Cover Image: Might Bite

Might Bite

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Member Reviews

This is such a direct look at how gambling addiction can have an effect on a life. The author does not hold back and is completely honest about what happened to his life as a result of his addiction. This really tugs at your heartstrings.
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What a book, gives you a real insight into the life of a gambler. Felt like heartbreak to read at times. 

Thank you NetGalley for my complimentary copy in return for my honest review.
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Candid and real, this book gave me an insight into a world I do not know much about. I was engaged throughout.. Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for an advanced copy.
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A candid and illuminating account of Patrick's descent into a gambling addiction.

Over twelve and a half years, Patrick accumulated thousands of pounds worth of debt, and spent close to four million pounds, both online and in betting shops and casinos.

As his habit spiralled out of control, he lost jobs, friends and lied to loved ones. He was too ashamed to admit his secret gambling addiction, and saw suicide as his only way out.

But he came back from the brink, and finally opened up fully to his family and girlfriend. Their support enabled him to seek help, and to deal with the debts.

Patrick is now passionate about raising awareness of the dangers of gambling, giving talks to schools and offering practical and heart felt advice in this warts and all account of his own recovery.

A really compelling story of despair turned to hope and an important issue to talk about.
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I found this book incredibly hard to read, but that is testament to the totally honest and direct writing of the author.  I found it almost unbearable to read how he was persistently throwing his life away, and that really made me see that gambling addiction can happen to anyone, even successful people from a privileged background.  I found it almost impossible to believe how a person can place quite so many bets, and lost quite so much money, but that is the strength of the book - to make the reader understand a world far removed from many of us.
I would thoroughly recommend this book - especially to those in power who could do more to regulate the gambling industry, but won't.
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This is Patrick Foster's story.  He was a promising young cricketer who was playing county cricket at an elite level in his teens.  He did well at university and had a good circle of friends.  After that he became a teacher and schools were impressed by him.  However he managed to keep his gambling addiction a secret from family, friends and employers for many years.  In addition to his gambling addiction he was also probably an alcoholic and an extremely skilled and convincing liar.  Until the point where everything started to unravel...

And that is where this book actually starts.  In March 2018 Patrick realises he is close to the end of the road.  Twice he feels suicide is his only option.  On the 2nd occasion he is very close indeed to going ahead with that.  The first chapter ends there and the book then goes back to October 2006.  This is when he started to gamble.  At university, with a group of mates, he gets a win.  It feels good.  Then he gets another and then a big one.  From there on his addiction grows, slowly at times and then at an increasing speed.  Much of the time it makes for some dark reading.

As far as I can see Patrick is completely open about his addiction(s) and problems generally throughout this book.  The opening of this book leading to his 2nd suicide plan makes for difficult - gut wrenching even - reading.  In practice going back to the autumn of 2006 and the start of the addiction is something of a relief.  This period simply feels like looking into a cavern - dark and potentially threatening but something you might walk away from.  In the early stages his addiction is somewhat under control.  However as time goes by he gets into debt to fund his habit.  To start with this is bank loans or similar.  However he then starts to get payday type loans (2013/14) and the debt spiral sharpens.  From there he seeks funds from friends and then parents of children he teaches (and then frankly anyone anywhere who will lend him money!).

"I was quite brilliant at hiding what I needed to hide" sums up some of his life quite well.  It is remarkable just how ultra efficient he was with his life and that allowed him to function while addicted.  At times he gets really substantial wins however they simply go on further bets and he loses big time too.  The worse things get the more gambling became the outlet and the attempt to put things right again.

He does make the valid point in later stages that "mens mental health was a taboo subject" at that time and his self esteem falls rapidly.  By 2015 he has 50k debts.  In 2016 his parents become involved and he does partially disclosure aspects of his problem.  They give him a loan to pay off his debts.  He tells them he has and goes on gambling.

By the following year he has met a new partner and is very close to her.  He moves in with her in the summer of the following year.  By then he considers himself an alcoholic too and does actually want to stop gambling - a first.  The latter part of the book has parts that are his partner Charlotte's views of the relationship contrasted with his.  It made for fascinating reading but it was obvious his skills at lying were no longer enough.  By now his debts were far higher and he cannot even begin to service the loans he has.  The book then returns to his final suicide plan.  What follows does make for very powerful reading.  At the end of the book there is a "final thoughts" section.  While they were interesting they felt a little disjointed and more like a set of notes.

I found this a remarkable read.  As a story it is powerful.  As an insight into addiction it is extremely good.  There are plenty of ideas to consider in this other than the simple buzz of/addiction to gambling.  Were there aspects of Patrick's background that made him more susceptible to this and if so what where they for example?  I can see this book working for someone who is simply interested however I think it would be great for counsellors or psychologists too.
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A truly insightful look into the severity of addiction, the world of gambling and the grips of financial troubles associated with these issues. The book details Patrick’s journey into gambling and then the progression as it slowly changes both his life, and his personality and morals.
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What a great informative book. It gave me an insight into addictive behaviour. Often people just consider addictions as a choice. I am so happy that he was able to overcome and take responsibility  for his choices and was supported by such loving people.
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An amazing book. For someone who isn’t into gambling and doesn’t see the thrill, it makes you understand more how it takes people in and overtakes their life.
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Wow; I almost cried at the end of this, what a well written and just unwaveringly true book, the right level of text and information passed on and the whole process of being an addict of any kind comes through. You can tell the author really cares about gambling addiction education, a worth while book for everyone to read (unless it will be too triggering for you!)
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