Gary Rex Tanner’s The Oklahoma Gamblin’ Man

I received this book courtesy of Mr. Tanner for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Rex Tanner had an interesting life. These stories lead us from his early years in the Oklahoma countryside, to his time in California during the Depression and thereafter.

Story Telling: How many of us have heard stories from our parents and/or grandparents and were just fascinated by them? Well Mr. Tanner has taken this fascination one step further. He has written his Daddy’s stories down, making this a special kind of memoir.

Likes: Rex did a lot of bad things in this book, but–with a few exceptions–he did what he had to do for his family’s sake. It will really give you a feel for The Great Depression era.

Dislikes: The problem that I had with this book came in the last two chapters…er, the last chapter and the epilogue. The didn’t seem to fit with the spirit in the rest of the book.

Favorite Character: I liked Effie. She was able to keep a house full of children running, and still had time to teach those interested how to read.

Favorite Quote: Now I personally disagree with the assessment, but here we go. “Rex had one weakness in business: he was an eternal optimist.” Optimism can’t be that bad.

Favorite Scene: Rex going to speak with Frank, after his brother had pulled a knife on the bartender, was pretty good. Bet they were watching what they said in that bar for a while afterwards.

Conclusion: It’s a tidy collection of short stories. But if you want my advice, skip the last chapter and the epilogue.


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