14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
was this really a good book?,
This review is from: Dry: A Memoir (Paperback)
I can't help but be baffled by the high ratio of positive reviews for this book. I hadn't read his previous and listened to it on CD. I really didn't find it worth the time.
Maybe it's because I'm a recovering alcoholic and I was expecting more of the lessons of alcoholism to be explored. Maybe that's not fair, but his accounting of his time in treatment, AA, bottoming out and recovery are trite and without much personal growth. He's shallow and dryly-unfunny when he's drinking, he's shallow and dryly-unfunny when he's in treatment, then he's shallow and dryly-unfunny when he relapses and, finally, he's... you get the picture.
I just found him-- listening to his own narration of his story-- entirely unlikeable. He was un-courageous, un-remorseful, lacking in gratitude and without a shred of spiritual substance. I disliked him mostly because he seems to find himself likeable and describes his experiences with a Paris Hilton-like numb narcissism. Perhaps the positive response to his previous book went to his head.
I admit that I did want this book to unfold another alcoholic's remorse, surrender, and emotional turmoil in a manner in which I could learn from. The journey toward sobriety could be rich material for a memoir. But his journey had little to offer a fellow traveler, I felt. He just didn't seem authentic at all.
Maybe I got taken by the title-- Dry. The term "dry drunk" is something altogether alcoholic in its meaning. Why did he use that title? Maybe Burroughs doesn't realize how shallow his sobriety seems in this accounting.
Anyhoo, I'd much rather have gone to an AA meeting and listened to people less glib and more raw than who he presented here. The beauty of the AA rooms is that people don't care if they're likeable, they're just looking for a place to share and a place to ask for some help.
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Initial post: Oct 11, 2009 7:31:21 PM PDT
D. D. Olivares says:
you were in the mood for a hamburger and got a bologna sandwich instead. Happens to all of us.
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