Why this book?
The Risk Pool shows the importance of accepting and loving our fathers for who they are instead of resenting them for who they never could be. Sam Hall, the irresponsible wreck of a dad in this warm-hearted and funny book, is by any definition a terrible father, yet his relationship with his son Ned feels real in ways that most fictionalized father-son relationships don’t. Forced to care for Ned when Ned’s mother is hospitalized with mental illness, Sam introduces his son to pool halls, bars, bookies, drunks, and the occasional petty crime. Though aware of his father’s many faults, Ned can’t help but be charmed by Sam’s easy-going life, and even when Sam disappears for years, the bond remains strong.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
The Risk Pool is a thirty-year journey through the lives of Sam Hall, a small-town gambling hellraiser, and his watchful, introspective son Ned. When Ned's mother Jenny suffers a breakdown and retreats from her husband's carelessness into a dream world, Ned becomes part of his father's seedy nocturnal world, touring the town's bars and pool halls, struggling to win Sam's affections while avoiding his sins.