2 out of 4 stars
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The Alcohol Memoirs: A Fun Place for Drunks, Drug Users, and Voyeurs by Misty J. Moreton is a collection of 165 writings and a bunch of so-called “quickies”, gathered from all over the U.S.A., that gives a funny, erotic, sometimes grotesque picture of all the stupid things that people do while drunk.
The tipsy gestures range, from having wild sex and not remembering anything the morning after, to sniffing panties, to getting lost literally one block away from home, to passing out on sideways, on top of speaker boxes, on trucks, on couches in random apartments. This is just to mention a few.
Every recollection is characterised by a closing witticism from the author, in a sort of advice column style.
Most of the stories are nothing more than shenanigans; some of them innocent, some others gone terribly wrong. For the readers who have gone through this kind of young-and-stupid phase and have their own memories they could share, there is a good chance you might identify with some of the stories told. I personally did, but will plead the fifth if confronted about it.
While some recollections are so weak that they failed to evoke any kind of feeling, there are a few which left a deep mark, being the result of a traumatic past. I was especially moved by Dangerous Times, a story of physical abuse, where the author regrets getting mad at his mother and telling her she was a horrible mom because she would sit there and let his father beat him and his older sister. From a Vietnam Vet is another soulful one, where a Vietnam vet recalls the horrors of war and how that experience impacted her life and her negative vision of society. In Revenge, instead, a former aviator gets her chance to enact revenge on the man who raped her after getting her drunk.
I have to warn you that, like the title suggests, a good half of the stories contains graphic sex of all sorts. While it is generally known that alcohol has a boosting effect on libido, I would not swear to the authenticity of some stories which feel a bit over the top. In the same way, there are recollections so pointless that have no reason to exist. (Do we really need to read about someone who did not know the side effects of asparagus?) In cases like the latter, the author’s closing comment ends up being more interesting than the recollection itself.
While I understand that this is a collection of memories with a common thread, I would have appreciated some kind of order. The recollections are random and not organized. Some kind of subdivision, even ironic, like The-Hot-and-Bothered-Team, The Amnesiacs or The-Vengeful-Squad would have made some order and warned the readers about the content.
As for the editing, I found very few errors, but it is impossible to say if it was a proofreading slip or if they were intentional, left from the original writers.
The book ends with the invitation from Moreton to contact her if you want to submit your own story for a second collection. While I am sure she can still gather loads of drunk adventures, this first book was brimming with thin recollections that felt like fillers. As much as I understand the enthusiasm of publishing two books instead of one, some stories could have easily been left aside to make room for more interesting tales.
For all the reasons above, I decided to rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. While it is certainly constructive to be faced, in a lighthearted and often sexy way, with the consequences of too much drinking, I was left with a general feeling of chaos. The idea behind the book is good, but it needs to be reorganized.
I recommend it, for a start, to any heavy drinker who was lucky (so far) that nothing bad happened to them (yet). The amount of sexual content makes this book unsuitable to that portion of the audience who might not appreciate the excess of erotic acrobatics.
The Alcohol Memoirs
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