“American Way” by Ruby Dominguez— Sin City

Dominguez, Ruby. “American Way”, Outskirts Press, 2012,

Sin City

Amos Lassen

There are some American cities that are immediately recognizable by their nicknames and their slogans and Las Vegas (“Sin City”) is surely one of those. However, as far as “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” is another story all together. John and Sylvia are young lovers who decide to have some sin in Sin City. Jon figured that it would be easy to get rich quickly in Vegas and so he and Sylvia headed west. Things did not go so well because John forgot that more than a formula is necessary and that much depends more on chance than it does on luck. One needs more than just a poker face to beat the odds.

Ruby Dominguez gives us quite a tale of Vegas here and this is one of those books that immediately pulls you and will not let go. Written at a time of severe financial an economic distress in this country, “American Way” takes us behind the scenes and shows us how far some will go to remain financially solvent. I wish I could share more of the plot but I have been sitting here in front of my computer trying to figure a way to do without writing a spoiler and I just can’t. Instead let me say that the narrative flows and the characters are wonderfully drawn.

Vegas offers a bit of hope to those who are down and out but unfortunately there are those who become taken in and remain down and out. The blurb on the back cover says that is a caricature of Vegas but tome it seems to show the real nature of a down that’s livelihood is based on gambling. We clearly see that Vegas is a town where dreams are fulfilled or shattered with the latter being more the rule. James Foxwood is sly and not about to lose and our boy John is determined to win. When there two come together, we sense that something is going to happen by which one of the two will come out singing. You simply have to read the book to understand what I am talking about.

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