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Book reviews for "Tevis,_Walter" sorted by average review score:

The Color of Money
Published in Paperback by Thunder's Mouth Press (2003)
Author: Walter Tevis
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A master of the craft delivers
The color of money is, as a novel, far superior to the filmed version starring Cruise and Newman. The film is underrated, and has many fine points but when compared to the book it is very, very disappointing. The novel starts slowly, retracing the last 25 years of hustler Eddie Felson and him building a new future for himself. By the last chapter the book is absolutely galloping along. The final tournament scenes show off probably some of the best writing on pool that has ever been accomplished, really taking you into each game and feeling what Eddie feels, from his jealousy at the young stars to his own self-realization at and through the green felt. Not only a book for pool enthusiasts, rather for anyone who enjoys good pacey writing and literature as art.

Tevis hated the movie??
Walter Tevis died in 1984. The movie The Color of Money came out in 1986. He may have hated it, but he didn't tell anyone.

Don't let the movie fool you, this novel(completely different!) is vastly more enriching, entertaining and exciting.

Bear in mind also that this novel was written years before the film. The author Walter Tevis was sorely disappointed with how Hollywood completely butchered his original story.

The film was really just a vehicle to showcase Tom Cruise with Paul Newman and nothing much else. The book on the other hand is a deeper exploration of "Fast" Eddie that includes his childhood, a reunion with Minnesota Fats (yes, Fats is back!), and a desparate plan to come out from under a mountain of bills and broken dreams. The "Tom Cruise" character is actually a cocaine-sniffing, hyper-manic badboy/nememis NOT PROTEGE to Fast Eddie. And the pool action is many times more riveting than anything in that very often boring movie. This is not about glitz and glamor Hollywood style, it's about a desparate, aging man trying to reclaim what was lost and what was denied in order to redeem himself.

I first read this book as a teenager and was enthralled. If you liked the original Hustler, you'll love this, and if you didn't care all that much for the movie then by all means check it out!!! I also recommend Tevis' The Queen's Gambit. After back to back reads of Tevis chess and Tevis pool, you're guaranteed to be left reeling, drained, jolted, and then clamoring for more. But then of course sadly, Walter Tevis is a writer deceased. If only Hollywood could've gotten it right!

Queens Gambit (87870/Seven Audio Cassettes)
Published in Audio Cassette by Recorded Books (1988)
Author: Tevis Walter
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Better than She's Come Undone
If you liked "She's Come Undone" you will love this book. I listened to this book on tape and would love to find it in print so I can share it with my book club. The story is gripping, the characters full, and the writing is masterful. The story involves/revolves around the game of chess. I cannot think of a more boring thing to read about. Instead of being bored, you are riveted as this tale of overcoming the odds, the system and most of all self defeating behavior is uplifting as well as insightful. A tale well worth reading.

Published in Paperback by Del Rey (01 October, 1999)
Author: Walter S. Tevis
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a nihilistic story with a glimmer of hope
Mockingbird is the only work of science fiction that I have wanted to read repeatedly. I bought this book years ago from a street vendor for 25 cents and it was the best 25 cents I ever spent. I have read it at least 3 times and I'm getting ready to delve in once again and then pass it along to a friend in England. I loved the singularly brave nature of the main characters who don't allow the dullness of other humans to kill their spirit. A book I will press on my daughter when she is old enough to appreciate it!

"The best 25 cents", I agree!
I bought my copy from a book vendor in my hometown for about a buck. Best buck I've spent on a book in a long time (I guess that's inflation for you :) ). It's every bit as moving, passionate, and disturbing as everyone here has been making it out to be... if not more so. Get it if you can find it, read it, pass it on. I think Mr. Tevis would appreciate the sentiment.

One of the science fiction classics of the 80's
This book is one of my all time favorite books. I have read it many times (in fact I feel like reading it now) I look out for second hand copies of it so I can loan it to other people without fear of losing my original copy or, as my original copy is starting to fall apart, to keep as a spare.

It is a remarkable book. I have never come across another book that so succinctly explains the learning to read process. And of course, I look forward to a day when "Thought Buses" are cruising the streets. The ending is fantastic, one of the best! I urge anyone with a yen for unusual literature to read it if they can find one of those rare copies out there.

Published in Paperback by Oxford Univ Pr (1979)
Author: Walter Tevis
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The Movie was better
One of those few books that one can say the movie was much more livelier. In the book we never know whether Fast Eddie pays Bert the money that he wins in the final game and of course Sarah does not go with Bert and Eddie to Lexington. On the whole it was a lifeless novel. It seems the reputation of Tevis is based more on the success and acting of Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason , Piper Lori as well as the direction of Robert Rossen than anything that he wrote. I was not impressed by his writing. I loved the movie.

A classic novel about winning and losing
I have a BA in English literature and am an avid pool player, and I enjoy The Hustler on both levels. Tevis' well written treatment of winning and losing as it happens on the green cloth and in the gray matter is realistic and detailed. The book goes into more detail about the psychology of competition than the movie does and differs from the movie at a few points in the plot. I thought the book was better than the movie, but I recommend them both.

