Narrator: Johnny Mack
Publisher: Stokes Creative LLC (2017)
Length: 1 hour 19 minutes
Originally written nearly 40 years ago, this journalistic report of Wisconsin drinking and alcoholism still is relevant today. Bill Stokes strikes a sound balance between harsh facts and humanizing a variety of alcoholics.
From teens to the working man to the house wife to the lonely pastor to the well-liked young man – anyone can go from light drinker to an alcoholic. Stokes includes more examples, but you get the picture with the few I’ve mentioned here. In a few sentences, he paints a vivid picture of each, making it easy to picture people I know in real life in the same position. I like that this work points out that many kids learn from their parents about using alcohol appropriately, or not.
This non-fiction essay includes a brief discussions of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and other ‘cures’. He brings up questions about the cycle of ‘curing alcoholics’ only to have them back in the system a few months or years later. The author is frank with the reader and includes his own experience with drinking heavily and how he has changed his life and why.
While there are plenty statistics, they are no longer accurate today. However, they are still starkly frightening. It does make me wonder what the current statistics are with the higher population. This work is definitely dated with references to women entering the work force and “that’s why they need to relax like the working men.” I don’t know how accurate that is but I would like to see something backing it up… or not.
Stokes does point at the alcohol industry and their lobbying of Wisconsin laws concerning who can drink, advertising, etc. quite often throughout the piece. Again, I would like to see how accurate that is for today’s alcohol lobbying and the industry.
I originally read this as an ebook which, unfortunately, had several typos. I believe these typos were introduced when the Word or PDF version was translated into the Kindle version. For example, several times an ‘I’ will be an exclamation mark or such. Anyway, I found the audiobook version much more enjoyable because I don’t get hung up on the typos.
Narration: Johnny Mack did a decent job on this one. Sometimes he has an odd pause and sometimes he doesn’t pause as we move from one section or chapter to another. Other than that, he gave a good performance. He never sounded bored with the subject matter.
What I Liked: Fun cover art; a serious subject; even tho it’s decades old, it’s still relevant today; author humanized the issue; audiobook is better than the ebook.
What I Disliked: References to women are sometimes dated; some odd pauses, or lack of them, in the narration.