Top critical review
Never more than a tolerable diversion
12 January 2019
Overall a disappointing read from Spalding - has the usual features of his books, with some funny and successful set pieces of exaggerated comedy. As a book though it just seems that Spalding has failed to actually create any real narrative: the characters are extremely underdeveloped; the random direct address sections were painful to read; and the narrative consists of a series of emotionless anecdotes.
Increasingly, Spalding's books just seem to be written to meet editor/commercial considerations - hence the inclusion of a younger, teenage perspective in this book in addition to his usual male and female perspective. The two most outlandish comedy sections are in the first two chapters and the content is obviously timed to fit in with dry January.
Several parts are actually entertaining, but in comparison to a few of his Love... books there isn't any real heart in Dry Hard and the lack of insight into the characters means the book is more of a tolerable diversion than anything else.