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Alcoholics Anonymous - Big Book

4.42  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,400 Ratings  ·  296 Reviews
It's more than a book. It's a way of life.

Alcoholics Anonymous-The Big Book-has served as a lifeline to millions worldwide. First published in 1939, Alcoholics Anonymous sets forth cornerstone concepts of recovery from alcoholism and tells the stories of men and women who have overcome the disease. With publication of the second edition in 1955, the third edition in 1976,

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Paperback, 4th Edition, 576 pages
Published February 10th 2002 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services (first published 1972)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Alison Jones
Mar 24, 2008 Alison Jones rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone.
Recommended to Alison by: Mary Michel
Think you're different? Think you can handle it? When's the last time you told yourself, "This week I'm only drinking on Friday", and then you drank three more times plus Friday? Ever had a family member, brilliant, bright, and loving who just couldn't "control" their drinking? Ever wondered how you drank that much - and lived?. Have you ever thought, "I still have a job, I have a family, I have my house, I pay my bills. Sure, I drink, but how could I be an alcoholic?". Ever wonder if there was ...more
Meen
Jan 23, 2015 Meen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People early in recovery (w/caveats!)
I really struggled with how to rate the "Big Book." I've been sober for over 9 years now, and I stopped being a semi-regular AA probably 5 years ago. (And I was NEVER an "AA Nazi" at all. I never officially did all the Steps, and I'm pretty sure I've never even read the ENTIRE Big Book.) BUT, after I had been sober for 9 months on my own and went to my first meeting out of just a desperation to be around SOMEONE who might understand all the emotions I was going through, it meant so much to be ab ...more
Jim
Oct 30, 2008 Jim rated it it was amazing
This edition differs from the previous ones only in an extra introduction & some updating of the stories at the end - as usual. The basic text & page numbers of that text remain unchanged. Good news for those with a 'Little Red Book' or other guide/index to the Big Book.

For those unfamiliar with the Big Book, it's the instruction set for the AA program. The wording is a little dated, but it is the instruction set for the most widespread self-help program in the world. AA is the basis of
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Alice Gold
Aug 19, 2010 Alice Gold rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone, but especially addicts and family members of addicts
WOW! This is going to be a hard review to write.

When I told my husband that I planned to review this book, he laughed.
"Isn't that like saying I'm going to review The Holy Bible?"

"Why, yes, yes it is."

In fact, this book is much like The Holy Bible.
Like my daughter's 6th grade math teacher has his students create A Math Bible with math notes in a composition book,
this is a Bible that was written by Alcoholics.

Funny, the alcoholics familiar with AA, affectionately call this book "The Blue Bible" o
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James
One of the great spiritual works produced by humanity, and a book that has probably saved more lives than any other ever written. This is the owner's manual for the most effective system for overcoming addictions and achieving peace of mind that has yet been found. The authors make it clear that they are not saying or implying that they have the only thing that works, and encourage the reader to do whatever works, including working with professional treatment providers; this is a good adjunct to ...more
Jason Bickford
Oct 27, 2014 Jason Bickford rated it it was ok


Bill Wilson never got sober or even worked a program. He switched his drug of choice from booze to unfamiliar women in early recovery. He was a self centered 13th stepper. He also enjoyed a nice sobriety break while tripping on LSD so much his wife and Dr. Bob had to perform an intervention. That is why I take little stock in Bill's thoughts on the program he plagiarized outright from the Oxford Group. AA's grounding in Christianity and its dogmatic requirement to commune with a God also known
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Kelda
Feb 16, 2008 Kelda rated it liked it
Shelves: social-justice
Terribly sexist, and not spiritually inclusive.(a lot of words are just plain crossed out or edited in my copy) The revolution is not so much in this book as it's in the network of people who've read this book and then lived funner, happier, sexier lives than before.
Drew Drew
An incredible insight into people, addiction and those affected by alcoholism.

A good read for alcoholics or friends and family members of alcoholics.

Wonder if you have a drinking problem? This book will help you.
Know you have a drinking problem? Read this book.
Nicholas Montemarano
I love the look of this book -- a compact blue paperback that might be mistaken for a Bible, and is to many people. The cover is blank -- that is, until you hold the book up to a light and see its title, Alcoholics Anonymous. The title is concealed, anonymous. Makes sense for obvious reasons.

What I found most interesting is the program's idea of a Higher Power. Even atheists and agnostics must give their lives over to a HP, or else the program, no matter its other merits, won't work. Or so The B
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David Mccurdy
Apr 30, 2012 David Mccurdy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: study-books
I have been reading from this book for 25 years and still Love it!!! I am currently reading from my 1st Edition of the Big Book.
Jac
May 07, 2015 Jac rated it it was ok
Let me be clear: I know this book has helped lots of people and I don't want to discount that. I'm leery of giving it 2 stars in the off chance that someone who needs help might see a two star review and write it off, when it might indeed be able to help them. I could suspend my judgment on how bad the writing was. I get it. Testimonials aren't meant to be art. The stories and perspectives, though, are dated. If you're a liberal feminist, this is a hard book to get through on a gender/sexuality/ ...more
Todd
Mar 02, 2008 Todd rated it it was amazing
This book has had a positive impact on my life. Originally published in 1939, the "essential recovery text" has an outdated tonal feel. This is especially apparent in the chapter "To Wives". The chapter is written from a very sexist perspective and doesn't translate well to today. Despite its untimely feel, the original text in the "Big Book" still succeeds in paving a path of recovery from the disease of alcoholism.
Cheryl Meares
Mar 03, 2008 Cheryl Meares rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
I have read this book and will continue reading this book over and over for the rest of my life.

