Released on 21 January 2011.

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Titanic Thompson

The Man Who Bet on Everything

3.92 based on 233 ratings & 18 reviews on


Titanic Thompson is a rollicking biography of one of the most charismatic characters in twentieth-century America. Like Howard Hughes or Bonnie and Clyde, Alvin ‘Titanic’ Thompson was one of the great figures of this freewheeling era; the difference between them: hardly anyone knows Titanic’s name today.

Travelling only with his golf clubs, a .45 revolver, and a suitcase full of cash, this is the legendary story of a man who was married five times to five different girls, the oldest just eighteen on her wedding day; of a man who murdered five men, though he’d say ‘they’d all agree they had it coming to them’; and of a man who won and lost millions – when a pro golfer would earn $10,000 a year, he was playing single holes for $20,000.

Titanic Thompson, filled with fascinating facts and famous faces, is a brilliant snapshot of life on the road in twentieth-century America – it’s a terrific read for anyone who has ever laid a bet.

‘If this was fiction, you wouldn’t believe a word of it. You still might not believe it, but it’s all true, and it’s all here.’

Mark Frost, author of The Greatest Game Ever Played