Monday, June 22, 2009

Beneath Rock Bottom: The Ugly Side of Las Vegas Revealed

D. J. Rino
AuthorHouse (2008)
ISBN 9781438910444
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (5/09)

"Beneath Rock Bottom" is the memoir of a compulsive gambler. D. J. Rino tells his story in hopes of helping other pathological gamblers recognize their compulsions as a disease, to admit their addiction and to seek help.

As Rino looks back on his earlier life he sees his life as fairly normal. He cannot pinpoint any one thing that turned him into a problem gambler. He relates details of his childhood, teen years, and his Air Force experiences to show how, although they may appear unusual or dysfunctional, there is no direct or dramatic cause relationship for his developing an addiction to gambling.

An alternate title for the book might well have been "All of My Greatest Screw Ups." Even though Rino has conquered addictions of cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs, he has been unable to win over his addiction to gambling. Broken relationships, a divorce, expensive moves across country, and the danger of losing the respect of his three devoted daughters have not provided sufficient motivation to break the cycle.

Rino writes to warn others, by the telling of his failures and the results of his thirty years of being plagued with gambling, to steer them to take action to make better choices than he did. Often, victims of addiction to gambling and the resulting debts, resort to suicide to escape their shame and feelings of guilt. He expresses deep concern about the spreading of gambling in America and throughout the world and the results of the havoc in the destruction of individuals and on their families.

The book does not promise "Ten Easy Steps to Overcome Gambling" but is an honest attempt to help others identify their problem. In Rino's words, "I am not a creative writer…" however he writes from his heart in a conversational style and in language familiar to his peers in the construction trade or in the casino bars. His story is genuine, well told, and poignant.

"Beneath Rock Bottom: The Ugly Side of Las Vegas Revealed" by D. J. Rino is a story that needed to be written. The book is a wakeup call and a warning to America of an increasing hidden pandemic. It should be in the hands of every member of Gambler's Anonymous and in the waiting rooms of family counselors. This is an important and timely story.

Read interview with D.J. Rino