The events of the book take place mainly in Chicago in a poolroom called Bennington's billiard hall but also in Kentucky's Livington. The characters live mainly in hotel rooms and at the poolhall.

The maincharacters are Fast Eddie Felson, his girlfriend Sarah and a man called Minnesota Fats. Fast Eddie is a young, passionate poolplayer who makes his living by playing pool. A dream come true. He has come to Chicago to play against Minnesota Fats for money. He loses the first time they play. They play for about fifteen hours.

Then he meets Sarah, a 26-year-old student in a coffee house and they start dating. They seem to fall in love. Eddie has many difficulties, for example the fact that some bad guys break his thumbs, but he gets over them and plays against Minnesota Fats, the respected poolplayer, again. I will not tell you how it ends, that'll take the exitement.

I think the book is very interesting, because I play billiards myself and Eddie's devotion to playing pool is admirable. I liked the characters, because they're so real. If you like books about billiards or swindles with some love, this is a book you really have to read.