I tend to open unsolicited packages with a bit of trepidation, and unsolicited books to review with a triple dose. “If this book was really good,” I think, at almost a subconscious level, “they wouldn’t be asking me to review it.” And I would have heard of it before.
Half the time, it’s just a warmed-over “guide to gambling” that’s neither offensive nor enlightening. Other times, it’s not even that mediocre. But sometimes, I get a real gem–something that makes opening up all those mysterious packages worthwhile. Richard Armstrong’s God Doesn’t Shoot Craps is such a book. It’s a rarity: a great gambling novel.