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The Thinking Person's Guide to Sobriety Paperback – January 10, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0312254285 ISBN-10: 0312254288 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (January 10, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312254288
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312254285
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #612,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Pluymen, once named one of the best lawyers in America, turns his attention from the law to write a thoroughly engaging, yet thought-provoking book on alcoholism. He is careful to point out that alcoholism is not just a disease of the down and out, but of the rich and famous and everyone in-between. Although his approach contains a good touch of humor, he remains fully cognizant of the seriousness of his subject. He mixes both facts on alcoholism and stories of alcoholics from different walks of life and at various stages of recovery. A particularly valuable chapter is "Wake-up Call for Women." Here he warns that not only are women at increased risk because of their drinking, but they suffer much more for drinking far less than men. For them, alcohol can become lethal after just two drinks. This is scary stuff, but through both the stories and his own tips, Pluymen shows those in the grip of this deadly disease a clear and effective way out. Marlene Chamberlain --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A vital tool for awakening the alcohol-abusing professional." --Dr. Frank Sadlack, Ph.D., executive director of La Hacienda Treatment Center

"The section on women [and alcohol] is especially good." --Ann W. Richards, former governor of Texas

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Customer Reviews

This book will be highly recommended to ALL others in my 'circle of support'.
DBerg4SOS@aol.com
Bert Pluymen's book is without doubt one of the best of it's ilk, I should know, I've read a whole lot!
AR
Like the author, I have several times quit drinking for a week or a month just to show myself I can.
GCP

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Mike B. on August 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
I was looking forward to getting this book because, like Bert Pluyman, I'm a recovering alcoholic lawyer who lives in Austin! But, I was pretty disappointed.

The first half of the book is basically Bert's autobiography, including entries from his journal. It's replete with stories about his enormous wealth, his career success, his jet-setting playboy lifestyle, and his sexual conquests. Oh, and did I mention that he was captain of the high school football team, a great rugby and soccer player, and ran 3 miles a day even while drinking? Well, if I didn't mention it, Bert certainly does. Often. Of course, smattered amongst that are notes about how he would get drunk a lot and have bad hangovers.

Once you have choked down all the desciptions of life on the French Riviera and his big house in Westlake Hills, Bert informs us that there are studies out there showing a link between genetics and alcoholism (wow, no kidding!) and that substance abuse can cause heart problems (I had no idea). Mixed in are various platitudes from the Big Book, some attributed, some not. The second half of the book mostly consists of various testimonials from other drunks, a la Big Book, some of which were a little more helpful to those of us that don't own Ferraris. Tony's story in particular was quite moving to me. But, it wasn't worth reading the whole book.

The title implies that this book takes a more secular approach to sobriety. That's not the case, as Bert tells us "hey, you use electricity all the time without understanding it, don't you? You can do the same with God!" Where have I heard that before?

To summarize, this book is self-indulgent hack.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Helen Caswell on May 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
Because of the title and other factors I was expecting a non-religious approach to alcoholism. But that is not what this book is. It is the story of one guy who didn't think he could possibly be an alcoholic, and how after some ups and downs discovered that he wanted to stop drinking and found great value in AA. He avoids discussing Christianity but a big part of his story is his improved relationship with what he calls God.

In other words, reading this book is a lot like just going to an AA meeting, where people every day tell the same story. As such, the book has value in the same way AA has value. And on those terms it is moderately useful, even including chapters in which some third parties tell their drinking stories, just like in AA. But in terms of rationality, this is no more a "thinking person's" book than any other. If you're looking for a secular book on alcohol recovery, keep looking.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 26, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Bert Pluymen's The Thinking Person's Guide to Sobriety is the best book I've seen regarding high-bottom alcoholics, those bright and successful people who have not yet qualified to tell lurid war stories and who therefore assume the early luxury of comparing themselves out the doors of many AA meetings. I've been a chemical dependency counselor for twenty-three years, and I still shudder when an attorney or social worker lands on my caseload and tells me everything that isn't wrong with him, little or nothing that is - except the documented complaints that forced him or her into treatment - and looks blank when asked the standard assessment questions that focus on obvious physical, psychological, behavioral, social and spiritual consequences. I believe that Mr. Pluymen has just given us an invaluable resource, and I may be using it for client homework assignments.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
At 46, I was a successful business owner with a beautiful home and good marriage. I also drank every evening and as a result had trouble sleeping. I was exhausted most of the time and often unpleasant to be around. Even so, I wasn't sure I qualified as an alcoholic. I saw this book and the title spoke to me. After reading the first few pages, I knew I'd found a soul mate in Bert. His story of being a high-level, functioning alcoholic was similar to mine. I had stayed away from AA due to the "God" thing. But, I started going to meetings 5 years ago because of this book. Now, I have my own interpretation of a higher power. I don't call it God or feel the need to join a religion or go to church. To each his/her own. What I have found in AA is a method for dealing with life's problems and a measure of serenity never before known to me. Life still happens, and good and bad things come my way, but I no longer need to numb unpleasant thoughts at night with alcohol. Read this book if you have any doubt about your drinking.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
On October 29th, 2002, I begrudgingly bought this book upon the recommendation of my therapist. It was, without a doubt, the most powerful and life-altering read I had ever experienced. Two days later, I quit drinking and I just passed my 12 month mark. I have recommended this book to two other close friends, and both have successfully given up alcohol and are now FREE from its bonds. If you are a highly functioning (well, at least you believe that you are) drinker, this is a must read. You can be fooled no longer after reading Bert's story, and the myriad anecdotes of others. Do yourself, and those that love you, a huge favor, buy this book, read it, and WAKE UP!
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