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Drinking: A Love Story Paperback – May 12, 1997
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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately, Ms. Knapp's life took a darker path. Her memoir does give little snippets of alcoholism trivia, but it primarily describes her gradual descent into drinking hell. There is a little questionnaire on page 121 of the paperback edition that you may find helpful. Mercy, not only could this lady drink but she also was one heck of a writer. Despite being very intelligent and doing well in the business world, the author's life was a mess due to alcohol. Ms. Knapp was brutally sincere in her presentation, but her massive insecurities that permeate the memoir were getting on my nerves near the end of the story. My tolerance for reading about someone's self-destructive nature seems to be about 200 pages before I have visions of wanting to slap some sense into the author. For a career woman, she certainly didn't have a feminist mind-set. She allowed alcohol to be her excuse for rationalizing some pretty nasty, narcissistic actions. Despite the author's eloquent, cogent account, it's still difficult for me to see how someone could hide liquor bottles so they could sneak shots or drink practically every day and NOT think they have a major problem. I guess we humans can rationalize doing anything.
I've talked with quite a few people over the years whose lives had been messed up because of alcohol. Some clearly saw that liquor was not an escape from their problems but actually contributed to their difficulties; others still live in denial. Drug use has been a part of civilization since cavemen probably ate fermented fruit. It'll never go away. The stuff is so prevalent, celebrated, and legions of people use it to self-medicate. Of course, the same could be said about hoovering junk food. 'Drinking: A Love Story' has smatterings of humor, but more often are events that felt like I was punched in the gut. The story about her half-brother Wicky made me nauseous. The major thing that helped me by reading Ms. Knapp's memoir was realizing that many stories people have told me or I've read over the years seemed very illogical in their actions but could be explained if liquor was involved. It never dawned on me to think of it in that way. It's breathtaking to consider how often alcohol is involved when issues such as date rape, murder, destroyed marriages, theft, and whatnot are the issue. You may find that Ms. Knapp's trials and tribulations will resonate for you and help you take the first steps towards living a better, happier life. That would be priceless. The book is never boring.
It was both humanizing and depressing to know there's more people like me out there.
I thought I was more far gone than anyone else (because I was more far gone than anyone else I KNEW), but this book helps you to understand the commonalities people living successfully-but-unhappily with their addictions have, and does it in an entertaining way.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While it is sad that she died at the age of 42 (of lung cancer no less; i'd have thought liver failure...Read more