cover image Pour Me: A Life

Pour Me: A Life

A.A. Gill. Blue Rider, $26 (288p) ISBN 978-0-399-57491-7

British journalist Gill lays everything on the line in this honest, if disjointed, memoir of a drinking life. His readers are used to his biting wit and endless jabs in the Sunday Times, but this may be the first time his barbs are so publicly pointed at himself. Through the shards of his own jagged memory, Gill describes piecing together his life after subjecting his body to drugs and alcohol. The story skips around between “the end of a marriage and the end of drinking.” His last drink was decades ago on his way to rehab: a glass of Champagne with his father. Drinking strips away memory, so the timing of events is askew, with individual scenes like “fragments from sagas found stuffed in a mattress,” but when Gill locks into a moment, especially one from his years as a young, destructive drunk, readers are brought face to face with a gripping truth. Gill’s story holds up a mirror with which to evaluate one’s own ugly and beautiful jaunts through life. His is not a tale told with a clear beginning, middle, or end; it is, however, chock full of wit and humanity, and enhanced by Gill’s striking gift for prose. (Sept.)