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Sober Stick Figure: A Memoir

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  884 ratings  ·  125 reviews
Sober Stick Figure is a memoir from stand-up comedian Amber Tozer, chronicling her life as an alcoholic and her eventual recovery— starting with her first drink at the age of seven—all told with the help of childlike stick figures. Amber writes and illustrates the crazy and harsh truths of being raised by alcoholics, becoming one herself, stagnating in denial for years, an ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published May 31st 2016 by Running Press Adult
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)
To read more of my reviews please go to Lit. Wit. Wine and Dine.

Amber Tozer is super-funny, brutally honest comedian who has bravely chosen to share her story of alcoholism and recovery with the world. If you’re thinking this is another super-heavy memoir that will leave you feeling nothing but depression and pity, just take a look at the cover. That sick figure version of Amber makes frequent appearances throughout the book…

In a very real and funny way, Amber Tozer shares how and why she first
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
I liked this book very much, I'm wavering between 4 or 5 stars. I will write a longer review tomorrow. I do recommend this memoir.

Thought I would add a few more things to my review - I liked the little stick figure drawings that accompanied the author's memories; really cute and clever idea!

I don't know anyone with an addiction to alcohol but I have read similar books and this is well done.

I especially liked the letter she wrote to her father at the end of the book. I had a similar relationshi
Janette Fuller
Mar 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography-memoir
This is a memoir of a young woman's struggle with addiction and recovery.

The book is illustrated with simple stick figures drawn by the author.

This book begins with the following words;
"This is a dark and funny story about alcoholism. I hope it helps anyone who needs it."

I like this book. It informs, enlightens and entertains the reader.

Amber Tozer grew up in a dysfunctional family with an alcoholic father and codependent mother. It is no surprise that she began drinking at a young age.

The pro
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
i really liked this book.
it was a funny, quick read.
i have always had a fear of drinking or drugs (mostly cause i think ill die) and reading this book kind of solidified my reason; its a scary ass thing!!!

Amber talks about growing up, how she was surrounded by alcohol, how she discovered it, kept at it and hid it very well and essentially how she decided that she'd rather live sober than hate life drinking and drinking to keep at life.
its crazy to think how much your childhood life and surrou
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was easy to connect with because I understand the subject matter and am familiar with it. Admittedly on some level we have all experienced the effects of addiction whether it is by direct result of our actions or those of others.

I have been very close to alcoholics all my life. My mom tried and tried and still couldn't keep my dead from drowning/chronic ethanol poisoning homeless dad away from the drug and drank. So while I was scared of it, I grew up in a place where alcohol (abuse) w
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much! Comedian Amber Tozer writes so candidly and honestly about her experiences with alcoholism, and what it took for her to finally become sober. I've followed Amber on Twitter for years, and I am in such awe of her ability to find humor in the dark and twisty moments in life. She has such a unique comedic voice, and the addition of the little stick figure drawings adds a whole other level of humor. They punctuate her stories in such a perfect way that I found myself laugh ...more
Doug Perkins
Apr 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, read it in one afternoon. It is highly relatable, funny, ridiculous, heartbreaking, feel-good, wise, and unlike a lot of books about sobriety, it is never at all preachy.

She takes you through her entire career as a partier. By simply sharing her experience, I imagine she will help countless others reflect on their own partying careers.

Oh yeah, and the drawings are frickin' hysterical. They are the perfect punctuation to her stories and highlight her original voice. Really we
Alan Peralta
Apr 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: expected-more
I really wanted to like it more. The great title, the funny and childish drawings, the interesting preview (a stand-up comedian tackling the bitter subject of getting clean) promised for a lot more.

The problem for me it's that it didn't delivered on the funny side. The narrative feels dull, monotone and tedious. Just an account of things that happened. And when the author puts a funny twist or side note, it feels compelled to comment on it (a constant "see what I did there?"), that makes it feel
Ed Crasnick
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Reading Amber Tozer's book is funny, moving and real. How many things can you say that about? Reading Sober Stick Figure was a sobering experience in the best way. In her writing, she's honest with you and willing to take risks. To me, the book is worth reading for that alone. But there is a lot more. She's not afraid of being human or looking bad. Because of that, she's really funny, especially in the darkest moments. She doesn't hide things, she blows them up. Also, it was very interesting to ...more
Apr 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A memoir of a stand-up comedian who starts drinking at age seven and continuing until it is more than she can handle. This book is about alcoholism and how it causes problems in your life. Amber finally meets someone who is sober. She starts attending AA and becomes sober.

