fiction-as-pedagogy story of a part-time jazz pianist whose full-time passion for the ponies, in Cramer's words, ``hopefully will allow readers to experience, rather than being told, what they must do to confront the ultimate enemy within''-i.e., lack of self-confidence. Along the way, narrator Matthew Bosch antagonizes his ex-wife, finds a new woman who can tolerate his obsession and meets a series of amateur and professional racetrack characters whose tales enhance his own. Bosch's battles with slumps, confidence problems and different betting techniques ring true, but the narrative, made choppy by secondary plots, clumsily told escapades and a breezy style (``Then there was hot and sassy Samantha, my new redheaded squeeze. The stats said that Sam would dump me....''), never quite gels. (Dec.)
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