Swimming with Bridgeport Girls is an "outstanding debut...entertaining and sometimes sad, a superb portrait of a troubled but wisecracking gambler. Think Carl Hiaasen meets Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Gambler" (Library Journal, starred review). Ray Parisi is in trouble. Fired from his anchor job at ESPN after one-too-many public humiliations, he is holed up in a motel and in desperate need of a break. His ex-wife is shacking up with another guy in his old house, a bookie wants to kill him, and he's wanted by the New York State Police. A few days before the Fourth of July, he unexpectedly receives an inheritance from his long-lost father, and it seems like all of his problems might be solved. Determined to get his life back together, Ray hatches an imaginative but highly suspect plan to win back his wife, dashing from Connecticut to Las Vegas to Memphis in an attempt to secure his future before the past runs him down. The cast of characters he meets along the way is as loveable as it is absolutely insane.
If Swimming with Bridgeport Girls "were a Springsteen album, it would be Devils & Dust: partly set in Las Vegas, it evinces hope and humor but is dark and gritty at its core" (Kirkus Reviews). Anthony Tambakis's first novel is an uproarious romantic comedy about a charismatic gambler who loses everything and sets off on a mission to—against all odds—finally get it right.