This book holds the tools to live a great life
Robert Cymbala
This is a great work of literature!!! My father was alcoholic. Read it in three days a few months before jumping into the Al-anon program.
Kenny
Dec 18, 2007 Kenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kind of got bored half way through and didn't finish.
Josh Meares
Jun 30, 2014 Josh Meares rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Confession: I am a Christian, but I'm not an alcoholic (even though it runs in my family). As someone who grew up around an alcoholic, watched the destruction and the duality of life that alcohol can cause, this book was incredibly enlightening. To see the hidden doubts and struggles behind the alcoholic lifestyle.

As a Christian, I think that this is the first book that I've ever read that really takes sin seriously. It is the first book that really "gets" Romans 7:15 - "I do not understand wha
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Bobby Mcnamara
Dec 10, 2010 Bobby Mcnamara rated it it was amazing
I hit my first meeting over elevyn years ago. I owe my new life to this book and it's companion book "The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. It took ten and a half years for me to truly appreciate the spiritually inspired life lessons contained in the first 164 pages. This book is far less about "How to stop drinking or doing drugs" than it is about how to live a life that is full, satisfying, and full of hope. There is historical data and research that proves that the only way to rid oneself o ...more
Abimelech Abimelech
Jan 05, 2013 Abimelech Abimelech rated it did not like it
IN A BASEMENT AT THE TEMPLE

It was a rainy, rainy night, rainy in the full moon night, the rainy full moon shining through a cracked window like a strained cranial searchlight divided and guided by the rainy rainy night.

"We need more wine, everyone. Gallons, liters, swimming pools of it. There is some good beer in the fridge and a fifth of Beefeater divided amongst two watercolor moose head mason jars."

"Hey, don't bother with the key/car thing, we'll ride bikes to the store."

"Exactly."

"Someone
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Colt
May 29, 2013 Colt rated it liked it
Shelves: recovery
A great book on how to Recover from anything!
I can't stop once I start but my real trouble is I can stop from starting. The 12 steps outlined in this books plainly help me to clear the mind so that I won't start! Or do the things that are toxic in my life.
You can recover from anything if you get honest with yourself, you get honest with another human being, make amends for the wrongs you have done, you help others without hope of reward or prestige, and you pray to the God of your understanding
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Duke
Jan 02, 2009 Duke rated it liked it
A couple of months ago, I was interacting a lot with addiction therapists at work. A lot of people in the field are recovering addicts. After asking a lot of questions about the twelve-step program, one of the therapists (brilliant guy, lived as a homeless man for two years before getting sober) gave me the "Big Book." I was vaguely familiar with the twelve steps like admitting you have a problem, making amends, etc., but I had no idea that the AA book is mostly a how to guide for a spiritual tr ...more
Carole
Jun 20, 2014 Carole rated it it was amazing
Working in the mental healthcare field as well as my personal acquaintances I have heard many different views of AA and other 12 Step groups, ranging from the opinion that they are a cult that provided them with zilch to being a spiritual program that was a miracle. After reading this book and talking with others I know that this book has been able to perform miracles. I would recommend it or its branch offs (NA,CA, OA, EDA, EA, Al Anon, etc.) to anybody that feels they may have an addiction pro ...more
Srempfer
Mar 07, 2012 Srempfer rated it it was amazing
The language used in some of the narratives is downright archaic, and that is a compliment. The power of this book lies in the reader's connection to a desire to change their life. What stands out, is how complete the writing is. For example, "The Chapter to the Agnostic" clearly demonstrates sensitivity and respect to differing lifestyles and religious choice.

Many of the stories in the back are hard to identify with at first read, tales of long term prison visit, unspeakable violence and neglec
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Sarah
Mar 30, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not an alcoholic. I've never even been drunk (or the least bit tipsy, for that matter.) However, I found some valuable suggestions for living in the first 164 pages of this book. The remainder of the book contains stories from recovering individuals. I love hearing about people and how they tackle life so I got a lot out of their testimonies. They were easy to relate to and many were not only inspirational but humorous as well. (Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict is my personal favorite chapter.)
Dianne
Feb 03, 2010 Dianne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not what you think it is. It's kind of like when you ask somebody how do to something and instead of handing you a list of instructions or a diagram, they just take you by the hand and say, "Let me show you." This book shows you what alcoholism is with real people's stories. Turns out Alcoholism isn't what you think it is, and the people around alcoholics aren't either.
Rickerdoo
Oct 02, 2013 Rickerdoo rated it it was amazing
The Holiday Season is one day at a time. Gift yourself another day. The Big Book is in season granting chances to achieve NEW never known before. Santa keeps you honest to know your great presence is loved, uncommonly. Every snowman knows his scarecrow standing in him. And the dance they dance is one...day at a time.
Noah Milam
Mar 30, 2011 Noah Milam rated it it was amazing
Even though I'm not a Alcoholic I have found this book a rewarding experience. I seriously have learned to be a better leader from reading this book. I'm grateful for the recommendation from my Senior Naval Science Instructor.
Matt
Dec 08, 2010 Matt rated it it was amazing
I'm not a 12-stepper, but the Big Book is a very powerful spiritual read. Must read if you're dealing with alcoholism, either directly or with a loved one.
Josh
Nov 28, 2011 Josh rated it it was ok
some good ideas, just extremely boring. the whole higher power crap really annoyed me too. find power in yourself, not your imaginary friend.
Bnschmid
May 26, 2008 Bnschmid rated it liked it
This is a good book to read on a snowy day...cuddled next to the fire... with a pitcher of martinis and a 357 magnum...
Librarymary
Mar 08, 2012 Librarymary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm pretty sure this gets the best ratings from alcoholics themselves and maybe their families as well.
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“And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation "some fact of my life" unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.” 24 likes
“One day at a time.” 23 likes
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