The Art of Losing

Keith Dixon, Author . St. Martin's $23.95 (243p) ISBN 978-0-312-35868-6

Michael Jacobs is an independent filmmaker in New York City whose just-released third film flopped like the first two. With no money and no prospects, he agrees to help fair-weather friend Sebby Laslo fix horse races. Unsurprisingly, the plan fails in spectacular fashion, and Michael, Sebby and Thierry, the jockey they're in cahoots with, end up on the wrong side of some very bad dudes. Loans from Michael's father and Beck Trier, a successful indie director Michael wishes was his girlfriend, aren't enough to pay off mounting debts, and when the surefire score the trio cooks up to balance the books backfires, bookies and bagmen take off the kid gloves. Dixon, an editor at the New York Times , writes with convincing detail and lays on thick the bookmaking and horse-racing argot ("a clear field of three for win, place, and show, with Thierry on the sure-bet and Vato on the placer"), though Michael's actions at the climax are more a function of plot than character. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 09/25/2006
Release date: 02/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
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