“All or Nothing”, by Preston L. Allen


While this is a good—but not a great—story, there’s something engaging about it nonetheless. The main character, known only as “P”, is a school bus driver and compulsive gambler who spends virtually every free minute in casinos. The story could have come across like a case study of the dangers of gambling. But narrator Mark Nelson captures P’s conflicted emotions and transforms him into a surprisingly likable character. Nelson’s calm, measured tone also allows listeners to empathize with the dark characters who populate the casinos. When P’s life tragically impacts his family, Nelson excels in depicting every ounce of emotion in the story. 

D.J.S. © AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine [Published: MAY 2011]