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The Alcoholics by Jim Thompson
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The Alcoholics (1953)

by Jim Thompson

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» See also 6 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
Well, I guess pulp fiction just isn't my genre. Parts of this story are funny, but most of it is painfully bad. Despite giving it several tries, I could not finish the book. ( )
  SukiSu | Apr 8, 2017 |
A strange story. A struggling, frantic doctor, Dr. Murphy, runs a struggling, weird clinic to treat alcoholics. With a sadistic nurse. And a pregnant woman. And a man who is essentially a vegetable. Just a weird, strange story. ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Feb 2, 2015 |
I honestly could not find any redeeming features about this book. I tried. I read through the whole short volume. I didn't like the characters, the story, or its treatment of the main subject - alcoholism. I didn't like its treament of the mentally ill or its treatment of women or an individual who speaks with a lisp. I couldn't tell if the story was supposed to be funny or serious. Perhaps my reaction was because it was a "dated" book - having been written in 1953.

To be fair, if the author were alive now, I wouldn't mind seeing him write a more modern version of this story for comparison.

The story begins with a doctor (Is he a psychiatrist? I don't really know.) who is director of a small facility for patients who are alcoholics. When the patients get out of control, they are given small amounts of alcohol to drink. What?! The most pressing problem is how the facility, down on money, is to get enough financial backing to survive.

Truthfully? I'd have shut this facility, built a new facility in its place and hired new, accountable staff. Hey! It was only a story, though... ( )
1 vote SqueakyChu | Jul 1, 2013 |
A bizarre little book, and when you're talking about Thompson that's saying something. Anyone familiar with his work, such as the wonderful "The Killer Inside Me" or "The Grifters" should not expect writing on that level here. What you do get is a down-on-his-luck doctor who means well but is ineffectual at curing alcoholics, a cook who believes in voodoo, an orderly who practices medicine when no one is looking and a sadistic nurse who gets off on torturing the resident lobotomy patient. Oh, and various drunks. It's a fast read and weird. ( )
  mstrust | Apr 10, 2009 |
By the time Thompson gets around to debriefing the reader on all the characters, the book is over and done with.

In picking up the book, I knew I would be satisfied if it had at least one interesting thing to say about drinking. It had a few, so not a bad read.
  uckfay | Mar 30, 2008 |
Showing 5 of 5
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jim Thompsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gifford, BarryIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
KirwanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Brien, GeoffreyAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679733132, Paperback)

Dr. Peter S. Murphy runs a clinic to cure alcoholics. But his charges believe that the only thing that will fix them is another drink. To this bitter struggle of wills, add an orderly who doubles as a quack practitioner, a nurse who is both alluring and ingeniously sadistic, and a misplaced patient whose main problem is his lack of a frontal lobe, and the result is one of Jim Thompson's most harrowingly funny yet deeply sympathetic novels.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:52 -0400)

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