It is the year 2063. China's world dominance is growing, and America is slipping into impotence. All new sources of energy have been depleted or declared unsafe, and a new Ice Age has begun. Ben Belson searches for a new energy resource.
The Hustler is about the victories and losses of one "Fast" Eddie Felson, a poolroom hustler who travels from town to town conning strangers into thinking they could beat him at the game when in fact, he is a skillful player who has never lost a game. Until he meets his match in Minnesota Fats, the true king of the poolroom, causing his life to change drastically.
This is a classic tale of a man's struggle with his soul and his self-esteem.
When it was first published in 1959, The Hustler was the first—and the best—novel written about billiards in the 400-year history of the game. The book quickly won a respected readership and later an audience for the movie with the same name starring Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason.
After 20 years of hibernation, former pool champion "Fast" Eddie Felson is playing exhibition matches with former rival Minnesota Fats in shopping malls for prizes like cable television. With one failed marriage and years of running a pool hall, Eddie is now ready to regain the skills needed to compete in a world of pool that has changed dramatically since he left it behind. The real challenge comes when Eddie realizes that in order to compete successfully, he must hone his skills in the game of nine-ball as opposed to the straight pool that had once won him fame. With a new generation of competitors, fear and doubt and the daily possibility of failure arise, giving Fast Eddie a new challenge to overcome.
The Color of Money is the source of the 1986 film starring Paul Newman in the role he had originated in The Hustler.
Beth Harmon becomes an orphan when her parents are killed in an automobile accident. At eight years old, she is placed in an orphanage in Mount Sterling, Kentucky, where the children are given a tranquilliser twice a day. Plain and shy, she learns to play chess from the janitor in the basement and discovers that she is a chess genius. She is adopted by Alma and Allston Wheatley and goes to a local school, but remains an outsider. Desperate to study chess and having no money, she steals a chess magazine from a newspaper store and then some money from Alma Wheatley and a girl at school, so that she can enter a tournament. She also steals some of the tranquillisers to which she is becoming addicted. At thirteen she wins the tournament, and by sixteen she is competing in the US Open Championship. Like Fast Eddie (in The Hustler), she hates to lose.
T. J. Newton is an extraterrestrial who goes to Earth on a desperate mission of mercy. But instead of aid, Newton discovers loneliness and despair that ultimately ends in tragedy.
“Beautiful science fiction . . . The story of an extraterrestrial visitor from another planet is deigned mainly to say something about life on this one.”
—The New York Times
“Those who know The Man Who Fell to Earth only from the film version are missing something. This is one of the finest science fiction novels of its period.”
—J.R. Dunn, author of Full Tide of Night