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By JOHN L. SMITH
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

Las Vegas is a land of big talkers and bigger dreamers, a place where some players make big scores and others lose it all.

At least, that’s what I read.

There are cities with greater literary traditions, but you’ll have to look far to find one with more colorful characters. Three books published this year illustrate that truth.

First up is the memoir of everyone’s happiest ex-mayor, the reinvented mob attorney Oscar Goodman, “Being Oscar.” Written with veteran author and organized crime specialist George Anastasia, “Being Oscar” captures Goodman’s voice and trademark irreverence. As ever when it comes to Goodman, the laughs come at some truly strange moments.

Defending killers and con men might have been dangerous work, but it certainly didn’t dampen Goodman’s sense of humor.

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