FREELANCE WRITER providing quality service since 1995 - ANGIE MANGINO  journalist / book reviewer
The Other Side of Horse Racing
By Philip Nork
2014
Reviewed by Angie Mangino
Rating: 4 stars
 
The prologue immediately sets the scene by introducing Ben, the leader of a Gamblers Anonymous chapter for 30 years, and a former gambler himself.
 
“To most of these people, it started out as an escape and turned into a nightmare they never could. This is the story of one such man.”
 
As readers meet Bobby Tucker when he is sixteen going to the horse racing track for the very first time, they will easily connect to the young protagonist, with the foreshadowing of the prologue in the back of their minds.
 
“…his story can be anyone’s story…and it needs to be told.”
 
Readers will follow Bobby from sixteen to his manhood, with all the ups and downs of his life as his gambling habit takes hold.  They will alternate from being sympathetic to getting angry at him, witnessing what a gambling addiction can do to a person, but throughout they will never stop rooting for him to turn his life around. 
 

The author skillfully keeps readers never quite sure if the conclusion will be a positive one or not for this young man, which holds their involvement in this compelling story to the very end.