Las Vegas is a city where anything goes. The stories about things that happen there are legendary. It's not known as Sin City for nothing. The large hotels of Vegas are cities unto themselves, hiring tons of staff to run everything as smoothly as possible. Some of the first people visitors see at the hotels are the doormen. They are considered the "ambassadors" for the hotel. For six years, Jay Rankin was one of them. A doorman at the MGM Grand, Jay worked an overnight shift that marked some of the busiest times for the hotel doormen. While working as a doorman, Jay saw a little bit of everything. At work and at home, he soon discovered that Vegas was a city that could get under your skin in numerous ways. While the money was good, everything around him seemed to be falling apart. He would be forced to choose between Vegas and his life, but that is not as easy a decision as it may seem.
I was immediately drawn into this book. It will reaffirm the truth in almost every crazy story you've heard about Vegas and then some. I found the structure of the hotel system fascinating. They really are their own little cities. There are so many people involved in making your visit to Vegas smooth for you, and some of them are definitely characters. However, they are almost always written about with great affection. You can feel that despite everything that happened, the author still has a great love for the people and the city itself. There are some crazy stories about things that happened there. Of course, the wildest night is the one that changes everything for Jay Rankin, the infamous Tyson vs. Holyfield match. Yes, the ear biting one. As he begins to see just what Vegas can do to you, Jay has to make some tough decisions.
Despite all the interesting stories, there are a lot of dark aspects to this story. Jay watches as several friends make horrible decisions that get them into even worse positions in life. While he struggles to try and find ways to help them, there is only so much he can do. Even worse is watching Jay's marriage and life spiral out of control. It seems like the more success he has at work. the worse things get at home. Luckily Jay had enough presence of mind to know when it was time for a change. Unfortunately many people he knew did not.
I really enjoyed this book. It is a very quick read. It also really made me think. When there is so much craziness around you, is it really possible to keep your balance? At first it seems entirely possible, but as the book goes on you see that maybe this is not doable after all. This book will be of great interest to people who are interested in Las Vegas or just interested in all the wild things that can happen there. And after reading about so many lives falling apart, the ending gives just a bit of hope that some people can escape the insanity.
Book provided for review.
(reviewed 40 days after purchase)