Whiskey's Children

Jack Erdmann, Author, Anne Lamott, Introduction by, Larry Kearney, With Kensington Publishing Corporation $21.5 (211p) ISBN 978-1-57566-215-2
As an eight-year-old altar boy in St. Louis, Erdmann learned that getting drunk on communion wine blotted out the pain and confusion he felt about living in a dysfunctional family dominated by an abusive, alcoholic, drug-addicted father. ""I wasn't Jack Erdmann, I was a secret watcher with a warm belly,"" he remembers in this extraordinary tale of spiraling descent and recovery. By the time Erdmann was a teenager, his guardedly tender, reverent soul was buried under the classic alcoholic need to ""to make it to the other side where things are different."" Drinking hard in a bar every day after high school, Erdmann learned the alcoholic's code: ""The pain can be killed"" and ""Kill the pain at all cost."" For a time, Erdmann's wit, charm and considerable talent as a salesman allowed him to appear to have a life. Ultimately, of course, the charade cracked to pieces. While in rehab, a phrase from the 12 Steps of A.A. about God's willingness to help bloomed inside him ""like stop-motion flowers. I know that something true has gotten inside."" In her introduction, Lamott calls Erdmann a ""vital and wise and honorable man."" Most readers will agree. With wonderful emotional honesty and precision, Erdmann and Kearney (Streaming) offer up Erdmann's own suffering as a powerful source of healing and hope. You don't have to be an alcoholic to be inspired by the grace that pulled Erdmann ""out of the machinery"" of addiction. 50,000 first printing; author tour. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-1-57566-305-0
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