Top critical review
Surprisingly judgmental and superficial at times - there must be better out there
12 January 2019
I picked this book up for a bit of inspiration during dry January due to rave reviews. First and foremost, if this book helps you that's great, and one can only congratulate the author on her transformation. Unfortunately I find the book itself questionable. The author does not wish to be judged by others (and is highly pejorative about those who dare to), but does not shrink back from judgement herself (I don't know what insulting Nigel Farage's appearance has do to with the book's topic - a low blow too considering his father was an alcoholic).
The book's selling point is that it is not merely an account of the author's drinking exploits, but a case for how to live in sobriety. Unfortunately it is precisely here that the book falls flat, with the majority being trite platitudes or just plain filler. In the earlier part of the book, the author fails to resist bragging about how out of control she was (as well as her glamorous and privileged lifestyle). This is a big mistake - she correctly identifies later on that even moderate drinking is dangerous. There are many dependent drinkers who will not relate to the extreme level of consumption she describes, so the bragging of the first section about how out of control she was is not productive towards the book's aim - getting people to stop drinking.
Some rather more unpleasant colours begin to shine through towards the end - she draws attention to the fact that there are 24 alcohol-related deaths every day in the UK, but the thing we are supposed to be shocked about is that 8 of these are women. I think it's important to have female voices writing about this issue, but when men are dying 2:1 over women, it speaks volumes that the author chooses to interpret this statistic the way she does. Generally speaking, men in this story are either actively malevolent figures who took advantage of the author or weak and passive (except, tellingly, members of the author's own family).
I do not think this is a good book, however in this genre, the book's value is the extent to which it works for you. Everyone is different, and it's undeniably uplifting reading about the author's personal transformation. I would strongly recommend buying 'Allen Carr's Easy Way to Control Alcohol' instead of this book. But then, what do I know, in the author's words I'm just one of those 'cowardly nasty trolls who hide behind keyboards and hurl insults at people'.