The author draws little stick figures throughout the book. The book is funny at times even though she is also seriously writing about an addiction she lived with for three decades. She is now sober. I hope she continues to stay
It's not that I'm not excited by someone's moment of clarity or their process of recovery, it's just that I'm not into the terrible before recovery stuff because been there, done that. This is outside of my usual wheelhouse as well as comfort zone, but it was still pretty okay for all that, and kudos to Amber Tozer. I'm just at my limit for 362.292092 for the year, not matter how good everyone says Blackout is. ...more
Brina Sample
Jun 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is an excellent read. I could not put it down. The drawings and captions are hilarious. I am almost sixty years old and loved it and I know teenagers who also loved it. This book is a true picture of what alcoholics go through. Anyone who is an alcoholic or knows one, or is just starting to drink should read this book. It is laugh out loud funny, easy to read , and inspiring all at the same time. I hope this author writes another book LOVED IT...

Jun 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I thought the book was GREAT! Coming from a family of alcoholics this book put a fun yet serious twist to how booze and drugs can change a person. This book is a great read, not only for the recovering alcoholics but for anyone who has experienced alcoholism through family and friends.

Lee Anne
Jun 06, 2016 rated it liked it
A painful and funny memoir by writer and comedian (and great Tweeter) Tozer, about her family and her battle with alcoholism. Best are the very funny crayon-style stick figure drawings that illustrate the story throughout.
Mar 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful, funny, heartfelt book. Nice time piece. I got an advanced copy. I suggest you do the same. easy read. I liked that part!
Asterios Kokkinos
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Incredible read from start to finish. Powerful, mesmerizing, and above all hilarious. Anyone who would give this less than three stars is a monster. A literal monster.
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Sober Stick Figure is brilliant.

When my book was delivered, I eagerly ripped open the package it came in and thumbed through the book's pages. Wow. I was expecting a few stick figure drawings scattered throughout the text, but there were stick figure drawings on *every* page spread! They were crudely drawn and laugh-out-loud funny. All 269 of them (yes, I later counted the drawings).

Then I sat down with the book and started reading the text. By the time I finished reading the first four sentence
Jackie Olson
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The stick figures freaken rock, providing comic relief and another level of tragic intimacy around an often heartbreaking subject - addiction.

Amber Tozer was (is?) an alcoholic and she shares the insidious way alcohol took over her life. I was fascinated with her journey and the twists and turns her life has taken. Mostly I applaud her brutal honest and vulnerability and felt she didn't hold back. It's raw.

I appreciated her dry humor and the way she drops bombs throughout. I'd go back and re-re
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Technically, I would give this book fewer than four stars because the writing isn’t really that great. It writes more like an amateur blog post. It definitely isn’t what you’re expecting when you pick up a book, even a memoir.

Stylistically though, it works. Her run on sentences, dopey side comments, flat out monotone style of reporting, Amber Tozer makes it work. As a memoir of drinking, it’s heartbreaking and honest and beautiful and sad. There’s a little bit of “you WHAT!?” combined with “c’m
May 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is by far one of the best books I've read. This lady has made me giggle, reminisce my own past, aswel as picture my future. I've literally just finished this book, it's currently 04:18am in the UK. I'm truly speechless and inspired.

If anyone is interested in Dysfunctional Familes/relationships, MentalHealth, Alcohol, Addictions and Grief...then this book is one for you to purchase when it's released.

