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Addicted to Dimes: Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat – Catherine Townsend-Lyon

16 Sep

61Wah0x6duLHow does a good girl go bad? Based on a true story, told in the author’s own words, without polish or prose, this haunting tale of addiction, family secrets, abuse, sexual misconduct, destruction, crime and…. recovery! One day at a time, one page at a time. Learn of this remarkable and brave story.

It’s to easy these days to dismiss an addict without any real thought as to the contributing factors and the struggles they face each day, when coping in a world that actively encourages habit-forming pursuits.

Catherine Townsend-Lyon is a recovering gambling addict who guides us through her journey, reliving the most heartbreaking of times upto today, where the lessons hard learned are put forward in their stark honesty.

As you would expect from somebody who has felt the pull of addiction, this retrospective holds nothing back.  It’s brutally honest, makes no excuses but does explore the complex history of the author’s case.

It’s challenging to read but that is how it should be, an uncompromising, self-aware examination of a life that has turned out in an unexpected way.  If you are looking for a writer who leans towards the more literary style of writing, you won’t get it here but hiding behind fancy words is sometimes detrimental to the message.   Here the gritty and down to earth writing bring forthright range of observations to a dysfunctional past.

As well as looking at just one specific life, there is also an insight into the flaws of a system that on one hand allows the encouragement of gambling (responsibly of course!) and enjoys the taxes off of said companies,  yet doesn’t have the ability to support the people who fall prey to the industries ills.  It’s a blatant conflict of interests, the swirling lights and noises drawing people in to a world fundamentally obsessed and geared to money and glamour that cannot be sustained for any length of time despite what the adverts would have us believe.

At life’s lowest ebbs,the stigma of addiction underlines the point that we must care for the weakest members of society and give more help and second chances. There is some admirable support out there but there could be more.  It’s to easy to judge somebody for their failings without understanding the often complex struggles that the individual has to deal with, society these days is extremely cynical and that is likely to cause more harm than good in the long run.  Addiction harms everybody.

it’s a stark warning, a forthright exposé, nothing is held back for the readers sensitivities and it is something perhaps few of us stop to consider in our own busy lives.  It is hard to say I enjoyed the book in the traditional sense of the word but the insights and the overcoming of adversity made it a worthwhile read.  In a world of ‘celebrity’ addiction this is one book that rings true, means something and will ultimately give context to the darker side of gambling.

The books can be picked up at the usual amazon links and for more information and an informative blog check out Catherine’s blog

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29 Comments

Posted by on 16/09/2014 in Autobiography, Blogging

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

29 responses to “Addicted to Dimes: Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat – Catherine Townsend-Lyon

  1. shadowoperator

    16/09/2014 at 20:21

    You do get around to a lot of different kinds of reads, don’t you? I can’t truthfully say that this is the book for me, but I must admit to being intrigued by your take on the situation.

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    • Ste J

      16/09/2014 at 20:24

      I do like to push myself I hate sitting still, well I like sitting still to read but my mind likes to experience a bit of everything. What intrigues you about my observations, I am intrigued about your intrigue, which is in itself intriguing.

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      • shadowoperator

        16/09/2014 at 21:11

        The very fact that (like me) you tend to prefer reads which are quality, if not in the literary sense always, then in the sense of fitting well inside a genre and illuminating it. Yet this book is one you recommend for its story alone almost, saying that it’s told “without prose” (I assume you mean “without prosiness,” as it’s almost certainly a prose work in the technical sense, i.e., not poetry or drama). While I read very few things that aren’t literary, and go easy on autobiogs and memoirs, this sounds from the way you describe it like a memoir I might risk.

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        • Ste J

          16/09/2014 at 21:24

          Without prose is the author’s phrase not mine, I tend to go easy on autobiographies and such as well, although I do enjoy sports biographies for some reason. This one has the raw feeling, a lot of people wish to put themselves in a better light by acknowledging past mistakes (for example) but Catherine understands and has come to terms with all the events of her life and wishes to help people avoid those mistakes and be aware of the warning signs.

          If you are looking for the highest order of literature, may I recommend Night of the Killer Crabs by Guy Smith, it is as perfect as it sounds…

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          • shadowoperator

            16/09/2014 at 22:27

            Now, the question naturally–because you’re in question, of course–comes to mind, “Is he yanking my chain, or is he not?” So hard to decide….

