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A Drinking Life: A Memoir Paperback – April 1, 1995
Life Stories to Inform & Inspire
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Hamill doesn't push any kind of 12-step program in this book. He got sober on his own, in a snap, and he is unusual in his ability to do so. For this reason, for alcoholics looking to relate and to get some insight into their disease, I would recommend Caroline Knapp's book instead. For anyone looking for a fascinating memoir, a touching journey through life, and an inside look and the life of being a reporter, Hamill's memoir is highly recommended.
In the course of telling his story, Hamill reveals that he was a person who was constantly going from place to place, all over the world. What exactly he is searching for, he never really reveals. But eventually, he does come to grips with the fact that the Drinking Life is detrimental to his continued existence.
One of his greatest lines in the entire book is in his introduction when he states, "But life doesn't get easier when you walk away from the culture of drink; you simply live it with greater lucidity." The book is a fine example of someone who eventually realizes that life is "better" if not easier, without his addiction. The book is an inspiring story and I recommend it to all observers of social behavior.
I was shocked when I realized after finishing the book, he was accepted to Regis, which meant he must have had at least a 98% on the acceptance test. This was the toughest Catholic Boy's high school in New York to get into, only the "best of the best" were allowed entry. Getting accepted to Regis is parallel to getting into the Harvard of High Schools and Pete Hamill dropped out. What a tragedy! Then it hit me...it was his drinking at 15 that caused that. Point made Pete. You didn't have to say it, it was right there between the lines.
Mr. Hamill's writing style in this work is captivating in a way that the reader feels right there with him in the candy store, at the kitchen table drawing cartoons or on 23rd Street when he was 16 waiting for his 41 year old lover.
I totally loved and enjoyed this book and was very sad when I finished it. I am now an official Pete Hamill fan!
Throughout all of this, there is much drinking; however, to call this a book about alcoholism would be inaccurate. This is a memoir of a life... one to which drinking is inextricably tethered, but not one that revolves around the art of drinking. Hamill began drinking early, and then as a reporter spent most of his time in bars, and his storytelling ability leaves no doubt that he was probably the center of attention in these bars more often than not. In the end he kicks the habit, for fear that he has been peforming his life rather than living it. He still visits his old drinking haunts, but now sits there quietly with a Coke in hand.
This memoir is well told, and Hamill sees himself with a very clear eye.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
May be my favorite author of all time. All stories spun with the essence of a true New Yorker with a style of writing that paints pictures with the ideal balance of pain and beauty... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Kristina Cmorey
Pete Hamill is the very best chronicler of what it was like to grow up in Brooklyn, starting from the time he was born in 1935. He is amazingly honest in telling his life story. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Inger Foerster
An easy read Excellent history on NYC pre-world war 2, during it, after it, from the perspective of a boy growing up; then his adult life. Read morePublished 4 months ago by DaniR
Bless this mans heart that he thinks his life was so interesting he had to write a book about it. I read through way to many chapters about his longing to be a artist and his... Read morePublished 5 months ago by lex g
Pete is obviously a good writer. He tells his story without tears and also without analysis, like a reporter relating the five Ws. Read morePublished 6 months ago by S. Rice
Fantastic storytelling. Very densely packed with imagery and memorable stories. The first 95% of the book is about his life before he quit drinking. Read morePublished 7 months ago by hetha2001