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Alcoholics Anonymous - Big Book

4.4 of 5 stars 4.40  ·  rating details  ·  4,299 ratings  ·  261 reviews
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. A.A. is
ebook, 540 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Alcoholics Anonymous (first published 1972)
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Alison Jones
Mar 24, 2008 Alison Jones rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
the ideas behind the steps in this book are so obvious and elementary to the unafflicted, that unless booze has been your father, son, and holy ghost, or mother (if you're jewish), you probably think addicts/alcoholics are retarded. and in a way they are. believing that the self is not the highest power, having some humility and honesty, and taking personal responsibility are groundbreaking concepts for the alcoholic. so unless you've brown bagged it to easter sunrise service, it may not be the ...more
Aug 19, 2010 Alice rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
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
Drew Harvey
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.
Jason Bickford

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
Feb 27, 2010 wigwam rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who are ready to quit drinking
Recommended to wigwam by: my dad, a judge, my rehab
Shelves: spirituality
My dad used to send me to AA meetings when I'd get busted coming home drunk when I was in high school. Not drinking seemed like the lamest fucking thing anyone could ever do, and my dad was a prime example. I had lots of experiences with drinking and AA from then on, and started getting thrown in jail pretty often while in college, and I wanted to quit but I knew AA wouldn't work, cuz why hadn't it all the times I tried before? After my 2nd DUI, my dad sent me to a rehab, where I expected to be ...more
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
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.
Kind of got bored half way through and didn't finish.
Josh Meares
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
Bobby Mcnamara
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
Joseph Nicolello

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."


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
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
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
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.)
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 at a time.
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.
some good ideas, just extremely boring. the whole higher power crap really annoyed me too. find power in yourself, not your imaginary friend.
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.
Jul 12, 2009 Kate rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Alcoholics & Family Members, Counselors
Recommended to Kate by: Dr. Joel Wienman, Ph. D.
Nothing is more wise than an illustration of recovery from someone who has done it themselves. People listen in a different way when someone has walked the same path they are now facing. The Big Book of AA does that, it illustrates in the first 164 pages how the first 100 men and women of AA recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind, body and spirit.

Most of the remaining pages are personal stories for readers to relate to - from varying genders, races, religions, drug habits, sexual orie
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
This is not necessarily a book just for alcoholics. In my field of study, I look at the human condition to examine its weaknesses. One human condition, habit, is a weakness, even though when doing the right thing or obtaining productive results habit has a positive connotation. But let me explain the issue at hand first.

Addiction has become a country wide issue. It's gotten so bad that Congress has had to step in in regards to food addiction. Unfortunately, mostly due to the burgeoning fast-foo
Seems crude to give this book a star rating; I'd doubt if any other book has had as positive an impact on balance. But it is a pretty fascinating book (I only read a couple of the stories in the back), with regards to, you know, the history of alcoholism treatment, the history of alcoholism as a concept, self-control, descriptive/prescriptive thoughts on religion, other stuff. People like me tend to look upon alcoholics as these deficients; just stop drinking, we think. But, of course, between p ...more
Don't get excited. I'm reading it due to a fascination with cults, an interest in historical cultural movements, and a desire to get in David Foster Wallace's head.
I imagine that if Bill Wilson (the primary author of this "anonymous" text) knew what a global sensation his book would have become it would have been far worse than it already is. While millions have found relief from the ravages of alcoholic compulsion through AA I shutter to think how few have found relief from fundamentalist perspectives or "literalism", a religious perspective that a text book is sacred, word upon "sacred" word. This book ranks among the worst I have ever read and it is arg ...more
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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions As Bill Sees It: The A. A. Way of Life ...Selected Writings of the A. A.'s Co-Founder Daily Reflections: A Book of Reflections by AA Members for AA Members/B-12 Came to Believe Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age: A Brief History of Alcoholic Anonymous

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“One day at a time.” 19 likes
“The feeling of having shared in a common peril is one element in the powerful cement which binds us.” 12 likes
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