nobody movie_Sportsbook director Chris Andrews knows a thing or two about books

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LAS VEGAS — The loss to Syracuse drained Pitt quarterback Niko Peramos, who dreamed of national championship glory during his senior season. Instead, the Panthers played Illinois in the Alamo Bowl.

Niko was invited to the Heisman Trophy celebrations in New York, and some believed he would be the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, where millions await him in professional football.

However, his persistent whining about that loss to the Orange irritated his brother Stavros.

“Adelphós mou, listen . . . Do you think you might be a little hard on yourself? Stop putting yourself down.”

Enter the despicable Hairdo, who wants Niko to fix the Alamo Bowl and Big George, the patriarch of Peramos with ties to the underworld, and the debut novel by Chris Andrews explodes.

His title Adelphós Mou (My Brother) is a nod to his rich Greek heritage.

South Point’s 66-year-old sports books director, Andrews, has authored two popular non-fiction books about his vibrant career as a sports bettor and bet-maker.

The novel, which will be released next month, is raw and wild, filled with metaphor, symbolism and surprise. He began writing it after a revealing maiden voyage to Crete in 1998.

Reviewing “Adelphós,” a friend of Andrews’s said to him, “You write with such emotion.” “That’s what I’m looking for,” he says, “to make you feel something.”

It dives into his roots in Pittsburgh and Greece, with visits to Iceland, London and Las Vegas. Andrews played with his visual possibilities.

Too much depth for a film, he concludes. Can’t say in two hours. Four or five, maybe six episodes. “Maybe a Netflix miniseries.”

HIT A NERVE

The framed lithograph, five feet wide and three feet high, dominates the living room of his Las Vegas home and says everything about Andrews.

Anthony Quinn’s arms are wide, Greek fisherman’s hat in left hand, daffodil in right, head to one side. He may be moments away from breaking into a sirtaki, his fabulous dance that closes Zorba the Greek.

“Triumph” is a self-portrait of Quinn, the creative genius and native of Chihuahua, Mexico, who played Zorba in Michael Cacoyannis’ 1964 production, which was filmed entirely in Crete.

Nikos Kazantzakis’ novel Zorba the Greek, published in 1946 as The Life and Times of Alexis Zorbas, features a peasant showing the uptight writer Basil how to celebrate life unabashedly.

He clarified to Basil, wrote Kazantzakis, “the meaning of art, love, beauty, purity, passion.”

Andrews says every Greek considers the late Quinn – a perfect Big George, he dreams – a countryman of honour.

“Quinn also played a Greek in ‘Guns of Navarone,'” says Andrews, who has visited his home country four times. These journeys gave “Adelphós” invaluable depth and context.

“[They] helped a lot to understand the culture and there are a lot of little things in there. I definitely struck a chord with the way they are, especially Manoli the Greek banker. I think I hit him pretty well.”

He nailed everything. Anyone who doesn’t thirst for a raki – the half-shot of pomace liquor that Cretans often drink but seldom get drunk – after they’ve finished the tome has no heartbeat.

Daughter Jacque was an important manuscript editor/proofreader. Andrews asked an author friend for an uncompromising review, who suggested making it leaner and meaner.

Andrews whittled his 160,000 words down to 120,000 using sharper jargon. Other specialists checked it. A lawyer friend of his told Andrews, “Yes, that’s how jurisprudence works.”

Last fall he emailed me a courtesy manuscript. The unflinching dialogues ooze authenticity. I’ve known these people all my life, says Andrews, in Pittsburgh’s cultured nooks and crannies.

“I think it’s real and reflects the tone of the characters. On an emotional level, my heart and soul are in this book. I can still read it and get tears in my eyes at some points.”

NOBODY IS PERFECT

Andrews and I love a lot of gritty black and white movies from the 1950’s plus or minus a decade that aired on TCM. I would write to him when Zorba was just starting.

“Already on,” he wrote back.

As his final days draw near, Mrs. Pam knows he must have a TCM-tuned TV next to his bed.

He saw the film Zorba for the first time when he was 17 and read the book for the first time when he was 30 or 31. The international airport near Heraklion in Crete, the largest of the 300 or so Greek islands, is named after Kazantzakis, who lived there died in 1957 at 74.

Among Andrews’ four jam-packed bookshelves, Kazantzakis titles dominate the specialty shelf, including Zorba, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel, Captain Michalis, and Saint Francis.

The one cherished by Greeks, he says, is “Liberty and Death” about the Cretan struggle for independence from the Turks 100 years ago.

Odysseus, who hatched the idea of ​​the Trojan horse, is another hero.

“Flawed, really flawed,” Andrews said. “The perfect Greek. A fighter. A brilliant one [bleeping] Cheater. Not a guy you would ever trust. These are our people. Finally, in Zorba, Basil says, “I’m tired of saying: is that a good guy or a bad guy?”

“Well, everyone has both in them. This is Sorba. And nobody in my book is considered perfect. Nobody.”

Andrews has long felt like a Renaissance man who loves to cook and travel. He’s not just a guy, he says, “he makes numbers and takes bets.” He has at least one other non-fiction project and one other novel on his agenda.

His first attempt at a novel?

Triumph.

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