A Love Story

Book - 2005
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Fifteen million Americans a year are plagued with alcoholism. Five million of them are women. Many of them, like Caroline Knapp, started in their early teens and began to use alcohol as "liquid armor," a way to protect themselves against the difficult realities of life. In this extraordinarily candid and revealing memoir, Knapp offers important insights not only about alcoholism, but about life itself and how we learn to cope with it.

It was love at first sight. The beads of moisture on a chilled bottle. The way the glasses clinked and the conversation flowed. Then it became obsession. The way she hid her bottles behind her lover's refrigerator. The way she slipped from the dinner table to the bathroom, from work to the bar. And then, like so many love stories, it fell apart. Drinking is Caroline Kapp's harrowing chronicle of her twenty-year love affair with alcohol.

Caroline had her first drink at fourteen. She drank through her yeras at an Ivy League college, and through an award-winning career as an editor and columnist. Publicly she was a dutiful daughter, a sophisticated professional. Privately she was drinking herself into oblivion. This startlingly honest memoir lays bare the secrecy, family myths, and destructive relationships that go hand in hand with drinking. And it is, above all, a love story for our times--full of passion and heartbreak, betrayal and desire--a triumph over the pain and deception that mark an alcoholic life.

Praise for Drinking

"Quietly moving . . . Caroline Knapp dazzles us with her heady description of alcohol's allure and its devastating hold." -- Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Filled with hard-won wisdom . . . [a] perceptive and revealing book." -- San Francisco Chronicle

"Eloquent . . . a remarkable exercise in self-discovery." -- The New York Times

" Drinking not only describes triumph; it is one." -- Newsweek
Publisher: New York : Bantam Dell, 2005
Edition: Dial Press Trade paperback edition
ISBN: 9780385315548
Branch Call Number: 362.29209 K7273K 2005
Characteristics: xvi, 286 pages ; 21 cm


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Sep 05, 2015

An autobiography that burns with intense honesty and vulnerability. Knapp so openly and willingly dissects herself that I at times wanted to cry. Not just for her, but for myself, and every other person who has fought addiction. She stares into the mirror with a savage kind of courage, and had me standing right beside her, seeing so much of myself in her reflection.
Hands down the most moving, intimate, and insightful autobiography I've ever read.

Nov 01, 2014

Great stuff. Honest, very honest, informative, hopeful in its way. Very true story of alcoholism.

I'm not alcoholic, but I've lived some similarly destructive strategies to avoid pain, and I found it brought back similar memories and was both useful and painful to read.

May 10, 2014

Excellent book. Gifted writer who died too young from lung cancer.

May 10, 2014

This book should be read by anyone whose life has been touched by an alcoholic. I was greatly disappointed to learn that Knapp had died of lung cancer quite a while ago as I wanted to tell her just how much I learned from this book. The book is not purely linear which makes for good storytelling. The characters, her family, friends, lovers, are vividly drawn. Knapp is an excellent writer and what she says here is of enormous value.

Mar 29, 2011

great book about how one becomes vulnerable to alcohol and how to free yourself from it

Mar 07, 2011

A tale of a young life wasted drinking day and night. Remarkable how much writing she managed. An alkie's story better appreciated by readers who have been closer to this illness.


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