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America Anonymous: Eight Addicts in Search of a Life Paperback – January 5, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Benoit Denizet-Lewis writes with an impressive mix of transparency and compassion about the addict's eternal battle between will and action. He sees deep into the sadness of desperate people, and equally deep into the systems that redeem such sadness. This is an intimate, compelling volume." -- Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression
"This book reaches into the dark depths of the heart and soul of addiction by telling the stories of people who have struggled to find their way into the light of healing. I t is a collage of potent experiences from ordinary people -- women and men caught in the web of addiction whose fight for recovery will inspire anyone who reads Benoit's book." -- William Cope Moyers, author of Broken: My Story of Addiction and Redemption
"One of the best books I've read in the last year, and one of the most powerful I've encountered about addiction." -- Rachel Kramer Bussel, The Huffington Post
"A dazzling portrait of eight addicts and their intimate, sometimes heartbreaking struggle... Addicts will read this book; those who want to understand addiction should read it!" -- Susan Cheever, The Daily Beast
"An arresting, personal glimpse into the merciless world of drug and behavioral addiction. All eight of the people (Denizet-Lewis) followed are gripping subjects, and he describes their plights in seasoned, dexterous prose." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"A graceful, compelling book focusing directly on people, not on concepts or proscriptive ideas. Denizet-Lewis relates their successes, relapses, and struggles to stay clean with warmth, clarity, and a deeply refreshing, unpuritanical frankness." -- Kate Christensen, ELLE
"I was skeptical about another book about addiction, but Denizet-Lewis finds a fresh, provocative approach to the subject... I often felt like I was right there listening to the conversations. And, boy, was I paying attention." -- Rochelle Olson, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Engrossing... Denizet-Lewis gives readers a sense of the ravaging power of addiction." -- Vikas Turakhia, Cleveland Plain Dealer
"America Anonymous makes for addictive reading." -- Johnny Diaz, Boston Globe
Top Customer Reviews
For three years, he follows his subjects into recovery, whether that takes the form of an online support group for shoplifters or into a court-ordered home for addicts. The vibrant personalities all make for compelling reading, even when it's sometimes hard to have sympathy for them (for me, that moment was the $4,900 fee Sean pays for his sex addiction rehab). But if there's any point Denizet-Lewis is desperately trying to make, it's that for people like him, it's not just about willpower. Save for Bobby and perhaps Todd, who both seem torn between getting clean and staying in their chosen lifestyles, the others ardently want to change their behavior and go to great lengths to do so.
At one point, Ellen, who used to weight 300 pounds and is a "food addict," talks to her sponsor about how to cope and what the real issues are, and their conversation was fascinating to me, especially when Marianna, the sponsor, says, "Accepting that happiness comes from the outside rather than the inside is the difference." Her idea is that we have to focus on connecting with other people in order to have a whole life.Read more ›
My only criticism, if it could be called that, is I would like to have seen a little deeper into these people's lives. I felt like I was truly connecting with the individuals documented in the book, but was missing something. We were never privy to what a situation looked like when someone really relapsed.
Overall, I thought this was one of the most intriguing and well-written books on addiction.
This book offers something for everyone--addict and non-addict alike. In addition to the in-depth stories, Mr. Denizet-Lewis gives historical perspectives on addiction and treatment as well as more contemporary and future trends. His writing style is engaging and evocative. The book reads in equal parts as novel and treatise. I can't recommend highly enough this offering.
In addition to the powerful stories in this volume, Denizet-Lewis supplies readers with useful background information on the nature of addiction. In fact, what behaviors constitute addiction remains controversial. Alcohol and drugs are always included, but many in the field of addiction disagree whether sexual compulsiveness and overeating, for example, constitute addictions. The field of addiction is evolving. This has enormous implications for what treatment may be available and how it is funded.
This book also describes what treatments are used for addicts from the traditional 12-step programs, which originated in Alcoholics Anonymous and are now adapted to almost all forms of addictive behavior, to the latest medications such as suboxone which is used to treat opiate dependency. Even with advances in treatment, it is still impossible to predict which therapies will work and for whom. Addiction treatment often involves much trial and error. Treatment can work, but relapses are common, and many addicts need multiple interventions before they recover.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Raw look at addiction in this country! Very honest look at this horror - warts & all! It's time we all learn more about this disease so we can help those that are afflicted in a... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Eiya
This book is great if you are planning to be a health counselor or work under a health counselor.Published 10 months ago by Ralph Hedges
It reads kind of like an episode of True Life or World of Jenks. Benoit, a sex addict himself, follows eight other addicts for nearly three years (all of them having different... Read morePublished 15 months ago by EpicFehlReader
I loved this book. It was required for my addiction class, but I flew through it. I loved following the journey of all of the addicts and how they overcame their addictions. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Stephanie Phillips
Very interesting stoies. Very helpful having it as a Kindle PC format; allowed for bookmarking and easy to copy information to cite in school assignments.Published on May 24, 2013 by Terrie
Unfortunately, America Anonymous failed to meet my expectations. I love the premise of demonstrating cases of several types of addiction to show the similarities between addiction... Read morePublished on April 27, 2013 by bookworm53