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Minus One Paperback – Nov 14 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Haworth Press; 1 edition (Nov. 14 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560234687
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560234685
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 381 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,996,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
Stubborn, angry, and fresh out of treatment, Terry Manescu moves in with her friend, Angela, who takes her in provided Terry stays sober and contributes to the household. Terry at first doesn't realize the depths of her own pain and is facing a lot more problems than she can imagine fixing. She's got intelligence and guts going for her, but she's also got an attitude which has not entirely changed even with treatment and AA attendance. "Everyone with more sobriety than me thinks that they know what's best for me. AA is a conspiracy to rob me of my individuality and my intellect" (p. 14). She says this halfway tongue in cheek, even while at some level, Terry knows that she must change. She just isn't entirely sure how to go about it.
Though only 26, Terry has already been through a lot in her life. Through her own drunken rage, she lost the love of her life. She's got issues with her family, some of which are because she's lesbian, but also because she was such a wild girl, and her connections with her brothers and parents have been affected by all the lies and failures. She flunked out of school, ran with a fast crowd, and did a lot of risky things. She knows the addiction to drugs and alcohol is terrible for her health and well-being, but she for a long time she kids herself whenever her shortcomings become apparent to others or to her. "These insinuations about my ego just chap my ass," (p. 31) she says early on. This first-person narrator has got a comic voice at times, and the story she tells is, by turns, very funny and very heartbreaking.
It takes a long time and quite a number of mistakes before Terry starts to get her head on straight.
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Format: Paperback
I found this novel completely absorbing, moving and satisfying. The protagonist Terry is a wonderful character--full of life and passion as well as confusion and delusion. You will root for Terry as she feels her way to sobriety and to a new understanding of herself as a friend and lover, and to a role for herself in the greater world that does not require her to compromise who she is at her core. The epigraphs "Overheard at an AA Meeting" that open each chapter are witty and true, and provide a quick orientation to that culture for the uninitiated.
Bridget Bufford brings home forcefully what it means for Terry to give up drinking, that it is like giving up the part of herself that she most likes. The fact that her drinking has been so connected with her love and sex life makes it all the harder. The phone call Terry makes to Evelyn in the middle of the date with Holly in Chapter 4, where she is dismayed when she starts to cry, is incredibly moving; I cried right along with Terry. I also found Terry's reaction when she starts doing her inventory and finds some of the smaller stuff the most embarrassing and difficult to own up to illuminating and true. We've all experienced, in some form or another, the sense that the small stuff IS small, but significant nonetheless.
The supporting characters are superbly drawn. Straight, up-tight, middle-class Laura, Terry's first sponsor, is a case in point. So is Holly, who is attracted to Terry but not at heart a lesbian. Bufford's portraits of both these women are nuanced and free of caricature or malice.
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Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It kept me up many nights as I followed the gutsy Terry through her life. The theme of a gay woman choosing to conquer her demons of alcoholism were so well drawn in word-pictures. I found myself captured by her persistence and cheering her on. Excellent writing. I hope that others will be inspired in their lives, after reading this.
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Format: Paperback
It was hard to put down this powerful and moving book. From the first page it grabbed my attention and I was riveted. For a first novel, it was extremely well written and pulled you in to its subject material. Highly Recommended
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A Great Read About a Great Character May 13 2004
By Alison Hicks - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I found this novel completely absorbing, moving and satisfying. The protagonist Terry is a wonderful character--full of life and passion as well as confusion and delusion. You will root for Terry as she feels her way to sobriety and to a new understanding of herself as a friend and lover, and to a role for herself in the greater world that does not require her to compromise who she is at her core. The epigraphs "Overheard at an AA Meeting" that open each chapter are witty and true, and provide a quick orientation to that culture for the uninitiated.
Bridget Bufford brings home forcefully what it means for Terry to give up drinking, that it is like giving up the part of herself that she most likes. The fact that her drinking has been so connected with her love and sex life makes it all the harder. The phone call Terry makes to Evelyn in the middle of the date with Holly in Chapter 4, where she is dismayed when she starts to cry, is incredibly moving; I cried right along with Terry. I also found Terry's reaction when she starts doing her inventory and finds some of the smaller stuff the most embarrassing and difficult to own up to illuminating and true. We've all experienced, in some form or another, the sense that the small stuff IS small, but significant nonetheless.