Better than the movie???
Excellent book! After reading I learned so much I had to rewatch the movie because I thouught they left so much out; most of the profound ideas are there but very subtle and lost in the film, which I also adore. Tevis is a wonderful writer and this is one book that you can enjoy and learn from both. Each have much to offer so don't choose one... have the best of both; read the book AND see the movie.

Man Who Fell to Earth
Published in Paperback by Oxford University Press (1992)
Author: Walter Tevis
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A wonderful piece of speculative science fiction
I have found myself to be something of a fan of speculative fictions. And The man who fell to Earth by Walter Tevis has been, for a long time now, a book that I have grown to appreciate in what it says and how it expresses it, about the human condition through an inhuman perspective. And I happen to own an edition that was published in 1963, so you can imagine my disappointment when I bought a new copy and found the revisions, which were not only unnecessary but also inconsistent. Now, I agree that some "dated" books are in need of revisions, however, when Walter Tevis (may he rest in peace) had revised his book, The man who fell to Earth, he left it lacking in it's original believability by leaving inconsistencies in the dates that the novel takes place within. The novel was always meant to take place ten years or so in the future and I believe that before his death in 1984, Mr. Tevis had intended to possibly revise it yet again but hadn't the chance due to his fatal run in with cancer.

The original novel opened with the Section Icarus Descending 1972, the revised version opens with Icarus Descending 1985. The second section of book is Rumplestiltskin, 1975, in the revised version this is 1988. The final section of the book is Icarus Drowning, 1976, and 1990 in the revised edition novel. Now this might not seem a bother at all really but here's where my qualm lies... The section called Rumplestiltskin begins in autumn of 1988. And in that December (not to spoil the plot) late on Christmas night, Thomas Jerome Newton, the protagonist of the novel confesses to the Chemistry professor, Nathan Bryce that he is in fact an alien visitor from another world. The following morning, Thomas Jerome Newton is taken captive by the American government and held for two months. It should be about February of 1989, or there about. However, he is interrogated, at the end of those two months, and the interrogator is commented as saying "It just happens that this is 1988. And 1988 is an election year." - (Page 180 of the revised edition of The man who fell to Earth.) Allowing this little flaw to slide, we move on. And Thomas Jerome Newton is carelessly blinded by his captors and for two weeks he is kept in a government hospital where nothing can be done to help him. The next section of book starts, Icarus Drowning 1990. This gives you the impression that it's at least a year later. However, according to page 197, the very first page of Icarus Drowning, it is only seven months after the end of Rumplestiltskin, let's see... From the end of 1988- Seven months, plus two weeks, plus two months, equals nine and and half months. At most it should be October of 1989. What happened to 1989? Perhaps I have not lived on planet Earth long enough but I'm fairly certain that nine and a half months is not a full year. A second thing I dislike about the revised version of The man who fell to Earth, is something that is missing from the original text. In the original novel, published in 1963, there is an allusion towards the end when Thomas Jerome Newton, our protagonist is compared to Winston Smith, the hero of George Orwell's Nineteen eighty-four. I had liked that. And I don't like that it is missing from the version currently in print. The man who fell to Earth is a wonderfully surreal novel but I just wish that someone would drop the revised version and go back to Tevis' original text from the American 1963 version. I know that it had been Walter Tevis himself to write the revisions for the novel (1976 in the UK and 1981 in the USA) but the fact is Walter Tevis had been an alcoholic and that might have impaired his reasoning when revising his novel. If anything, I feel that people should have the choice to read the original, classic, unabridged text, or the cut, shoddy, inconsistent, and overly politically correct revised edition. This novel is supposedly a science fiction classic and yet the only way anyone can actually read the whole, original text would be by buying a first edition from a used book shoppe or from And I think that it's a real shame, that other then seeking collectable stores or antique book markets, there is no way that anyone can really read the original book, which by the way, had consistent dates. It feels, in reality, almost like the horrific tragedy of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, that society, so obsessed with political correctness, have grown so very careless with it's "Classic" fictions. And we, as a result, lose out in beautiful works on fiction that shall, as a result, fade off in to oblivion, it's original content forgotten or painted over and we are left with cut and "revised" reprints which for all their gloss remain flawed with inconsistencies, bits and pieces missing, and abridgments. And these either insult us intellectually or give us to know that over all, our attention spans have grown so short as to not notice or care.

Ignoring the flaws and inconsistencies with the datings of the revised version of The man who fell to Earth (The only version that had ever been in print in the UK and the only edition available currently in America, since 1981), it is actually a very good, and intriguing piece of speculative- science fiction. And I just think that it's a real pity, a sin really, that no one has even tried to reprint the original, unabridged or non "revised" text for over twenty-two years, even in the USA where it was first published.

Deserves the "classic" label. You'll love this book!
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A lone extraterrestrial lands on Earth with a mission.

PROS: Excellent story with fascinating characterizations...poignant and memorable.
CONS: A revised edition that is not labeled as such

BOTTOM LINE: Fantastic! This is a classic that's worth reading now and re-reading every so often.

