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Confessions of a Slot Machine Queen Hardcover – February 11, 2010


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Confessions of a Slot Machine Queen + Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: EugeniaBooks; First edition edition (February 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984267107
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984267101
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,252,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Bravo to Sandra Adell for having the courage to put a human face on the gambling industry's best customer the slot machine addict. From a safe distance, we watch as Adell falls prey to the deceptive and covert technology purposely engineered into modern-day slot machines. Sandra Adell is as unlikely a slot machine addict as anyone might imagine smart, sophisticated and accomplished. Yet her experience mirrors that of so many hundreds of thousands who continue to find their lives inexplicably spiraling out of control at the hands of a product marketed as entertainment, and often promoted by State governments as a revenue generator though her descriptions of her beloved Detroit would seem to refute the industry's promise as an effective economic engine. --Mary Tufts, Director, United to Stop Slots in Massachusetts

Confessions of a Slot Machine Queen is a moving exploration of how a highly educated, Black woman descended into the depths of an addiction to slot machines and then climbed back out. With courage and clarity, Adell probes the connections between her difficult youth, her inspiring climb out of the Detroit ghetto of the 1960s to a tenured professorship and an acting career in mid-life, and then, following a deeply personal loss, her descent into gambling addiction. Adell s personal narrative makes the costs of the expansion of casino gambling in America real in ways that academic studies cannot often achieve. --Rachel Volberg, President, Gemini Research, Ltd.

The perennial human dream of beating the odds, of outfoxing chance and Lady Fortune, has routinely stirred excitement and sometimes raw passion but much less often has it garnered close meditation and measured introspection. . . . Sandra Adell s memoir, Confessions of a Slot Machine Queen, supplies a new and welcome twist on the time-worn cliches of gambling confessionals, first because her double identity as African American and woman destabilize our conventional starting assumptions about such narratives, and second because the insights drawn from her professional vocation scholar and critic create loops of investigative and psychological introspection otherwise unexpected. . . . Significant portions of Confessions of a Slot Machine Queen confront a backdrop of urban decline and the ongoing destruction of her native black Detroit . . . where she sees the central corridor of the city s institutional life gradually engulfed by riots and blight and casino glare. --John S. Wright, Morse-Amoco Distinguished Teaching Professor of African American & African Studies and English, University of Minnesota

About the Author

Sandra Adell is a literature professor in the Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin Madison, and has published books and articles on African American literature and culture. She also is an actor and commercial print model. A native of Detroit, she resides in Madison, Wisconsin, and Chicago, Illinois. A single parent, she has three children and three grandchildren.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Rosalind R. Dawson on April 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Sandra Adell, Senior Professor of Literary Studies at UW-Madison, has penned an engrossing memoir entitled, "Confessions of a Slot Machine Queen" about her experiences growing up in Detroit as a teenage, African-American mother and high school drop out, and her adult obsession with casino slot machines - a compulsion that got her arrested, and on several occassions nearly ended her life. Not only is "Confessions" a page turner, the writing is visual, profound, humorous and altogether delightful. A must read for anyone touched by addiction, self or others, in its many forms.Confessions of a Slot Machine Queen
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kayscrilla on February 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this book in two days; I could not put it down. I know Professor Adell personally, and she carries herself in such a poised, demure manner that I never would have imagined her background was so tumultuous. I would definitely recommend this book for any person struggling through a gambling addiction, and this book should be first on the list for any single parent contemplating returning to school.
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Format: Hardcover
I agree that the writing in this book is very good, just really fine expository writing and in any case the reader feels privileged to see her personal, professional, and family life. Nonetheless, I think it fails in that it just never quite helps readers understand why problem gamblers gamble.

It's quite clear from the text that the author understands the math of repetitive gambling (and therefore knows that unless you stop the house odds will surely grind you down) and has no magical illusions about the power of mind over slot machine. Further, she strongly dislikes the casino environment and does not seem to enjoy gambling. Yet, she can't seem to stop, despite a growing awareness, even horror, at what it is costing her in money and personal respect.

Casino gambling is hugely popular, yet I've never had a clue as to what makes it attractive. Mostly those doing it don't appear to be having fun and, even without problem gambling, it's still a costly activity. So, I read this book primarily because I wanted some understand of why people do this, despite its high cost and, for some, significant risks.

In the end I was disappointed with this book because it just didn't help me understand. I do realize that some people engage in a variety of compulsive behaviors, and often they're unable to explain why it so hard to stop them. So, perhaps this is beyond explanation, just something no one who hasn't experienced it can understand. But if so, books about it will be of limited interest.

In any case, the reader can't help but walk away without the realization, "This could happen to anyone (but it's more likely to happen if there's a casino nearby)" and, "The downside of 'just trying it' may be far larger than you think."
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not a whole lot here that deals with gambling addiction. This book is more a biography of this woman. Not a bad read but also not what I was looking for.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Missy on September 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Shows how educated, smart and successful people can succumb to this addiction, the insanity, this irrational urge. She didn't have to lose it all to know her time was up. It's about having the right attitude when your solution doesn't quite come at you the way you expected.
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