Drinking: A Love Story Paperback – May 12 1997
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The roots of alcoholism in the life of a brilliant daughter of an upper-class family are explored in this stylistic, literary memoir of drinking by a Massachusetts journalist. Caroline Knapp describes how the distorted world of her well-to-do parents pushed her toward anexoria and then alcoholism. Fittingly, it was literature that saved her: She found inspiration in Pete Hamill's A Drinking Life and sobered up. Her tale is spiced with the characters she's known along the way. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Freelance journalist Knapp began drinking in her early teens and continued unabatedly until she "hit bottom" in 1995 and checked herself into a rehab at the age of 36. During that time she managed to graduate with honors from Brown and have a successful career as a journalist, and few people suspected she had a problem with the bottle. Here she recounts the years of denial that helped her rationalize the blackouts, innumerable hangovers, broken relationships and family tensions characteristic of the alcoholic's story. Knapp interweaves her personal history with factual information about alcohol abuse, including frequent references to the AA meetings she's attended. Here's a confession utterly devoid of self-pity, an extraordinarily lucid and very well-written personal account of a common addiction that is filled with insights as well as a comprehensive treatment of the subject. The text reproduces a questionnaire for alcoholism made up by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. First serial to the New York Times Magazine and Cosmopolitan; Literary Guild selection; author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
In A.A., sponsors are always the same sex as the sponsee. I wondered what insight I could get from a female alcoholic. I learned tht this is not an issue. I strongly recommend this book to everyone.
She also points out how common it is for high-functioning people get caught up in the excuses that they deserve a drink.....
I loved CKs story. I could relate to it. I didn't find it inauthentic or self-indulgent. (Similar to the negative reviews of Eat Pray Love haters). It was her way of telling the story of her own personal experience with alcoholism.
Perhaps it is because I too, on the surface perhaps, am a very successful, happy, well-adjusted woman. A successful, happy, well-adjusted woman with a secret. The secret of a lover, a best friend, a confidante, that I call...alcohol.
That being said, I am only just halfway through the book, so my opinion could change towards the end, as apparently several readers have experienced.
But in any case, I am appreciative of a voice which speaks from a unique viewpoint - a viewpoint which is differentiated from the stereotypical 'brown-paper-bag-hitting-rock-bottom-bum'. As we know, alcoholism is a prevalent issue, which far transcends the class barriers, and it is refreshing to hear someone speaking up to that.
She writes beautifully and concisely at times with great insight - especially about women. Also, the last page clarifies sobriety beautifully. Yet if I have a criticism it is that I found the book on a personal level strangely emotionally flat and joyless. And for that reason I found the book, for all its insights, strangely depressing. Perhaps this was deliberate on the author's part - sharing her alcoholism - but not her self as such, which must have been her prerogative. or maybe its an alcoholic thing - you look back and see things that seemed like fun at the time with a rather cold disdainful eye (but what about her childhood? no joy mentioned there either which must surely be utterly bizarre, or just one-sided for the purposes of the book? (I don't know)). So though the book has many, many insights, I found it not as inspiring as I would have hoped or imagined.
Therefore, so as far as recommending this book to someone on the road to the potential joys and self-discovery of sobriety, I find myself ambivalent about recommending it.
All the more so if you've ever wondered if you or someone you know has a drinking problem. Without being preachy, and without drowning in the rhetoric of AA, Knapp's book is full of insights. She's especially good at navigating the tangled family legacy of alcoholism and denial, and describing the life of an alcoholic, where everything ranks a distant second to drinking, and covering your tracks, so you can drink some more.
Most recent customer reviews
I am very happy with my purchase and more than anxious to start reading it.Published 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
So well written. Great story. Really gets you in the head of a problem drinker.Published 7 months ago by Dan
Well written in every woman's words. I think we can all relate in some ways. Easy to relate to her turmoil!Published 7 months ago by Charlene Power
Well written and gave me a lot of insight into addictive personalities.Published 11 months ago by Rose Herdman
Very well written. This added a fuller view to me to help understand what a family member is going through. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Booklover
Excellent book. Highly recommended.. powerful, thoughtful, insightful, and real.Published 23 months ago by John
Ireally liked thebook beacuse it was reality and I could relate to it with my own addiction battles. It was me to a 'T'. I would recommend this to anyone with a drinking problem. Read morePublished on May 7 2014 by Cory Hambleton