Book Review: Undrunk

UNDRUNK:  A Skeptic’s Guide to AA, by A. J. Adams, © 2009

Undrunk: A Skeptic's Guide To AA

As a long time member of Alcoholics Anonymous, I found this book to be a moderately entertaining peek inside the complex organization that is AA.  It’s a good basic primer for folks who are wondering if AA might work for them, with the author explaining his personal experience with the 12 Steps (one year when the book was written,) including his misgivings and misconceptions going in and lessons learned.

The book suffers, however, from overlong explanations which became tedious very quickly.  I was also disappointed that the author didn’t cite his sources in those sections dealing with AA history.

I have mixed feelings about this book.  Anyone wishing to know what AA attendance is like would do better to go to a dozen or so meetings and get the experience first hand.  For those who think that would be too time consuming, following a dozen or so AA recovery blogs or forums for a month would give a more complete picture.  Still, for those with more money than time, this book would be a worthwhile read.  I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

  1. I read this book early in recovery and found it more entertaining than informative. It was nonetheless a positive glimpse into the 12-step world, so its heart seemed in the right place. You offer some excellent practical suggestions for those curious about AA.

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  2. I appreciate your review, I am just about to release my book, 30 Days of Recovery, which I am probably keeping the name only because that’s what everyone knows it as, I would change it if possible. There’s actually quite a bit I would like to change but I have been advised to keep it as is because it was written in early recovery and therefore should reflect early recovery. My sixth draft is about to go out to three author friends who are going to give me notes. I will consider their notes, make my final changes and release the book as an E-book first. It caught my eye about citing work on AA history. I have referenced things in my book about AA and NA but I am not sure if just giving credit in the passage is good enough.

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  3. Really appreciate this information. Found your blog through Google. Specifically I appreciate such data as ” … those with more money than time …” Wow. Definitely people who have plenty of money to spend on books; and then people like me who DON’T. And, very little time to do worthwhile research. I look forward to following your blog. T

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  4. Thanks for the candid review. I appreciate the honest opinions and I hate when someone feels obligated to give a positive review. I won’t be scrambling to the bookstore for this one, but if it crosses my path I’ll give it a try.

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