A Book That Will Make You Never Want to Drink Again

Charles Jackson's 'The Lost Weekend': The Book That Will Make You Never Want to Drink Again : The New Yorker: "Though Charles Jackson denied it for several years, nearly every part of the novel was based on his own life. Years of alcoholism had given him the subject of what would be his only great novel, but he was long sober by the time he wrote it. As was true for Don Birnam, the drinking years were not writing years; his prose wasn’t fuelled by nightly whiskey binges but instead required physical stamina and a clear mind. “The Lost Weekend” made Jackson famous for a time. Billy Wilder directed a fine movie out of it. The novel became a kind of horrifying textbook for alcoholics, evidence of the final depths of self-hatred and madness in that place near rock bottom, and Jackson himself seemed to many a paragon of recovery, someone who had made it through the fire to the other side. Yet in the years following the success of “The Lost Weekend,” Jackson resumed drinking, as well as taking pills, and required frequent hospitalizations. In 1953, he got clean again, joining Alcoholics Anonymous . . . ."  (read more at the link above)

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