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The Unsinkable Titanic Thompson
Carlton Stowers
Publisher: Palmer Magic (1982)
Pages: 234
ISBN: 0-9634015-8-0

The Unsinkable Titanic Thompson is a brief biography that covers Thompson's life from birth to death. Ultimately, the book is unsatisfying in several respects. First, it offers only barely more Thompson anecdotes than the typical shorter report (e.g., the chapter in Jon Bradshaw's excellent Fast Company). Second, it presents most of the material in a narrative format that could only be reported accurately by someone actually present. Yet the quotes are unattributed. One has the sense they're imagined, sometimes poorly so, by the author. Third, the book is written as though in honor of Thompson, yet it seems only to diminish him. Was he a brilliant card player, golfer, gambler? As described by Stowers, all we know for certain is that he was a notorious hustler, gifted mainly in separating people from their money using whatever means available. His talents in golf and poker certainly sound impressive, yet if we trust this book's scholarship, he left no lasting record. Although there may be material in here that you wouldn't find elsewhere, on the whole I'd say the reader interested in Thompson's apparently fascinating life will be disappointed.

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