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Drunkard [Hardcover]

Neil Steinberg


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Book Description

June 24 2008
An extraordinarily honest memoir about the life of a functioning alcoholic and the realities of recovery from a veteran columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times

Neil Steinberg loves his wife. He loves his two young sons. He loves his job and his ramshackle old farmhouse in the suburbs. But he also loves to drink, a passion that rolls merrily along for twenty-five years until one terrible night when his two worlds collide and shatter.

Drunkard is the story of one man's fall down the rabbit hole of alcoholism, and his slow crawl back out. Sentenced to an outpatient rehab program, Steinberg discovers that twenty-eight days of therapy cannot reverse the toll decades of vigorous drinking take on one's soul. In clear, distinctive, honest, and funny prose, Steinberg comes to grips with his actions, rebuilds his marriage, and reclaims his life.

Unlike outlandish tales of addiction's extremes, Steinberg's story is a regular person's account of the stark-yet-common realities of a problem faced by millions around the world. Drunkard is an important addition to the pantheon of critically acclaimed, bestselling memoirs such as The Tender Bar, Drinking: A Love Story, and Smashed.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton (June 24 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525950656
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525950653
  • Product Dimensions: 21.7 x 14.6 x 2.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #795,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Hysterically funny."
-New York Post

"A compelling read, sad and wistful and breathtakingly forthright."
-Chicago Magazine

"Steinberg is a lively writer, with a keen gift for observation."
-Washington Post Book World

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Neil Steinberg is a columnist and editorial board member at the Chicago Sun-Times. He has written for many national publications, including Rolling Stone, Readers' Digest, The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, and Sports Illustrated. This is his fifth book.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Were everyone like Phyllis, I wouldn't be in this mess. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars masterful, powerful. and yet retains a subtle touch and leaves room for one's own thoughts and conclusions July 16 2008
By reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
DRUNKARD, on the face of it, is another memoir of a tortured or addicted soul. One guy. But somehow Steinberg, with his lack of hyperbole and impeccable timing and style, draws us in and we feel an oddly genuine intimacy - one that good writers know how to deliver. i'm sober one year and a greedy obsessive reader, and this one rates up there with DRY by Augusten Burroughs, and Drinking, A Love Story. In fact, this book seems to me an uncanny hybrid of the two. It's not superior to either DRY or DRINKING A LOVE STORY, but it holds its own nicely. Most highly recommended.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The uncomfortable truth, bravely and gorgeously written. July 24 2008
By Lisa Stach - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am a regular reader of Mr. Steinberg's Sun-Times column, and was impressed by the grace and humility he exhibited when addressing his struggle. I have eagerly awaited his memoir of the experience, and was not disappointed. Steinberg does not hide his selfish, hurtful behavior nor the fortress of lies he built to conceal it. His story is difficult to read - and it must have been excruciating to write.

There is no happy ending for alcoholics/addicts and their families; at best, there can be healing and a commitment to pursuing a hopeful future. Steinberg is a fortunate man - he was forced to confront his disease in time to save his family, his job, and his life. Sharing his story is a grateful man's way of acknowledging his good fortune and making restitution to the world at large.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who struggles with substance abuse, for those affected by a loved one's struggle, and for anyone who seeks an education about addiction in the real world.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A walk through early sobriety... Oct. 29 2008
By Jared Combs - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
As a recovering alcoholic myself, I was especially drawn to Neil's story, and I smiled frequently as I read similarity after similarity. "Drinking is something I earned the right to do", Neil says early in his book. That was my sentiment as well, and a tough river to cross.
In a nutshell, Neil gradually became more and more in love with alcohol, and the ease and comfort produced by it. It began to cause problems. With the assistance of his wife and the courts, Neil sought help. That's the way most of us get introduced into recovery (and that's ok folks-not shameful-just the way it goes).
Neil stubbornly and slightly arrogantly trudges through his court-appointed treatment, where he fights most of what they try to teach him, but he learns a great deal along the way in spite of himself.
In the end, Neil seems to still struggle with a few major recovery keystones such as humility, a relationship with God, and a recovery program. However, there's not just one single path to recovery.
The book is well-written, amicable, candid, and engaging. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It's been awhile since a book held my attention like this one did.
I look forward to reading the sequel in a few years as Neil continues his journey, and grows spiritually. It is my hope that he continues to grow in honesty, openmindedness, and willingness.
Thanks for the walk through this tough segment of your life Neil. Eventually, you'll come to realize that being an alcoholic could very well be the greatest gift God ever gave you.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!! Aug. 15 2008
By caravaggio - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
First things first -- this is very well written book by someone who can actually write. A little ironic, a little funny, a little depressing, and a little bit uncomfortably over-intimate, in the tradition of the modern memoir. I saw it at my local bookstore last week (but ordered it on my Kindle) and picked it up on a whim. I'm not really sure how the book would come off to people who don't have problems with drugs or alcohol. I do, so a lot of it hit home with me. In one of those weird coincidences that make you wonder if the universe is trying to send you a personal message, I am 43 (like the author), I have two young children (like the author), I went to Northwestern (like the author), I lived in Winetka (near the author), and I have been drunk in virtually every Chicago restaurant and bar mentioned in the book (like the author). Oh, and this is my first year of sobriety. So, this hit weirdly and uncomfortably close to home for me. Lest you get the wrong impression, the book is not all melodrama; there is a lot of wry humor in the book that I deeply appreciated. If you have a drinking problem or know somebody who does -- or if you just want a peek into that world -- I would definitely recommend this book.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting? Oct. 25 2008
By Bob Dean - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The most interesting thing about this book is that it isn't interesting. A garden variety drunkalog is a breath of fresh air after reading Augusten Burroughs and others like him. We aren't dragged through his past as he seeks to explain what can't be explained. To read how a good father, husband and employee can still be stricken is a story rarely told because it isn't interesting or sensational enough for a screenplay. Pete Hamill is too full of himself to be taken seriously....even if he DID drink in Farrell's. Don't get me started with Frey!
ARRAY(0xb657396c)

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