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Drinking: A Love Story [Kindle Edition]

Caroline Knapp
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (300 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $6.01 (38%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Fifteen million Americans a year are plagued with alcoholism. Five million of them are women. Many of them, like Caroline Knapp, started in their early teens and began to use alcohol as "liquid armor," a way to protect themselves against the difficult realities of life. In this extraordinarily candid and revealing memoir, Knapp offers important insights not only about alcoholism, but about life itself and how we learn to cope with it.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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.

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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 407 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0385315546
  • Publisher: The Dial Press (August 2, 1999)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC1HSC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,972 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
316 of 323 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow December 31, 2001
Format:Paperback
This book changed my life, and I just wish I could thank Caroline Knapp personally. I guess I was in denial for a long time. While in a bookstore, I plucked her book off the shelf, feeling the need for some sort of literary intervention and thinking it was a short read. I started reading it with a glass of wine in my hand. As I read, I realized with horror and some degree of sadness that she was describing me, along with countless other women in the same position. From the recyling bin to the lies, I could relate on almost every level (I was not one to end up in bed with strange men). It took courage for me to read the book through to its end, and to realize what I had to do. I called my mother and told her that I was an alcoholic. It was one of the hardest things I've had to do. Both my grandfathers were alcoholics, and my mother has always "wondered" if this were passed on to any of us. I decided that I would quit, with the help of family and friends, before I got to the point where I hurt or destroyed someone I love. I haven't had a drink since. I urge anyone who feels that they might be in denial to read this book and see if they can identify with the author's point of view. I thank Caroline Knaff for opening my eyes and pointing me in the right direction. I'm not sure that people who DON'T drink to excess will get anything out of this book ... I wouldn't believe half of it if I hadn't done these crazy things myself......
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167 of 172 people found the following review helpful
By Joe E
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As much as I loved this book, I doubt it will impress people who aren't alcoholic or dealing with an alcoholic. Had I read this book in college, I would probably have sympathized with her problems but ultimately thought she was simply flaky and needed to just stop doing the stupid things she describes - not that complicated.

As it is, I read this book when I had become fully aware that my own relationship with alcohol had ceased to be simply "great when it's around - like a good meal" and begun to be compulsive. The absence of a drink became an 800 pound elephant in the room, and I noticed that at some point I had stopped enjoying being sober. For me, that was when I realized I had crossed a line and that drinking was no longer cute or funny. Somewhere along the way, it had managed to insinuate itself as the center of my life, even though I never would have admitted it out loud. My first thought when invited to a social event was whether alcohol would be served. My first thought when going out to a meal in the evening was whether they had a liquor license. I had mentally divided my friends into drinkers and non-drinkers, and I had managed to do so without believing there was anything weird about this.

That is the subtle tug of alcoholism that Ms. Knapp exposes. To everyone around the alcoholic, it is obvious that there is a problem. To the alcoholic, he simply wants to suck the marrow out of life, and can't understand why people aren't with him. Yet, if pressed, most alcoholics will admit that their life stopped being happy right around the time they started drinking regularly (it is a depressant, after all. This shouldn't be surprising). They will have what Ms.
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167 of 176 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was 12-stepped by this book June 5, 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I was browsing in a bookstore waiting for my comet photos to be developed when I saw this book on the "New" shelf. I started reading, and then put it back when it was time to pick up my pictures. But I couldn't stop thinking about this book, so I went back and bought it. I read it at the kitchen table while drinking a glass of wine. Alarm bells kept clanging and clanging. When I got halfway through, I realized I was just like her--a highly educated writer with a drinking problem. She has a great line in there--that sometimes insight is just a reversal of cause and effect. I don't drink because I have all these problems, I have all these problems because I drink! With horror and tears, I called a friend I knew in AA who brought me to a meeting. I've been clean and sober now for 5 years. I read in the NY Times today that Carolyn Knapp died yesterday from lung cancer at only 42 years of age. That makes me very sad. I feel very grateful to her and her wonderful book. It changed my life.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Alcoholism Book I've Read! December 28, 2002
Format:Paperback
I've spent 26 of the past 28 years as a sober, happy, recovering alcoholic. This is the best-written account I've seen of how it feels, how we deceive ourselves and others, the struggle of secrecy and denial, the battle of recovery, etc.
I found it very much like a long, heart to heart conversation with Caroline, and was sad when she stopped talking to me. I wanted more!
I loved it so much I immediately ordered eight copies for friends and family, and planned to write Caroline to thank her. Sounds like she'd be a delightful dinner companion! Broke my heart to read tonight that she died of lung cancer last summer...alas, probably from all those cigarettes with the booze.
I find it fascinating that 95% of reviewers think it is very well-written, magnificent,compelling---and 5% think it is awful, repetitious, boring. Can't help wondering which are alcoholic!
If you or anyone in your family has a problem, or thinks they may have a problem with alcohol, this book may save your life.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it
Good and educational read
Published 1 day ago by Ellen Knudsen
5.0 out of 5 stars Like an intimate evening with a close friend sharing her darkest...
This book gave me great insight into the self-pity/victim mentality, the cry-in-your-booze sessions, and the overly self-focussed life of some alcoholics. Read more
Published 5 days ago by A. Gold
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning Experience
If you have never struggled with addiction and have a difficult time understanding what it is like for a person who does, this book poignantly describes the struggles of... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Minona
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest, true, real-life. If you are suffering ...
Honest, true, real-life. If you are suffering from any addiction, you will relate to the authors stories. A must read if you are struggling with addiction.
Published 13 days ago by P. Weber
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Awesome!
Published 14 days ago by Dean Ruble
5.0 out of 5 stars a fantastic, moving, beautiful memoir
I've read this book twice and it stirs my soul every time. Her writing makes me feel that she is speaking directly to me. Amazing.
Published 19 days ago by Heather McConochie
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful author and book! Great read!
This is a terrific and well-written book. I feel badly that she passed at an early age even after stopping the drink. That is so hard and such a beloved thing to give up. Read more
Published 20 days ago by jrb
1.0 out of 5 stars Just gets really boring
Started out interesting but then I got tired of the authors rhetoric. Just gets really boring
Published 24 days ago by Stacey
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Book and shipping time was great
Published 26 days ago by Donishia Warren
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Raw, vulnerable story of what alcohol can do to ruin your life!
Published 1 month ago by cdw
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Topic From this Discussion
Help! I'm losing my best friend to the bottle!
My best advice: Go to Al-Anon. Tell the people there what your friend is doing. You cannot make your friend quit drinking: Only she can do that. Al-Anon can help you learn how to deal with this.
Good luck -- I wish you the best.
Oct 3, 2009 by Robert |  See all 4 posts
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