Art of Psychiatry Society

Review of ‘The Alcoholic’
March 17, 2011, 6:29 pm
Filed under: Comics

Jonathan A., the protagonist in this semi-autobiographical book, is a writer and an alcoholic with a ‘propensity for getting into trouble’.  As we first meet him he’s drunkenly running from the police having been apprehended in flagrante with a dwarven pensioner.  Predominantly telling his story in flashback, A. charts the beginning of his problems to high school 22 years earlier, the first time he experience the dangerous sensation that alcohol made him cool.

A.’s heavy drinking continues through college and worsens with the death of his parents, but a spell in rehab allows him to remain abstinent and to establish himself as a crime writer.  But sobriety does not improve the other theme of this book: his troubled relationships with men and women.  The failure of the friendship with a treasured teenage male friend wounds him in particular whilst his relationship with an aging aunt is his only relationship of any stability.  Eventually he falls in catastrophic love with a woman who is much younger than him, and the drawn out swansong of this romance returns him to drink.

‘The Alcoholic’ is artfully drawn as well as being pacey and grimly compelling.  Although predominantly concerned with loss and melancholy, it is not without humour.

Review by Dr Stephen Ginn.  This review originally appeared in the London Division newsletter

3 Comments so far
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interesting blog.

Comment by ly

I’m loving your new blog. You cover an interesting subject area – I’d love you to link up at my blog Monday. Its a static bloghop where other bloggers who deal with mental health link up their blogs to meet each other basically. I also appreciate the connection to creativity/art – I try to do so at my blog. Great to find you. Shah. X

Comment by Shah Wharton

Hi Shan, sorry I don’t understand what it is you’re proposing – what’s a bloghop?

I’ll put you on my blogroll if that’s helpful.

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