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Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp

Drinking: A Love Story (edition 1997)

by Caroline Knapp

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912209,640 (3.93)27
Title:Drinking: A Love Story
Authors:Caroline Knapp
Info:Dial Press Trade Paperback (1997), Edition: Reprint, Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:Memoir, Case Studies, Alcoholism, Women

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Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp


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It is difficult to ready any story about a fall from grace, especially one written as honestly and bluntly as Caroline Knapp's. The story winds its way around different out-of-control drinking; when Knapp drank, why she thought she drank so much, the people she affected with her drinking, all the denials along the way. At times her stories seemed repetitive and meandering but that perception comes from the why of it all. Knapp was clearly in pain and had trouble rationalizing her rage. She brought two points home: you don't need to have suffered a trauma to become addicted to anything and once you recognize your problem, your addiction is never again a normalized behavior. In the world of alcohol, most people think nothing of having a cocktail with friends, a beer after work. All of that became off limits to Knapp once she accepted her addiction. It is clear Knapp had an addictive personality. She was drawn to obsessions and performed rituals while drinking, rituals about food consumption to the point of anorexia, rituals in how she fought with her boyfriends. Even after sobriety, Knapp was drawn to obsessions concerning cleanliness and being constantly aware of how large a role alcohol plays in our society. Even the words "champagne bunch" grated on her abstinence. In the end, Knapp was resolved to take one day at a time. She couldn't set large goals for herself while her drinking was larger than her resolve. She was smart to know that every day was a major victory. Her story ends unresolved but hopeful. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Dec 17, 2014 |
Well written story of the author's descent into alcoholism and her achievement of sobriety. Great insights about the dynamics of addiction and of recovery through institutional treatment and active and continuing participation in Alcoholics Anonymous. ( )
  dickmanikowski | Sep 28, 2014 |
Caroline Knapp was a gifted writer, and the story of her struggle with alcohol is beautifully told. ( )
  dysmonia | Apr 15, 2014 |
Caroline gives her story of addiction to alcohol moving toward recovery. It is well written and gives some good incite for those that struggle to understand addiction or how a person can become addicted without past trauma or a genetic link. My only critique is it is 89% drunkalogue. I don't mind drunkalogues but the intriguing journey is that of recovery, which she glosses over and spends very little talking about besides saying it was painful at first and has changed her life for the better. ( )
  revslick | Dec 10, 2013 |
Caroline Knapp's memoir of alcoholism is moving and, like Pete Hamill's memoir, both humorously self-aware and hard-nosed in examining the writer's addiction to alcohol. Otherwise, this is a different book and one which has inspired me to reexamine my own attitudes toward addiction, addicts and the ways I cope with emotions. ( )
  nmele | Apr 6, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Caroline Knappprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mijn, Aad van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385315546, Paperback)

The roots of alcoholism in the life of a brilliant daughter of an upper-class family are explored in this stylistic, literary memoir of drinking by a Massachusetts journalist. Caroline Knapp describes how the distorted world of her well-to-do parents pushed her toward anexoria and then alcoholism. Fittingly, it was literature that saved her: She found inspiration in Pete Hamill's A Drinking Life and sobered up. Her tale is spiced with the characters she's known along the way.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:31 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"It happened this way: I fell in love and then, because the love was ruining everything I cared about, I had to fall out." So begins Drinking: A Love Story, journalist Caroline Knapp's brave and powerful memoir of her twenty years as a functioning alcoholic. Knapp writes that she loved liquor the way she loved bad men and, like all tragic love stories, hers is a tale of seduction and betrayal, a testament to the alluring but ultimately destructive powers of addiction. Fifteen million Americans a year are afflicted with the disease of alcoholism. Five million of them are women. Caroline Knapp, for example, started drinking at age fourteen. She drank through her years at an Ivy League college, through an award-winning career as a lifestyle editor and columnist. Publicly she was a dutiful daughter, attentive friend, sophisticated professional. Privately she was drinking herself into oblivion, trapped in love relationships that continued to undermine her self-esteem - until a series of personal crises forced her to confront and ultimately break free of the "liquid armor" she'd used to shield herself from the complicated battles of growing up. Caroline Knapp's ruthless self-examination, moral courage, and singular ability as a writer inform this remarkable memoir with many new insights about alcoholism, but more important, with many profound insights about life.… (more)

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