cover image Slippery Steps: Rolling and Tumbling Toward Sobriety

Slippery Steps: Rolling and Tumbling Toward Sobriety

Don McLeese. Ice Cube, $21.95 trade paper (360p) ISBN 978-1-948509-35-0

Rock journalist McLeese (Kick Out the Jams) chronicles his road to sobriety in this uninhibited saga. While McLeese initially got sober in an attempt to save his marriage, he remained in denial that he was an alcoholic: “I was a full-grown man, a good father and husband, a responsible breadwinner who had never lost so much as a day of work, let alone a job, to alcohol,” McLeese writes. “I deserved my reward.” As he details his time in Alcoholics Anonymous, he unpacks his relationship to alcohol and how it was shaped by his family (“[My father] drank daily, regularly, habitually, and he drank a lot”), as well as his early obsession with rock music, which was accompanied by the use of drugs and alcohol to mask his social anxiety and depression: “I had a drinking solution to a much bigger problem, which was my abject misery and inability to live with that discomfort.” Taking readers along on his path to swearing off alcohol—a battle that only became harder with his increasingly demanding positions as a rock critic and college professor—McLeese charts in hurtling vignettes a new identity for himself free from the pressure of his addiction. The author’s fans will bask in the storytelling. (Sept.)