Book Review – Dice Angel

by john on March 13, 2003


I thoroughly enjoyed Dice Angel. I came across this book from a usenet posting in rec.gambling.craps from the author, Brian Rouff, who was giving away free copies of his book. Rouff is a Vegas local and Dice Angel is his first book. My immediate reaction was to dismiss it until I started reading some of the replies from people who had actually read the book. Then I checked it out on Amazon, where it maintains a solid 5 star rating with over 60 reviews. I decided to give it a try myself and I’m glad I did.

Dice Angel is the story of a down on his luck Vegas bar owner named Jimmy Delaney who is getting it from all sides from his ex-wife, thieves, crooked business partners and the IRS. Faced with the daunting task of coming up with $50,000 in back taxes Jimmy seeks the council of a mysterious woman named Amaris – otherwise known as the Dice Angel.

Amaris claims to be able to channel positive energy and bring luck to those who employ her – luck that if focused on a few good runs at the craps tables in Vegas could make quick work of his large debt and put him back in the good graces of the IRS.

Most of the book is spent getting to know Jimmy and his predicament, with the final third dedicated to his attempt at finding that lucky streak he doesn’t think he has in him.

The dialog was entertaining with a sort of new Damon Runyon-like quality, and the author’s knowledge of Las Vegas added a nice local color. The description of the craps sequences was very good, and the only thing that keeps me from giving the book a perfect 5 is that I didn’t think there was enough craps in it – at the end of the story I didn’t quite feel as satisfied as I could have had there been more gambling. Now I completely admit I am not partial in this respect and that my enjoyment of craps may be impairing my judgment here, I think this book will appeal to a wide audience and it’s perfectly reasonable to believe the author made a conscious decision to limit the amount of craps in it for that very reason.

Dice Angel is one hell of a fun read that should appeal to everyone whether you go to Vegas to roll the bones a couple of times each year like I do, or you simply enjoy fast moving quick hitting stories.

{ 4 comments }

Brian Rouff March 17, 2003 at 12:09 pm

John:

Brian Rouff here, author of “Dice Angel.” Just want to thank you for your favorable review. Very perceptive and well-written. You’re absolutely right, I tried to walk that fine line between appealing to the hard-core Vegas types and those who just want some local color. I’m hoping that craps players and non-players alike will enjoy the book. In any event, thanks again; you really made my day.

Best Regards,

Brian

mitchell miller September 16, 2003 at 11:51 am

Mr. Rouff:
Thank you for some nasty sleep deprivation. I keep saying, “Just a little while longer.” Suddenly, it’s 2am. Great book and a lot of fun. Jimmy and Amaris were great. Couldn’t stand his ex…she should’ve got a comeuppance. I love craps and there was plenty of it at the end. That scene was cool as well. Could there be a Part II in the works? Amaris was kind of left hanging. The next villian could be the ex. You could get some more mob involvement and, of course, Amaris. Go for it!

Gladys January 11, 2004 at 7:03 pm

This book was very enjoyable and made us want to take off for Vegas right now. We do plan to go soon so that will hold us for now. My husband, Don and I both shared the book and he wanted to know where he could find the gal mentioned in the book. Try this book and you won’t be able to put it down. The author is working on another book and we can hardly wait!
Gladys and Don

Jerry Wilson February 12, 2005 at 12:07 am

A delightful audio interview with Mr. Rouff can be found here: http://snipurl.com/cq28

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