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            • Ste J

              17/09/2014 at 14:11

              I am not yanking your chain, The Crabs series is like a B-movie in a book, something I call B-lit and it is great to have a laugh along with…I have reviewed them elsewhere on the site, in fact i have one more to read so I may just have to bump that up the pile.

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  2. Love, Life and Whatever

    16/09/2014 at 21:11

    Steve you always create or dissuade an interest with your absolute, honest and intense analysis of the books you review…I wish someday if I publish a book you review it and I get some good gradings…..sorry for sounding lil self centred though

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    • Ste J

      16/09/2014 at 21:29

      Intense analysis, I like that! It would be an honour to review your book, I enjoy reading your blog posts so would love to read anything else you write. I always get nervous reviewing fellow bloggers works, which is strange as I have reviewed quite a few, still as long as I am fair, constructive and honest then I’m happy.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  3. Lyn

    16/09/2014 at 21:57

    I would think any author would jump at a chance to have you review their book, Steve. Your review is always one of depth, honesty and, if I might say so, always entertaining but not in a frivolous sense. Although it’s not a book I’d readily add to my “must read” list, your take on Catherine’s honesty certainly hasn’t made me decide, “I’m never gonna read that one.” Thanks Steve, for always putting so much time and effort into your reviews. They are never a wasted read.

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    • Ste J

      17/09/2014 at 14:34

      I do like to study a book, this one was always going to be a challenge as I had no actual understanding of addiction. I do like to be taken out of my comfort zone, there are many times I pick up a book and ask myself ‘how am I supposed to go about reviewing this?’ but really all it takes is that first sentence and they usually seem to flow for me. I am glad you like my reviews, whenever I am at a low ebb in my writing I will remember your words, thank you.

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  4. gargoylebruce

    16/09/2014 at 22:37

    Gambling seems to be about to hit the big time over here as the next big addiction I reckon. It’s scandalous that you can’t watch any kind of televised sporting event here without a significant amount of pre-match time being given over to betting sites to give the full run down on special betting offers for the game and then constant interruptions with updates from the betting sites with new odds etc. the rugby league viewing community successfully routed Tom Waterhouse off both tv and field last year but he’s been replaced by the likes of sports bet and its more insidious presentation that makes it look as if betting is somehow an expected part of the game. Blecch.

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    • Ste J

      17/09/2014 at 14:41

      These adverts sometimes have a tiny gambling aware website shoved away in the corner of adverts but it’s all about showing people winning because everybody does of course, all the time. It seems strange that smoking has been banned from adverts because of health scares yet gambling isn’t seen as a problem in that league yet…

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  5. Author Catherine Townsend-Lyon

    17/09/2014 at 01:41

    Hello Steve,
    How can I say Thank you enough for your intense review of my book? YOU GOT IT! Is all I can say. There is a fine line in writing about one’s life and misdeeds to give raw and true insights as to how addictions, and why some like myself turn to them when in a life long disarray and heartbreak starting as a little girl.

    I tried to stay true to that insightful rawness so my readers can understand that many can overcome and TRIUMPH! We can take that 2nd chance in life and not waste it, but to do good and help others along our new recovery journey. As you know, it’s what I try to do through my book and recovery blog here on WordPress. Thank you so much for this wonderful review! And of course I’m going to re-blog it! 🙂
    Hugs and Blessings,

    Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author 🙂 XO

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    • Ste J

      17/09/2014 at 14:59

      I am glad I got it, I thought you were very fair, you set out all the obstacles in your life and explained why you thought they were a factor and you acknowledged what you had done, it must have been a humbling experience to write but a cathartic one. You do a great job of showing that there is hope, there are success stories and help.I appreciate the re-blog and if you don’t see my review up on Amazon and goodreads in a few days, remind me as I forget.

