Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
Alfred the Great
on 6 November 2012
In a clever weave of narrative and dialogue, the author takes us through the ups and downs of a pair of alcoholics, one determined to steer the other clear of his vice that would inevitably end in his early death.
"We walked down the street laughing. It was the first time I had seen Barry laugh and he did so like a naughty child. I couldn't help noticing his teeth, and the fact that he seemed to have all the normally visible one. I was pleased for him, but felt like a horse vet."
"So Father Ralf was another unbeliever in Barry's return to a sober, useful life? Only the powers above could save him from earthly; and celestial, no doubt, damnation? I would show them! But no, it was Barry who was going to show them, and I was to merely move a string or two from above the stage; a black clad puppeteer making barely perceptible finger movements that even he would scarcely notice."
At times the story is of a desperate, last-ditch attempt of one human being trying to save another. At other times during their mission the two alcoholics interact with other believable characters, as they pick a course between state and charity organisations on the road to redemption. The rare set of human qualities that Alfred possesses enables him to not only see the chances of saving Barry right from the outset, when others had given up on him, but also to give Barry the care and space for him to help himself ... the finer points of which the state system of dealing with drop outs from society, would completely miss.
The choice of subject matter and the in-depth understanding of the way alcoholics behave, gives the reader a reassuring feeling that the author knows what he is writing about. This short book may not have wide appeal, but for those who choose to read it, it will undoubtedly leave them with a warm feeling ... and maybe it will even spur on a few more Alfreds to do their good work on this earth!
Often humorous ... occasionally grim ... but in the end enlightening. A story of human salvation.