What happens when itinerant raconteur Willie O’Connell takes off for an extended tour of Sin City? Everything you’d never expect!

“Las Vegas lives and dies on the fear of loss. Everything is sold that way. The best things in life are free, and the people who actually have a good time in Vegas – as opposed to accumulating more and more devastating regrets – are not to be found on the floors of the casino, not on the Sucker side of the table and not on the house side of the table. But the very best future a Mark can pray for, when he steps up to gamble, is to lose slowly. He knows he’s going to lose, no matter what bullshit he spews, and his big play is to make his pain last as long as possible. “Some fun, huh?”

“Las Vegas lives and dies on the fear of loss. Everything is sold that way. The best things in life are free, and the people who actually have a good time in Vegas – as opposed to accumulating more and more devastating regrets – are not to be found on the floors of the casino, not on the Sucker side of the table and not on the house side of the table. But the very best future a Mark can pray for, when he steps up to gamble, is to lose slowly. He knows he’s going to lose, no matter what bullshit he spews, and his big play is to make his pain last as long as possible.
 
“Some fun, huh?”

Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Willie’s got the ramblin’ blues. His bloodhound, his long-time boon companion Naso, has just died, and Willie’s gone to Las Vegas to regain his footing.

What does he see in his wanderings? You’ll have to read his new book of stories, Losing Slowly, to see everything he turned up, but here are some highlights:

* How can a guy go from being a busted gambler to a broke cab-driver to the headliner in a comedy club?

* Does Jay Sarno’s ghost do a nightly patrol of The Strip like a mysterious Batman-on-the-come?

* How does anybody have the stones to dedicate a book to a billionaire – and then make the dedication pay off?

Losing Slowly is not what you’re expecting, a promise Brother Willie always delivers on:

“Upstairs in the Shoppes, every damn jewelry store is vastly empty, just like everywhere else, but unlike the other miles-of-malls at casino-hotel-resorts, the less-tony retailers were doing real business.

“I put my money where my mouth is, too: I actually left cash behind in a casino, something I make a stout effort never to do.

“I bought my wife a gift, that’s what happened. Huge, momentous story, right? This is the Willie world: I don’t go to your church. If you want twelve dead bodies a page, with the bad guys flossing their teeth with their victims’ veins, you bought the wrong book. I’m interested in real people and the things they really do. Real people shop. Me, too – and no one is more astounded by that fact than I am.”

In twelve stories, plus a bonus chapter for studious readers, Uncle Willie gives you Vegas as anyone can see it – but no one ever does. The proof? You will never hear Robert Burns the same way again…

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