This is one the best science fiction stories I've read in a long time. It hooks you early and holds you to the unexpected end. I read this in two sittings and loved every page.

The alien, Newton, is likable from the start. His outsider's view of humanity and his assimilation are fascinating in content and in the way they are described by Tevis. The author judiciously uses characterizations to advance plot and vice versa. All of this belnds together to tell a compelling story.

I read the revised 1999 edition but own an older, un-revised copy. I personally don't think that the inconsistencies listed by other reviewers are a big deal, nor do they detract from the story in my opinion. I will, however, read the original version when I re-read this in the future. And I will be rereading this's that good!

read the book before you see the movie
i, like some other people who have written reviews for this novel, had seen the movie many times before ever picking up a copy of the book. it is one of my favourite movies, partly due to the fact that my idol, david bowie, is the star of the film.

now, that i have read the book, however, i see the movie in a different light. first of all, i now find the movie somewhat more dissapointing. it doesn't stay true to tevis's wonderful novel. hopefully, whoever wrote the screenplay has either improved his skills or has found another line of work.

now, to the book...if ever you have felt lonely or out of place in your surroundings, which everyone in the world has, then you must read this book. it is a story of thomas jerome newton, an alien from the planet anthea, and his mission to build a space ferry so that he can transport the few remaining 'people' of his race to earth, for their planet is suffering from something like post-apocalyptic decay. In addition, newton plans to implement his race's knowledge of government workings into the governments of earth in order to save earthlings and their wonderful, water-abundant planet from certain destruction.

however, the government (cia, fbi) interfere with newtons plans, for they suspect that he is not of this planet, and arrest him, poke and prod him, experiment on him, then finally set him free but with nothing to return to...he is trapped on planet earth alone, with no real companions.

if you've seen the movie already, you know that it is rather difficult to explain. it indeed has many holes in the script, but the book indeed fills in these gaps.

The Queen's Gambit
Published in Paperback by Vintage Books (04 February, 2003)
Author: Walter Tevis
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I read this story in high school & loved it. If you enjoy reading this book, you'll probably like the movie, Searching for Bobby Fischer. No high-level knowledge of chess necessary to appreciate either work.

"Rocky" for smart people
It was the spring of 1983. On a long plane trip, I started THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT by Walter Tevis, a just-published novel I'd bought on impulse. And I was gobsmacked. Tevis --- author of THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH and THE HUSTLER (and, later, THE COLOR OF MONEY) --- had written a book that, very simply, could not be put down. The woman who would become my first wife tried to talk to me; I shushed her. A meal came; I pushed it aside. All I could do was read, straight to the end --- weeping, cheering, punching the air.

Amazingly, this novel soon went out of print. And stayed out of print for two decades. Now, at last, it's available again.

What's the fuss about? An eight-year-old orphan named Beth Harmon. Who turns out to be the Mozart of chess. Which brings her joy (she wins! people notice her!) and misery (she's alone and unloved and incapable of asking for help). So she gets addicted to pills. She drinks. She loses. And then, as 17-year-old Beth starts pulling herself together, she must face the biggest challenge of all --- a match with the world champion, a Russian of scary brilliance.

You think: This is thrilling? You think: chess? You think: Must be an "arty" novel, full of interior scenes. Wrong. All wrong.

I tell you: THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT is "Rocky" for smart people.

I tell you: You will care about Beth Harmon more than any fictional character you've encountered in years and years.

I tell you: You will grasp the wrench of loneliness --- and the power of love --- as if this book were happening to you.

Do you need to know anything about chess? Nope. Nothing. Tevis was a storyteller whose genius was to tell great stories; there's nothing between you and the people.

My bet: If you read five pages, you won't put it down. You too will weep. And cheer. And at the end, raise your fist like a fool for a little girl who never existed and a game only wimps play.

As lucid as a perfect diamond
This book contains the best descriptions I have read of what goes on during a mental competition. The protagonist, Beth Harmon, possesses the "perfect diamond" in her brain. Other reviewers have quibbled about her personality, but how else can a writer describe the person who lives primarily in the mind, and not in the body. The descriptions of Beth at her best and at her worst in competition are masterly. I had never hoped that any author could discover the words that would communicate the experience of being deep in the game, as Tevis has. I was lucky enough to come across this book in a temporary book store. I've read it several times, and my pleasure does not diminish.

Far from Home
Published in Hardcover by Doubleday (1981)
Author: Walter S. Tevis
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far from home
very strange and wonderful stories. "rent control" is one of my top ten stories, and could have been written by Theodore Sturgeon.

The Colour of Money (A Pan Original)
Published in Paperback by Pan Macmillan (1985)
Author: Walter Tevis
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The Steps of the Sun
Published in Paperback by Berkley Pub Group (1985)
Author: Walter Tevis
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Man Who Fell to Earth David Bowie Cover
Published in Paperback by Bloomsbury Pub Ltd, London ()
Author: Walter Tevis
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