Over the years we’ve seen tons of exhilarating books being published that are set in casinos – think Casino Royale, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegasand Molly’s Game. It’s a thrilling choice of setting, as the highs and lows of the casino world make for some super exciting reads. The stakes (and emotions!) Are often running high, and, as all casino regulars will know, there are plenty of varied and interesting characters to be found sitting around the poker table. The roulette wheel of life spins on in these exciting novels and we’ve compiled a list for you here of the very best casino-based books!
The world of gambling has seen many developments over the years, from starting out in the most famous haunts in Las Vegas to eventually becoming the enormous global scene we see on the internet today. If you’re looking for book recommendations in the gambling world then look no further!
We’re starting with arguably the most world-renowned novel set in the casino world – Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale (published on April 13, 1953). As Fleming’s first novel and the first ever James Bond book, Casino Royale kickstarted the thrilling world of James Bond and the many novels, movies and other creative pieces set in James Bond’s world ever since.
It’s crazy to think how much the world has changed since James Bond first swaggered into our world way back in the fifties. A modern Bond might have logged in to an online account, rather than stepping foot on the casino floor. And if you’re looking for the fastest payout online casinos, then you’ve in luck – here is a listso you can sign up for your own license to thrill!
The novel sees 007 playing an intense game of baccarat at the Royale-les-Eaux casino in France. The gameplay does not end at the table, as Bond ends up getting in hot water following on from the events of the game. Casino Royale received a positive response from critics and remains one of the most iconic casino-based books of all time – start here!
Time for a classic – no list would be complete without Dostoevsky’s 1867 novel, The Gambler. It’s a short read, and seems to clearly reflect the author’s own gambling obsessions. Told from an intriguing first-person perspective, the novel contains the highs and lows of the roulette table, alongside a few tumultuous love affairs and personal dramas.
It’s a fascinating insight into the casino world of the past, and is suitable for fans of Dostoevsky and newbies alike. It could almost be considered an autobiography, as the events of the novella are so close to the events of the author’s own life. Written in 30 days, and an even quicker read, we highly recommend that you check out this classic gambler’s tale.
Another timeless novel is Hunter S. Thompson’s 1971 book, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream. Here we follow two men along their drug-addled journey, chasing their notions of the American dream through a blended lens of fact and fiction (we’re guessing you might be familiar with the 1998 movie of the same name).
Whilst reading Fear and Loathing we follow Raoul Duke and his attorney Dr. Gonzo around Las Vegas, and observe all the chaos as they use various recreational drugs along the way. It’s an interesting reflection on the cultural shift at the end of the 60s, and has frequently been compared to The Great Gatsby in its take on the American Dream. It’s not one to miss.
A bit of a curveball is the lesser known novel, The House Always Wins by Brian Rouff. Published in 2017, it’s a more modern book, and combines various genres – here you’ll find a coming-of-age novel and haunting ghost story in equal measure. The protagonist, Anna Christiansen, is a small-town girl whose life is turned upside down when she moves to a haunted house in Vegas. She ends up battling a corrupt casino owner who wants to buy her place, and the story unfolds dramatically from there. It’s certainly a lesser known book but we loved this fast-paced mystery and highly recommend you check it out. It’s certainly got the thrills and highs and lows of Las Vegas – we’ll leave you to find out if the house wins this time.
Well, there we have it – this is certainly not an exhaustive list of all the books based in casinos, but we thought these were some of the best places to start if you’re getting interested in the genre. Happy reading!
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.