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Books > Books about Alcoholism or Drug Abuse

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message 1: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
What the best books that involve alcoholism and or drug abuse? I think my favourite is Fear and Loathing.


message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Good topic! I haven't seen one around GR before.

The first 1/3 of A Million Little Pieces by James Frey is pretty good. He describes the experience well enough that even folks without the addiction, that don't have a clue, can feel it. The rest is complete crap, though.

Alcoholics Anonymous - Big Book 4th Edition is good too. Over half the book is stories of alcohol abuse.


message 3: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
I heard that James Frey got in trouble for saying it was non fiction but he changed a major part of it so that it would be better for the book. Do you know anything about that?


message 4: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Frey lied through his teeth & spun out a fantasy - which anyone who was in recovery knew instantly. It is a typical fantasy, not what actually could have even been in the realm of reality, though. Oprah was a damn fool to get sucked into it, especially over the objections of her medical expert. Read my review of the book & you might find more details.


message 5: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
Oh right. So he claimed that it was all true? I have got the book but i haven't got round to reading it. I will check out your review.


message 6: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) He did at first & Oprah went along enthusiastically. It was a shame because it's such an obvious fantasy. As if a rehab would allow someone to run their own program - a little common sense tells anyone that a person only winds up in rehab because their program failed badly. Nor would they allow him break several 'instant out' rules with impunity. His heroic rescue of the girl from the evil crack house was almost funny, as was his description of the party that the mob guy threw.

I can't believe anyone swallowed it as anything but fiction, but I know my mother & her book club buddies all did because Oprah said it was so. I thought better of my mother's intelligence.


message 7: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
I guess not everyone has experienced that kind of thing and are naive to what happens. You would have though that Oprah would have known though or at least someone would have told her. I will probably still read the book even though i know all this now. I don't know what i would have thought of it because i have no idea what goes on in rehab.


message 8: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) It came out later that Oprah was told by her medical expert before the interview that it was extremely unlikely that his book was factual. I know several people who are in recovery that have read it & all agreed that it was the worst kind of fantasy. It goes against everything that really helps get someone clean & sober - wishful thinking - the idea that doing the same thing again will yield different results. Since you plan to read it, please keep that firmly in mind & feel free to ask any questions that might come up.

I've reviewed several other books on this subject, if you're interested. They're on the 'self-help' shelf in my books. I'm not terribly well read on the subject, but I went to (I'm pretty sure) the same rehab as Frey did over 20 years ago, so I have a fair amount of practical experience of my own, plus that of a lot of friends with similar issues.


message 9: by Jo (new)

Jo | 2241 comments Mod
I will check out your shelf. I bet she felt silly when it all came out that it was lies! I saw that you had been to rehab in your review. I am very happy for you that you got over it. I can imagine that its a very hard thing to do.


message 10: by Melissa (new)

Melissa I just checked out your shelves Jim, and added a few to my TBR. I've tried, and not finished, several books on the subject. I think they just hit too close to home. I don't have addictions myself, but married into a family with ingrained alcoholic dynamics almost 20 years ago, and fell right into the dynamics myself. In 2008, we watched my mother in-law fight cirrhosis for nearly a year before she died. Although our "identified patient" (I hate that term) is gone, our dynamics still live on. I'm going to try some reading again, maybe I'm a little less raw now and can handle it.

Thanks for all the info Jim. I really appreciate it.


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