The supporting characters are superbly drawn. Straight, up-tight, middle-class Laura, Terry's first sponsor, is a case in point. So is Holly, who is attracted to Terry but not at heart a lesbian. Bufford's portraits of both these women are nuanced and free of caricature or malice. Terry's brother Alecki, who represents the non-alcoholic who just doesn't get it, is a nice addition for a reader like me, who can see him as a kind of cautionary tale (listen, try to understand even where--especially where--your experience is different and for heaven's sake don't tell someone who knows she/he's an alcoholic that they're not!). While fully conveying Terry's pain and confusion at many of Alecki's responses, Bufford also makes it clear they come from his wanting to protect himself, to believe his sister's "okay," and doesn't have a true problem. That's the part that makes a non-alcoholic reader really think. While nasty and miserable Erica, fellow alcholic and Terry's ex-lover on the way down, provides a cautionary tale of a different sort.
I also enjoyed the full evocation of Terry's erotic world, of the sports teams and lesbian bars in which Terry has made so much of her mark. Bufford is a master at portraying the body-mind connection. This novel, more than any other I have read, reflects the truth that our bodies and our erotic selves ARE ourselves.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Personal and Powerful April 10 2004
By Carolyn Lucas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It was hard to put down this powerful and moving book. From the first page it grabbed my attention and I was riveted. For a first novel, it was extremely well written and pulled you in to its subject material. Highly Recommended
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Entertaining and Engrossing Journey July 5 2004
By Lori L. Lake - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Stubborn, angry, and fresh out of treatment, Terry Manescu moves in with her friend, Angela, who takes her in provided Terry stays sober and contributes to the household. Terry at first doesn't realize the depths of her own pain and is facing a lot more problems than she can imagine fixing. She's got intelligence and guts going for her, but she's also got an attitude which has not entirely changed even with treatment and AA attendance. "Everyone with more sobriety than me thinks that they know what's best for me. AA is a conspiracy to rob me of my individuality and my intellect" (p. 14). She says this halfway tongue in cheek, even while at some level, Terry knows that she must change. She just isn't entirely sure how to go about it.
Though only 26, Terry has already been through a lot in her life. Through her own drunken rage, she lost the love of her life. She's got issues with her family, some of which are because she's lesbian, but also because she was such a wild girl, and her connections with her brothers and parents have been affected by all the lies and failures. She flunked out of school, ran with a fast crowd, and did a lot of risky things. She knows the addiction to drugs and alcohol is terrible for her health and well-being, but she for a long time she kids herself whenever her shortcomings become apparent to others or to her. "These insinuations about my ego just chap my ass," (p. 31) she says early on. This first-person narrator has got a comic voice at times, and the story she tells is, by turns, very funny and very heartbreaking.
It takes a long time and quite a number of mistakes before Terry starts to get her head on straight. For anyone who has ever been addicted, particularly to alcohol, or been around others struggling with the nightmare of drunkenness, every angle of her story rings true. When Terry finally admits that she "cannot take the pain of knowing that I can't trust myself, of knowing the rage and insanity that lurk within me, waiting for the next drink," (p. 122), a glimmer of hope can be found. She still has to hit bottom, learn to connect with others while not high, and figure out how to fashion a life worth living, but with that admission, she is starting to change.
Bufford opens each chapter with a quotation from the 12-Step world, and that's where the title of the book came from: "If there's a minus (step) one, that's where I'm at." But don't mistake this book to be about recovery only. It's a coming-of-age story, a love story, and an entertaining and engrossing journey through one woman's life. I couldn't put the book down and read it in one sitting. I highly recommend it. ~Lori L. Lake, author of lesbian fiction and freelance reviewer for Midwest Book Review, Golden Crown Literary Society's The Crown, The Independent Gay Writer, and Just About Write.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A gripping tale of recovery Feb. 24 2010
By raych - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Bridget Bufford's novel, Minus One, is an engaging story, an interesting window into the world of addiction, and a touching story of redemption. From the moment I started reading it, I had a hard time putting it down. I pulled so much for Terry, the protagonist, that I had to remind myself that I was reading a novel, rather than a memoir. I'd recommend this to anyone looking for insight into addiction and recovery, but the story is about so much more than that.

Also, Bufford does a great job of capturing the landmarks and culture of St. Louis. It's wonderful to read a novel that showcases the best of the Midwest.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Riveting writing! April 14 2004
By Margaret L Mears - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It kept me up many nights as I followed the gutsy Terry through her life. The theme of a gay woman choosing to conquer her demons of alcoholism were so well drawn in word-pictures. I found myself captured by her persistence and cheering her on. Excellent writing. I hope that others will be inspired in their lives, after reading this.


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