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Blackout: Remembering the things I drank to forget Paperback – 14 Jan 2016
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American journalist Sarah Hepola's extraordinary book describes her years of drinking... Writing with warmth and wit she explores reasons for her alcoholism (Independent)
Simply extraordinary. Ms. Hepola's electric prose marks her as a flamingo among this genre's geese... As a form, addiction memoirs are permanently interesting because they're an excuse to crack open a life. Ms. Hepola's book moves to a top shelf in this arena... I'm glad, for herself and for us, that Ms. Hepola found A.A. and other varieties of help. "I had wanted alcohol to make me fearless," she writes. "But by the time I'd reached my mid-30s, I was scared all the time." It's a win-win. She got a better life. We have this book (New York Times)
To say Blackout is a brutally honest memoir would be a bit of an understatement... It's a poignant and revealing look into the mind of an alcoholic that lets the reader experience all of the raw emotions the author feels during her struggles. It's a tale of friendships and how they evolve over the years... Blackout is one of the best memoirs I've read. Like Kristen Johnston's GUTS: The Endless Follies and Tiny Triumphs of a Giant Disaster, it treats a sensitive subject with unbridled honesty and humour. Yes, Blackout is a touching and, at times, heart-breaking story. It will likely make you cry. But it will also make you laugh out loud... a tour de force... Read this book. You won't be disappointed (Dean Dauphinais Huffington Post)
This blew me away... Hepola is astonishingly and moving clear-sighted and honest about her drinking. She's also funny, and dry, and ever so clever (Bookseller (January 2016 preview))
Here's What People In Media Are Excited About In 2015... Sarah Hepola's Blackout, a dark, funny, honest-to-the-bone account of getting sober. (Buzzfeed)
a memoir of her alcoholism but also an empathetic dissection of addiction and American drinking culture, and the blurry lines between the two. Hepola conveys both the horror in the mysteries left after a night smudged dark by drinking, and the draw of overdrinking that kept her carving out her memory with alcohol. (Atlantic)
A memoir that's good and true is a work of art that stands the literary test of time and also serves a purpose in the present. It mines intimate, personal experiences to raise bigger questions, tell a bigger story, help readers understand themselves, their circumstances, their world. Like the best sermon, the best memoir comforts the disturbed and disturbs the comfortable. Blackout, the debut memoir by Salon editor Sarah Hepola, is one such memoir. It's as lyrically written as a literary novel, as tightly wound as a thriller, as well-researched as a work of investigative journalism, and as impossible to put down as, well, a cold beer on a hot day. This book is a must-read redemption for everyone who has ever "craved something good for me" - which is to say, everyone. (Chicago Tribune)
What's important about this book is that it treats alcohol as a symptom of the bigger issues we women deal with... Sarah writes it all with - dare I say? - sassiness and spunk. She's got a strong sense of where she came from, what she came through and where she's going - now that alcohol isn't along for the ride. I admire Sarah's honesty, I admire her anything-but-stereotypical stories and I admire her inventive, funny writing. But mostly, I admire Sarah herself. What she has accomplished - at such a young age - in regard to stepping up on behalf of her own well being. And what she has accomplished with the publication of this book - which has the potential to save the lives of so many other talented, spirited young women. Listen to Sarah Hepola. She's living proof of how fascinating a sober life can be. (Sharon Grigsby Dallas Morning News - Editorial Opinion Blog)
a fucking stellar book... Here's what Blackout is about: body image, sexual consent while being an alcoholic, online dating as a late 30-something, dating while recently sober, the challenge of experiencing your first sober romantic kiss and sexual encounter as a 30-something, AA, feminism, friendship through alcohol and sobriety, the relationship between alcohol and writing, and more... The writing is incredibly smart and maintains a level of intensity you don't often find in long-form memoirs... Blackout is an enthralling interrogation of a life. Even the most banal moments are beautiful, elevated, and resonate across the human experience. (The Rumpus)
Blackout is devoid of preachy admonitions. Instead, Hepola has woven together a compendium of hard facts (like that fragmentary blackouts start at a blood alcohol level of 0.2), personal reflections, and cultural implications; the result is a startlingly personal, in-depth exploration of a phenomenon that's still not completely understood, neither by the scientific world nor, certainly, by victims of recurrent alcohol-induced blackouts (Elle US)
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTELLER
'READ THIS BOOK... IT WILL MAKE YOU CRY. BUT IT WILL ALSO MAKE YOU LAUGH OUT LOUD... A TOUR DE FORCE' Huffington Post
'It's such a savage thing to lose your memory, but the crazy thing is, it doesn't hurt one bit. A blackout doesn't sting, or stab, or leave a scar when it robs you. Close your eyes and open them again. That's what a blackout feels like.'
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Sarah doesn't make Sobriety sound easy, but conveys her own struggle without it sounding like moaning. This was also the funniest account I've read too.
She refers to "drinking: a live story" by carolinne knapp in the book, and her amazing descriptions of how alcoholics experience things like a glass of wine. Blackout is just a very different sort of book, and one I found more fun and motivational.
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