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The Other Great Depression: How I'm overcoming daily basis least 1000000 addictions dysfunctions finding spi Paperback – January 29, 2002

3.7 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fans of Lewis's bleak shtick are the natural audience for these searing, confessional riffs on the comic's angst, acute alcoholism and relentless sexual conquests, but it's hard to imagine that the uninitiated would enjoy the musings of "a bad-postured, guilt-ridden ball of confusion with a trace of paranoia, self-loathing and a little faith thrown in for some taste." Lewis attributes his misery to his parents: a sullen mother whose antipathy toward her son is not fully explored; his distant but admired father died young. The New Jersey boy found his escape route via jokes and isolation and, eventually, Ohio State University. Though he makes a sort of peace with his mother at the end of her life, the author reserves his moments of near-tenderness for members of comedy royalty: Buster Keaton's elegant widow, Eleanor, and Lenny Bruce's raucous mother, Sally Marr. (However, larger-than-life icon Jackie Gleason displays less-than-noble behavior to Lewis.) In his early 20s, Lewis found a mentor in the manager of a legendary Brooklyn comedy club. After the requisite struggles on the stand-up circuit, he made it big in many venues: HBO specials, a movie and a four-year stint in a TV series, Anything but Love. Bouts of debilitating drunkenness and the interventions of loyal friends led Lewis to the Hazelden clinic, though he dropped out in two days, opting to manage his own recovery. Though he now struggles to be monogamous with his current "lady," Lewis's mostly cynical rants about desperate women and PMS won't win him any new female fans. Agent, David Vigliano.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A gossipy, gutsy, spill-all that's both hilarious and horrifying."
—US Weekly

"Behind the Music meets Portnoy's Complaint...Lewis's standard of total honesty has allowed him to unearth neuroses he's never even touch onstageor on the couch."—New York magazine

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reissue edition (January 29, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452283159
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452283152
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,923,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on December 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Richard Lewis might have problems with women and intimacy and God knows everything under the sun but the way he writes about his newfound spirituality after becoming part of the recovery community made me feel a lot less alone. The book is really cool and a quick read and I was astounded at how well he writes only knowing him from his comedy but his brutal honesty and ultimate day-to-day battle to stay sober has certainly made my own recovery something even more to be proud of. This is quite a book for anyone with the "quiet fear" of having all sorts of addictions and should give lots of people courage to change their lives. I think I have quite a few people to send this book to anonymously. Shh! Don't tell anybody. Bravo, Mr.Lewis!
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Format: Hardcover
A book that brutally describes what addiction is like, from the viewpoint of an addict, and how to overcome addiction is "The Other Great Depression". Written by comedian Richard Lewis, we learn how he has overcome three decades of alcohol and drug addiction with seven years of sobriety. His book analyzes how youthful traumas and adult insecurities lead to anxieties, depression, alcohol, and drugs. It was Richard Lewis's realization that his lifestyle was leading towards death and that he wanted to live that enabled him to win his struggle to overcome addicitons and regain his life.
Richard Lewis presents many deep personal thoughts about the pressures of youth, dating, and the entertainment worlds to present his own road to the depths of depression and alcoholism. His description of his struggle to overcome his difficulties, which came from his own realization of his need for survival along with assistance from caring friends and his sprituality, brings encouragement to people seeking to overcome their addictions.
One key point Richard Lewis makes is that addicts are screaming for help, even when they deny they need assistance. All too often, we ignore their pleas, in part because many addicts do not know how to ask for help. Addiction can be helped. It may not be easy. Ignoring the addiction is not the way to provide that help.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really like Richard Lewis. He is a very funny man. But the title of this book is so apt. Reading it was...kind of...depressing. But the book I'm sure has much in it that would be very helpful to those caught up in addiction. What makes it worthwhile to the rest of us is the painful glimpse it gives you into the mind and psyche of someone dealing with Depression. And the descriptions Richard gives you of his relationships with his mother and father are heartbreaking. But the description of the redemptive scene between him and his dying mother in the nursing home is worth wading through some of the other weightier areas of the book to get to. This book is very painfully honest. It would have been easier for him to gloss over some of the rough stuff and would probably have certainly made him look better, but to battle addiction I think brutal honesty is probably called for and Richard certainly comes through in this regard.
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By Gavin on December 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I've been a huge fan of Richard Lewis' for many years and have always loved his stand-up as well as his acting. When I read "The Other Great Depression" it blew me away! Now his story-telling brilliance is written for all of us to savor anytime. As honest as he always seems to be on stage, one never knows if that's real. It's real! And then some. The book is revealing, humorous, and tremendously inspiring ... I have a long list of friends and relatives who need to read it--including my girlfriend!
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Format: Paperback
A book that brutally describes what addiction is like, from the viewpoint of an addict, and how to overcome addiction is "The Other Great Depression". Written by comedian Richard Lewis, we learn how he has overcome three decades of alcohol and drug addiction with seven years of sobriety. His book analyzes how youthful traumas and adult insecurities lead to anxieties, depression, alcohol, and drugs. It was Richard Lewis's realization that his lifestyle was leading towards death and that he wanted to live that enabled him to win his struggle to overcome addicitons and regain his life.

Richard Lewis presents many deep personal thoughts about the pressures of youth, dating, and the entertainment worlds to present his own road to the depths of depression and alcoholism. His description of his struggle to overcome his difficulties, which came from his own realization of his need for survival along with assistance from caring friends and his sprituality, brings encouragement to people seeking to overcome their addictions.

One key point Richard Lewis makes is that addicts are screaming for help, even when they deny they need assistance. All too often, we ignore their pleas, in part because many addicts do not know how to ask for help. Addiction can be helped. It may not be easy. Ignoring the addiction is not the way to provide that help.
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Format: Hardcover
Reading Mr. Lewis' book was like having a private and meaningful 12-step meeting with him. Yes, there was profanity, yes, there was some stuff about women that made the hairs on my neck stand up and yes, he was a sick and dysfunctional puppy, but Mr. Lewis' story echoes the stories heard in "the rooms" and his thought processes may strike a chord with others who suffer from the disease of alcoholism. Speaking from experience, the lives of suffering alcoholics are never pretty so be prepared for some embarrassing, pitiful and demoralizing scenarios. His brutal self assessment and rigorous honesty are very impressive.
In the end, Mr. Lewis' story shows that the disease of alcoholism is a terrible war fought within the confines of one's mind and spirit, persistently threatening to destroy one's physical being. His strength, on a day to day basis, to be victorious over this killer is encouraging. By staying sober, his hope to be the person he was meant be, is slowly, but triumphantly, realized in the progress he's made towards this goal. Thank you, Mr. Lewis.
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