On the pretext that he might get an assignment from Esquire magazine to write about it, an innocent Peter Alson joins a Manhattan bookmaking team and finds himself surrounded by characters with names like Steak Knife, Topsider, Curly, Spanky, Monkey and Vincent the Chin, who switch their operation from apartment to apartment seconds ahead of the law, not to mention the Mob. Just as Alson begins to make more money than he ever dreamed possible, he and his cohorts are busted and he’s thrown in a holding cell awaiting trial.
’Not many books by young writers are as tough, as vulnerable and as poignant as Peter Alson’s Confessions of an Ivy League Bookie. Situated on the margin of New York’s yuppie community, his people are only faintly reminiscent of the characters in Jay McInernay’s and Bret Easton Ellis’s early works, but Alson’s achievement is to limn the spiritual path of a well-educated yuppie who is now on his uppers. This he does as no one has done before. So his confessional becomes one of the few books which captures a generation.’ Norman Mailer