He hosts an all expenses paid luxury cruise to Europe for fifty guests and showers them with expensive gifts. When he's mugged in a dark alley, he insists that the thugs also take the $300 stashed away in his back pocket. He flies into a rage whenever one of his employees suggests cutting costs. Every time he places a bet, he wins, causing him even more despair! In _Brewster's Millions_ by George Barr McCutcheon, a classic riches-to-rags tale, Montgomery Brewster is bound by the terms of an eccentric uncle's will to spend one million dollars completely within a year so that he can lay claim to an even bigger fortune. Published in 1902 under the pseudonym of Richard Greaves, the book was actually written on the basis of a bet between the writer and his publisher! Best known for his seven novels set in the fictional East European country of Graustark, McCutcheon convinced his publisher that a good plot did not need a well-known name to become a best-selling novel. He accepted the $100 bet, wrote _Brewster's Millions_ in six weeks flat and submitted it under the name of Richard Greaves. The rest, as they say, became publishing history. In just two months, the book sold more than 150,000 copies and earned its author lifelong fame. The book also marks a shift from the British-centric literature that was popular in America in the early years of the 20th century. The plot is ingenious and racy. Monty Brewster is a young man in modest circumstances, who inherits $1 million from his grandfather. A few days later, a wealthy uncle also dies, leaving an even bigger fortune to Monty. However, there's a catch. The late grandfather and uncle were sworn enemies and under the terms of the uncle's will, Monty must spend his entire inheritance of $1 million within a year to claim his uncle's fabulous fortune. This proves more difficult than Monty imagined. He cannot donate excessively to charity, give away too much to beggars or “lose” his money gambling. In fact, he has uncanny luck while gambling and manages to win every time he plays! With a romance woven into the plot, it takes readers on a merry ride to the unexpected climax. _Brewster's Millions_ has been adapted to stage, film and television round the world. Hollywood itself made its first movie based on the book in 1914 and the latest version in 1985. The book is indeed a fun read for all ages!
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