Monday, November 05, 2018

Five of the best books to understand drinking

Leslie Jamison is the author of the essay collection The Empathy Exams, a New York Times bestseller, and the novel The Gin Closet, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her latest book is The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath. At the Guardian, she tagged five of the best books that "offer solace, if not salvation" to readers in the grip of drinking. One title on the list:
It was only after I’d done a lot of drinking –and eventually got sober – that I realised how much Stephen King’s horror classic The Shining, a novel that seems to be about a man’s breakdown in a haunted hotel, is actually about drinking. The protagonist is a dry drunk who relapses (either physically or spiritually, it’s never entirely clear) when a ghost-bartender serves him a long row of whiskey shots at the deserted bar; and the novel explores what happens when longing isn’t reckoned with, only suppressed; how anger and nostalgia can combine forces in toxic ways.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Shining is among Jeff Somers's ten all-time scariest haunted house books and five books totally unlike their adaptations, Laura Purcell's five top gothic novels, Sam Riedel's six eeriest SFF stories inspired by true events, Joel Cunningham's top seven books featuring long winters, Ashley Brooke Roberts's seven best haunted house books, Jake Kerridge's top ten Stephen King books, Amanda Yesilbas and Charlie Jane Anders's top ten horror novels that are scarier than most movies, Charlie Higson's top ten horror books, and Monica Ali's best books.

The Page 69 Test: The Gin Closet by Leslie Jamison.

--Marshal Zeringue