I'm not a reviewer who likes to tell the story, I'm one who likes to give my honest re
Pam Cipkowski
May 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was the best book! Funny, fascinating, was an easy read, and I couldn’t put it down. Required reading for anyone who is battling an alcohol addiction or in recovery, or has a friend or loved one with an addiction. And if you don’t fall into this category, read it anyway--you will love it! The author, a stand-up comedian and comedy writer, shares her experiences growing up in a family where alcohol and drinking were always acceptable, despite the warning signs of it taking i ...more
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Amber Tozer's brute honesty and raw courage tear through this book with integrity and humor, straight to your solar plexus. I'm grateful to this author for her "no holds barred" commando telling and sharing of her life. Her truthfulness, heart and authenticity show the way to forgiveness and self acceptance. There are few among us who don't need that behavioral recipe to quell the roaring sea inside, addict or not.

Tozer's book is a funny yet stark and bold tale of addiction's painful path
and s
Kathy B
Jul 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I found a review of this book online and was intrigued by the premise. The author wrote her memoir about her alcoholism and eventual sobriety and illustrated it with stick figures. The illustrations are what make this book amazing. She perfectly captures situations with her drawings and captions. It was obvious she wrote it as she remembered it (although she admits to many blackouts! ), complete with curse words and an unflinching look at her path through life. It made me think of a friend who h ...more
Dana Franklin
Aug 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
I wanted to like this book, and I liked it while reading most of it, but by the end I barely wanted to give it two stars. I wish the author had spent more time talking about her recovery. Her description of it took up a tiny portion of the book and felt strangely rushed and glossed over. I came away from the book not impressed by her recovery, but put off by how much the author reveled in describing the constant stream of lucky breaks she was granted despite her constant state of drunkenness. Th ...more
Feb 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Amber Tozer has written a wonderfully relatable book about alcoholism in a language her generation will understand. Although I found her drunkalog to be longer than maybe it needed to be, she pulls no punches when it comes to accurately describing the lows to which booze can take a person. Thankfully, she also spends some quality time on the many gifts of sobriety. This will be a fantastic book for young people who might be questioning their drinking habits to get their hands on.
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very good book! I loved the drawings, they were hilarious and oftentimes, worth a thousand words..
It wasn't as gut-wrenching as Blackout Girl by Jennifer Storm but it was still very tough. My only criticism is that the end, her recovery process, seemed rushed through. Yes, her downward spiral was morbidly interesting but I feel like the recovery was skimmed over and it felt like too much at once. It would have been better if she had kept the same pace.
Stu Levine
Jun 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This book is excellent. I knew I was going to like it when I saw the woman passed out on the front cover (not in a Bill Cosby way, in a person who likes funny drawings kind of way,) but OMG I never expected it to be so consistently funny. That is not to say it is without it's serious moments, this is a book that tugs on the heart strings while tickling the funny bone. I'm giving this one 3 thumbs up! (That's right, I like it so much I'm getting another arm transplanted to my chest.) ...more
CeCe Pleasants Adams
Jun 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is a hilarious, sad, disturbing, but mostly hilarious look at a young woman's struggle with addiction. Amber Tozer tells her gripping life story with candor, grace and pictures!! We all love pictures!!
There is something so relatable about the way this author tells her story -- and it's not just the stick figures -- we've all dealt with disfunction, but Tozer weaves the yarn of her life and the lives around her in a way that truly sucks you in. Read this book!!!
Autumn Dowling
Mar 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is wonderful. I laughed and I cried and I couldn't put it down. I loved reading about her dysfunctional family and how she felt about them. The way she explained how she reached her bottom and decided to change her life was so sad and hilarious all at the same time. The funny twist she put on dark situations with the use of illustrations was brilliant. LOVED IT!

Claudia Turner
May 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is going to stay around my favorite bookshelf or even (shh) my toilet because I enjoy looking at it so much. It's accessible, relatable, and hilarious. It's also touching. I have never read anything like it before and think Amber has a gift as a writer and comedian but more importantly a thoughtful person. ...more
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Amber Tozer has written for the Cartoon Network’s animated sketch series MAD and Adult Swim’s Moral Orel. Her tweets have been featured by Ellen, Huffington Post, Playboy, and Mandatory. She co-created #nitTWITS, a Twitter-based web series that features writers and performers from SNL, Modern Family, The Office and Conan. She has appeared on Last Comic Standing, performs stand-up comedy across the ...more

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