Bringing Down the House

Ben Mezrich


Bringing Down the House-Ben Mezrich

The book Bringing down the House, written by Ben Mezrich, had me hooked at the title. It’s the story of 6 MIT students who took Vegas for millions. The team of MIT students created a system in which every member had a specific job. There were spotters, gorillas and Big players. The team purposely defied every stereotype of card counters and if Kevin entered a casino, he was leaving with some big cash. The novel takes you through the gripping journey of Kevin’s life including his success in Vegas and decisions after the all-time high of his college years. The suspense driven novel keeps the reader addicted, almost like a gambler, to the insane action happening at Kevin’s blackjack table. It leads you through Kevin’s struggles, triumphs, relationships and pain, all the while, taking you with him every weekend to Vegas. With a plan that was almost designed with flaws they strip countless casinos, of countless cash.

Social/Historical context:

The novel doesn’t require a lot of background knowledge in any given area, as the main character is new at card counting himself. The first few chapters are dedicated to his life before, and a slow introduction to the card counting world. The novel explains the methods of card counting in a basic format, so if you are looking to know everything there is to know about card counting, this is not the book for you. I believe that the author's purpose in writing this book was mainly entertainment and storytelling, as he leads you through the compelling, and true story of the 6 students.

Writing Style:

The author uses basic and familiar language, even when explaining complex material. There was never a moment in which the language confused me, so I found Mezrich's style very engaging. I appreciated the author’s switch of tenses throughout as he took you to present day and back to when the action was happening. The only thing to be aware of is the use of coarse language within the novel, as the author does not refrain from curse words.

My Thoughts:

The book is one of much engagement and tense action. The characters are constantly at risk, and the very thought of their situation made me want to pick up the book. I had a real liking for the novel and the writing style within. It is non-fiction, and very engaging, likely to keep you hooked through every chapter. I rate this book 5/5 stars for its use of exceptional detail and gripping plot.

Book Reviewed by Emily Hardy

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