How he got there, how he finally got on the road to recovery, and how he copes with being sober on a daily basis are the subjects of The Other Great Depression, Lewis' very funny, deeply honest, inspiring, but very unsentimental book.
©2008 Richard Lewis; (P)2008 Phoenix Books
"[A] stunning autobiography....Lewis narrates with the same unsentimental, straightforward, and hilarious manner that he does on stage....Lewis's inspiring message and clear-cut voice make for addictive listening." (Publishers Weekly)
i love richard lewis as a comedian and actor but this book proves that he is not a good writer in my opinion. as a fan i really wanted to like this book. i really did but in the end i was just willing myself through it. the book jumps around different periods of richard's life in a very chaotic fashion. it starts with some stories from his children and then just wizzes back and forth through emotional chapters of his addiction and recovery. to hear about his emotional states and experiences is of course interesting but a longed for more basic facts to put it all in context. how he started in comedy, what it is really like to do stand up etc. the book is very repetitive in my opinion - he keeps describing his lack of self-worth and how rough it feels to be addicted but we don't really get to hear how he actually got to those points. there are some really funny bits - for example his description of a recurring day dream where he meets actor and comedy heros on brooklyn bridge while he contemplates jumping. and there is an amusing story about meeting bill clinton and chasing a women in car to chat her up behind his girlfriends back. but it just doesn't hand together very well. i'm pleased that he is on the other side of his addiction and wish him all the best health but will hold back from buying another of his books.
"Not your average drunkalogue"
I have been a Richard Lewis fan since I started watching "Curb Your Enthusiasm" on DVD.
This book, read by the author, is an insightful and profound odyssey into the depths of alcoholism and addiction, combined with his spiritual journeys in recovery. There were some excellent sound-bytes and one-liners and I had to keep rewinding in order to memorize them.
I found the delivery a little flat in Part 1 but he warms to his subject and sounds more animated in Part 2. I think the book was originally written some time in the early 2000's, with an "Afterward" from 2007. I couldn't understand why he refers to flight attendants as "stewardesses" unless the outdated term was purposely used in the context of the past.
I'll give this one a "five" as the dominant theme is that chemical sobriety is only a beginning, and that it takes work to stay on the path, while still having fun.
"The Other Great Depression (Unabridged)"
Richard Lewis has been funny to me for many, many years. To learn of his struggle was sad, but very uplifting, when he relates that he conquered his demons 15 years ago. He is funny and straight, at the same time. And this seems to be his success story. I am in awe of what he has done and how he has told his story.
"I think I dated this guy"
Not really. Just someone like him. If you've ever dated an alcoholic, you might find it as painful to listen to his chapter on how PMS destroyed his relationships as I did. Maybe you will also find it an opportunity to gain insight into why such relationships fail, and some forgiveness. I tried to do that - but eventually gave up.
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