The Vig: Confessions of an Ivy League Bookie
Arbitrary Press, 2020
Juxtaposing the thuggish worlds of bookies and privileged ivy leaguers, this hilarious study of unfettered machismo takes a perceptive look into a young, down-on-his-luck Harvard graduate who joins a bookmaking operation while he tries to pull his life together.
“Painfully perceptive...Alson’s bald-faced honesty, which is harder on no one than himself, combined with his considerable talent for reportage, make the book compelling, almost compulsively readable... he has an uncanny ear for dialogue [and has] learned as much about human nature as about point spreads. The result is not only a rare slice of New York life but an unself-seeking chronicle of what happens when a bright future bottoms out.” — Sue Kelly, Time Out New York
“Like the court officials in The Trial, Alson grows used to, then reliant on, the bad air of his new life... His fellow bookies are hot, bitter and immediately alive.” — Andy Becket, The Independent
“With humor and introspection...Alson grapples with his conscience, his fears of arrest, his embarrassment at enjoying ‘success’ outside the law, and he tells it with candor.” —Digby Diehl, Playboy