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  6. Author Catherine Townsend-Lyon

    17/09/2014 at 01:45

    Reblogged this on Recovery Journey And Ramblings Of Author Catherine Lyon and commented:
    I have to say, my good friend Steve read my book, and GOT IT! What a special surprise he has done with posting his insightful review on his blog! Thank You Steve! Your an Angel for letting my book reach more and hopefully help more people!
    Catherine 🙂

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  7. Alastair Savage

    17/09/2014 at 07:38

    Gambling is a funny one. I played roulette at the casino a couple of times and i loved it but I soon realised how it hooks you in. Next to each roulette table, of which there are several, there is a digital board telling you the last few winning numbers and whether they were black or red. Of course, this is all playing with your mind because we automatically start imagining a pattern when we see a set of numbers (a bit like those websites where people see faces in everyday objects like trees and sinks). So if a table has had three or four winning black numbers in a row, your brain tells you the next one or the one after is certain to be red, and off you go placing bets, believing you are in control of the situation. You never are, it’s entirely random.

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    • Ste J

      17/09/2014 at 14:51

      I haven’t heard of those machines, that is a devious way to encourage people to read into the numbers and weigh the odds. It is entirely random unless it is rigged by the casino of course, which I am sure happens more than we hear about. I used to have a 20p flutter on the Grand National but that is about as far as I ever went. I did win £1 once though!

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      • Alastair Savage

        17/09/2014 at 15:10

        I have heard that when people ‘break the bank’ at casinos, that casinos never prosecute them for whatever scheme they use. The casinos simply ban these winners worldwide. This is because the casinos don’t want to admit that their machines, are, shall we say, not working entirely at random.
        Here in Spain lots of people are addicted to fruit machines, which seems a miserable way to destroy your life.

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        • Ste J

          17/09/2014 at 16:44

          I’m sure they probably employ these people to stop future people winning as well. It would be interesting to learn about the mechanics of a casino machine. There was a casino in an episode of the A-Team at some point, unsurprisingly there was a fight with no bloodshed. The big thing here is poker machines in bookies. They pay a little out frequently and then take it back once your hooked. Panorama did an episode on it, they are dangerous things.

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  8. Sherri

    17/09/2014 at 18:04

    Ahh well as you know about me growing up with my alcoholic father, I can only attest to the way any addiction can destroy lives It’s good to know that Catherine’s book ends on a positive note of recovery. Gambling is such a trap and I despise the adverts on the television for all these bingo games and how so many betting shops seem to have popped up everywhere on the high street. But then I’m probably being hypocritical as I do like a yearly flutter on the Grand National (I won £!65 this year, bet £20) but that is it. I’m not interested in anything else. I don’t even know a thing about horse racing. Or betting. (I did it online, how easy it was too…) In fact, I don’t even know why I bet on that particular race. Strange that…but of course, this isn’t to take away from the seriousness of Catherine’s hard-hitting story. I think I would like to read her book though.

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    • Ste J

      19/09/2014 at 10:45

      A yearly flutter is one thing, I sometimes have 20p on the Grand National myself but these adverts showing that gambling is somehow fun, a social activity via a laptop or that everybody seems to win big all the time must be pushing some worded laws to the limit…it is insane how easy it is to gamble…having said that I said the same thing about plane tickets as well.

      I think your past experiences will give you even more insight into Catherines book than, perhaps I got…hard hitting stories are always a tough read so it is nice to see a success story and one that doesn’t hold anything back.

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  9. writersideup

    23/09/2014 at 06:40

    It sickens me that EVERYthing, including gambling, is so readily available online now. All the vices (well, most) increasing exponentially 😦 *sigh* Great review, Ste J 🙂

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    • Ste J

      25/09/2014 at 17:02

      It’s out of control, moderation is fine but just encouraging people to get into debt is stupid…in the end everybody foots the bill except these gambling companies…there’s no sense to it.

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  10. hannahsteveeee

    26/09/2014 at 02:13

    This sounds like a great read (and a great review, kudos). Addiction has always fascinated me so I will be sure to give this a try!

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    • Ste J

      28/09/2014 at 08:07

      Welcome back!!! It has been a while, I shall be heading over to your site post haste to catch up. Addiction is one of those enigmas that fascinates but wish upon nobody.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  11. Morgan

    16/10/2014 at 20:27

    How shocked would you be if I told you I am still reading Under The Greenwood Tree? 🙂

    Like

     
    • Ste J

      16/10/2014 at 20:32

      Not very my friend, it is a book to be savoured, or at least that can be your excuse.

      Liked by 1 person

       

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