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Anyone read Busting Vegas or Son of a Witch?

Old 10-05-05, 01:17 PM
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Anyone read Busting Vegas or Son of a Witch?

I like both authors, Ben Mezrich and Gregory Macguire, respectively, and have found their previous work great, but you can never get too much information.

For Mezrich, I found Ugly Americans to be more entertaining then Bringing Down the House, which is hard to believe cause I loved Bringing Down the House. I'm hoping he still has the magic touch.

For Macguire, I loved Wicked but found his other offerings a tad bit slower. From Lost to Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, I found that the books only got truly engrossing at the very end, and thus left me wondering why he didn't make the previous 400 pages as exciting as the last 10.

I'll probably pick up both, but was hoping to get some feedback first. Thanks
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Old 10-05-05, 01:36 PM
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if you live in Cambridge, MA, borrow "Breaking Vegas," don't buy it. And if you have to buy it, pay cash.

if the Vegas casinos find out you've read that book and you live in Cambridge, MA, they will not let you into their casinos.
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Old 10-06-05, 03:47 AM
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I have "WICKED" and I'm really looking forward to reading it. I LOVE "backstory" books that expand on characters. I had noticed "Son of a Witch" was out and I wondered if anyone here was reading it.
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Old 10-08-05, 09:29 PM
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I read "Busting Vegas" My feeling is I would have liked it a whole lot more if "Bringing Down the House" hadn't come before it.

Which is sad, because I felt Semyon's story in "Vegas" was much more rounded out and fell into a better classical narrative structure. However, there were numerous shades of "Bringing Down the House" that appeared in "Vegas." The same run ins with the authorities, the same crazy training procedures, a lot of been there done that.

Also, this time I felt Mezrich's interstituals where he writes in the first person weren't nearly as effective this time around. I don't remember "House" that well, but did Mezrich comment on the story, like he does in "Vegas." He'd randomly say things like "I found myself in a similar situation as Owen," or something like that.

Semyon's story is really cool though. I can understand how card counting works, but it seems like the methods they used in this were just insane and I couldn't see how they worked, even with MEzrich's constantly repeating the methods.

All in all, a good quick read. Fun stuff.

Weird thing is I'm watching "Breaking Vegas" on the History Channel right now, which involves parts of Semyon's story, and it tells a different story than "Busting Vegas." It has some similar setups, but different methods employed in the same situations. I know one of the media is taking dramatic license, but I can't understand which. If the story is interesting enough in the first place, why change it?
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Old 10-12-05, 07:39 AM
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Just started SOn of a Witch...Enjoyed Wicked, but this one is starting off a bit slow. Ill continue to muddle through it and hope it picks up a little more.
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Old 12-29-07, 03:19 PM
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So I got Bringing Down The House for Christmas, which is a book I wanted, but when I was at the local Chapters store, Busting Vegas was also on sale. I haven't read either book, but I honestly can't tell what the difference between them are. Aren't they both written by the same author about the same events? Can someone tell me the difference?
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Old 01-09-08, 08:55 AM
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I read both Bringing Down the House and Busting Vegas and the main difference between the two besides that it's two different teams of players is the particular methods used to beat Blackjack. In Bringing Down the House it was heavily focused on expert card counting along with integrating team play and signals and codes. Busting Vegas was similar but their method was much more about trying to beat Blackjack by knowing exactly where a particular card was in the deck based on being able to cut the deck precisely where they wanted to. Of course it's a lot more involved but the Busting Vegas method wasn't as focused on card counting as the first one was.

As for Son of a Witch, I've read almost all of Gregory Maguire's books and this one definitely started out slower but it certainly was a good read still to see how Oz had evolved in the years after Elphaba's death. Liir's story was also good but I think the best way to try to enjoy this book is to not expect another Wicked as it never hits that kind of stride.
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Old 01-09-08, 01:19 PM
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I read Wicked and enjoyed it quite a bit though I found it a bit uneven. I just couldn't get into Son of a Witch and gave up on the second chapter.
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