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Sobriety: A Graphic Novel Paperback – November 4, 2014

4.9 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Sobriety shows the power of community in helping addicts and alcoholics heal." -- Martha Rosenberg, Award Winning Author, Huff Post Books

"The graphic novel does an amazing job of stressing the similarities of the characters and downplaying their differences, which holds in line with the message of Twelve Step programs." - McCarton Ackerman via Recovery.org

"Have you struggled with an addiction to alcohol, food, ecstasy, meth or Xanax? If so, you are like millions of others for whom the new book Sobriety: a Graphic Novel was written -- or actually drawn. Anyone who likes graphic novels will be engrossed in Sobriety's drawings, storyline, dramatic tension..." - iPad Latest

"I need several copies of this book!  I loved it. I would recommend it to anyone who is struggling or knows folks who are struggling with addiction."  -- Every Nation Ministries

"In the arena of addiction and recovery, a graphic novel is a unique medium to engage young readers" - William C. Moyers, MinnPost Mental Health and Addiction

From the Author

How did I come to write this book?
I woke up at 3 am one night when I was still at treatment in Hazelden in Center City, Minnesota. I couldn't sleep, because I had a dream of a book that could communicate the concepts of the Twelve Steps in an easy-to-read and enjoyable format (and with a story). After I got sober, I connected with a gifted comic artist, Spencer Amundson. The seed of an idea was born. Nearly four years later, it's a reality. I loved writing it, and I'm convinced the future of teaching texts will be using a graphic novel format even more. Why? It's simple without being simplistic.
Who would like this book?
People have asked me this question several times. The people who most would enjoy and benefit from reading Sobriety: A Graphic Novel are parents and friends of alcoholics and addicts, and also people seeking to understand the principles of Twelve Step recovery. In addition, counselors and staff will find that the comic format of this work allows readers to grasp concepts in the books simple-without being-simplistic format.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 150 pages
  • Publisher: Hazelden (November 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 161649557X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616495572
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #532,074 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Thomas Nyman on November 28, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One way to begin to understand sobriety and the lack thereof is to read the "Big Book," or "Alcoholics Anonymous," first published in 1939. If you have friends or family members having trouble with drug or alcohol abuse, this graphic novel is an excellent way to get a feeling for when they are experiencing or have experienced. It does so in a straightforward manner that is easy to understand. It is entertaining at the same time. It depicts persons in situations more contemporary to our age. I highly recommend this book for readers of many ages and situations.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a must for AA groups to have on hand and would be ideal to hand to those who may be wondering about their own alcohol use. Daniel D Maurer is a very good writer and the illustrator also did a fine job. The book deals well with many of the reasons often used to avoid dealing with addiction. He also nicely handles the matter of God vs. higher power. He does that in a way that leaves room for those who get uncomfortable when God is brought into the mix. I will recommended it to my long-time AA friends and also to those just out of treatment or just beginning to attend AA, NA or Alanon. The format is non-threatening in a way that a linear book might be. It would also be an informative read for clergy, counselors or others who sometimes find themselves in a position to give genuine, loving help when addiction is involved.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is an excellent read. It illustrates the welcomeness and inclusiveness of Twelve Step programs while providing an introduction to those steps. It even speaks to the issues that some have with the Higher Power concept. It speaks to the support and wisdom one finds in Twelve Step groups and the healing power of their members. It's a truly good introduction for those seeking help and support in recovery while being refreshing for "old-timers."
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story illustrates the twelve steps in a positive and intuitive way. I can only imagine how it could really help those who need the encouragement to renew their lives. Spencer's illustrations were marvelous and the writing profound. This is a terrific example of a super graphic novel with a meaningful purpose.
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Format: Paperback
A great read for anyone, no matter where you are in life or if you have a addiction or not, it makes you really understand the journey many people have taken in life, whether you believe in God or not, there is always HOPE.
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Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful thoroughly modern introduction to the 12 Step Program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Before I review it I want to say a very few words about my recovery. In 1972 I was 13 when my Dad got sober through treatment at Hazelden and then continued his recovery through AA meetings that he attended for the rest of his life. He died in 1989 and his AA buddies brought the meetings to him while he was dying. I, on the other hand, was stinking drunk on the night he died after a battle with alcoholism that began when I was about 18. In 1990, with the help of my Dad's AA buddies, I followed his path of sobriety. It was not until I started to attend meetings that I could stay sober full time. So for a pretty good part of my life, I have been in and around the 12 steps, read most of the literature and even though I no longer attend meetings, I credit AA with my long term sobriety. The power of those meetings continues to carry me, as does my accountability to my family. That infinite power is depicted lovingly and educationally by Daniel D. Maurer in Sobriety: A Graphic Novel.

The graphic novel genre is a fabulous format for this subject for a lot of reasons. First of all it presents the information in a nonthreatening and accessible way. Secondly, it is conversational rather than didactic. But the most powerful reason the graphic novel format works well is that most of it is presented in exactly the way AA happens: showing a group of people talking about sobriety and supporting each other in their quest for sanity. After a meeting, the characters chat about how they have journeyed forward from the last drink or drug by using the AA steps and traditions.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Ever since I was a kid scouring the house for enough change to buy X-Men from my local convenience store I have loved graphic novels. I love books in general and believe wholeheartedly in the power of words. But when words and images combine in a storyboard, narrative comes alive. Action in still life.

Images also have the power to communicate important truths. As an adult, some of my favorite graphic novels include Spieglman's Maus and Gene Luen Yang's Boxers & Saints. These novels are both 'historical,' exploring holocaust and national tragedy (respectively). Other Graphic-non-fiction explores politics and social activism (see for example, Joe Sacco's Palestine). I have reviewed on my blog a few different graphic novels exploring religious themes: saints in Christian history, scripture, etc.

Sobriety: A Graphic Novel is different from the above. It too is graphic-non-fiction but its aim is therapeutic. Author Daniel Mauer is a former Lutheran minister and is an active participant in the recovery movement. In Sobriety he combines his skill as a story teller with the art of Spencer Amundson to explore the power of the Twelve Steps.

Sobriety's plot follows what I suspect the conversation in an Alcoholic Anonymous Meeting is like. Mauer's characters come from diverse backgrounds. They each have their own understandings of God and spirituality and the stamp of addiction is different for each of them. Still each finds help through the twelve steps. The conversation begins after Larry the 'old timer' shares in a meeting how he found sobriety. From there a conversation ensues between he and Alex (a gay, Londoner atheist with a Heroine and Ecstasy addiction).
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