A Personal Gamble

Former U.S. Congressman Bob Steele's new novel 'The Curse'



After he left Greenwich more than two decades ago, former U.S. Congressman Robert Steele settled in Ledyard, right on the edge of the Mashantucket Pequot Indian Reservation. The Southeastern hamlet gave him a front row seat for witnessing the remarkable development of two mega-casinos by the descendants of once rival Native American tribes. From the inherent political controversies to gambling’s sometimes addictive allure, Steele found the impact the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos had on his adopted corner of Connecticut fascinating. “It occurred to me I was living through one of the most remarkable stories in the state’s history. Really, it was the stuff of a novel.” So he wrote one.

The former gubernatorial candidate spent five years researching, writing and imagining The Curse, a multigenerational epic that takes readers from Connecticut’s Puritan beginnings and the Pequot Wars of 1637 and spins its ways to the roulette wheels of a fictional third casino. Bob, who has returned to Greenwich and its environs as part of his ongoing book tour, explains the novel became a creative way to express his fascination with the history, politics and conflict that brought casino gambling to Connecticut in the ’90s. He sets the stage for his yarn with a poignantly brutal account of the real-life Indian attack on Puritans at Wethersfield—and an equally violent retaliatory attack—but quickly moves forward 350 years to explore casino development through fictional descendants of these early clashes. “What many people don’t realize is that our early Indian and Puritan history impacts us to this present day,” says Bob. Beyond looking to the past to inform the present, “I wanted to write a riveting and engrossing novel that would also set the stage for what is about to happen here.”  For Bob imagines the drama that unfolds in The Curse as a sort of prequel to a bleak future he envisions for the state’s gaming industry. He notes that growing efforts to bring casino gaming to neighboring New England states and New York are encroaching threats. “The dynamics will never be quite the same. The market is saturated. Once a new casino is built, it will be successful the first year, but after that I expect they will all struggle,” he says. He notes that slot revenues in Connecticut casinos—once the two biggest in the world—have already dipped from an annual peak of $430 million down to $300 million and counting. Does that mean he’s penning a doomsday sequel? “No, no, no,” laughs Bob, who says his inaugural effort was so consuming he needs a creative hiatus. Still, expect the casino story to continue to be a page-turner. —Beth Cooney Fitzpatrick

 

Greenwich Agenda

  • TREEHOUSES: Look Who's Living in the Trees!

    2014.06.21
     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Saturday, June 21 - Monday, September 1 Hidden in the leaves, snug in the trunk or burrowed under the roots, what types of animals actually...

  • Greenwich Harbor Sunset Wine Cruise | Greenwich, CT

    2014.06.05
     @ Delamar Hotel Dock

    The boat "Prudence" departs from the Delamar Hotel Dock on 500 Steamboat Rd. All the wine is sponsored through VALS with food...

  • SM&NC Farm Market

    2014.06.15
     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Sundays, June 15 – October 5, 10am – 2pm We're thrilled to bring back the SM&NC Farm Market — now on Sundays!...

  • Exclusive Tour of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Yale University Art Gallery

    2014.09.09
     @ Yale University Art Gallery

    Join JCC Greenwich for an exclusive tour with museum curator Elizabeth Manekin. The collection is noteworthy for exemplary works from the...

  • Understanding the Gaza War: Strategic & Political Implications

    2014.09.09
     @ Greenwich Library, Cole Auditorium

    Dr. Efraim Inbar is a Professor in Political Studies at Bar-Ilan University and Director of its renowned Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic...

  • Bruce Museum: Look and See - Into the Deep

    2014.09.10
     @ Bruce Museum

    A program especially designed for children ages 3-5 years and their adult caregivers, who will explore the Museum’s exhibition through...

  • College Admissions Boot Camp | Greenwich, CT

    2014.09.13

    College Prep 360 will be offering two college admissions “boot camps” in their Greenwich office over the summer. The first workshop...

  • Nigh Season: New Paintings By David Konigsberg

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM  Public Invited   NIGH...

  • Undulate: Paintings By Julie Gross and Margaret Neill

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    GALLERY II Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM Public Invited...

  • Greenwich Area Newcomers Annual Lobster Fest

    2014.09.14
     @ Tod's Point Clambake Area

    This is our kickoff event each year-held at Tod's Point Clambake area. The event is scheduled for Sunday September 14th starting...

  • Information Fair

    2014.09.16
     @ YMCA

    Our Annual Information Fair - This event showcases non profits , community businesses, schools and  services in the Greenwich...

  • Laurel House Family Seminar Series

    2014.09.18
     @ Laurel House

    Thursday evenings, September 18, October 2, 16, 30, 6:30-8:00 pm Join us Thursday evenings for this four part Family Seminar Series as...

  • The Many Faces of Multi Media

    2014.09.20
     @ Meli-Melo of Greenwich

    Dr. Julia Trebing, Director Creative Therapies in Stamford, CT exhibits her paintings at Meli-Melo Creperie & Juice Bar  during Sept...

  • SoulCycle GWCH for Make-A-Wish CT

    2014.09.20
     @ SoulCycle

    Make-A-Wish Connecticut is thrilled to be partnering with SoulCycle's Greenwich location for a charity ride on Saturday, September 20th!...

  • Wall Street Tennis Challenge

    2014.09.20
     @ Greenwich Country Club

    The goal of The Wall Street Tennis Challenge is to support the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation’s efforts while spreading awareness...

  • Arts & Crafts on Bedford

    2014.09.20
     @ Bedford Street

    Shop at over 100 craft and artisan boutiques on Bedford Street, which will be closed to traffic for the weekend. Dine in our extended sidewalk...


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