Theo did not seem like the type to become addicted to gambling. He was a literary star who had published his first novel at age 24 to great success. While traveling through Europe, he began visiting elegant casinos, at first dabbling in table games like roulette. With time, though, this pleasant diversion became a compulsion, and he lost nearly all his money in just a few years. He continued to produce critically acclaimed books—at one point churning out a new novel in less than a month to settle urgent debts—but he struggled to stay afloat, and his wife soon had to sell her jewelry. Remarkably, aside from the gambling, his life seemed fine. His writing was respected, and his family life was satisfying. He was simply hooked.