A Gambler’s Anatomy is a novel told in a mostly linear fashion and with narration in a third-person limited mode. It follows Alexander Bruno, a world-traveling professional backgammon player who is about 50 years of age. After a series of surprising losses under the management of international criminal Edgar Falk, Bruno collapses and is rushed to a hospital. X-rays show a cancer-like growth called a meningioma in Bruno’s head. Bruno flees to Berkeley, California (his hometown, which he has not visited in 30 years) in order to undergo an innovative new surgery. His travel and medical expenses are paid for by old high school acquaintance Keith Stolarsky, who is now a wealthy property owner in Berkeley. The surgery supposedly saves Bruno, but it causes the return of strange and unwanted telepathic powers that Bruno had when he was young. Bruno also becomes indebted to Stolarsky, who reveals himself to be predatory and vindictive, wishing to humiliate and control Bruno. Bruno attempts to escape his circumstances, but in the end, he only escapes when Stolarsky passes control of Bruno back to Edgar Falk, Bruno’s domineering former business manager.