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Ablutions

Narrated by: Garrick Hagon
Length: 5 hrs and 34 mins
4 out of 5 stars (50 ratings)

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Summary

In a seedy bar in Hollywood, a whiskey-loving barman is drawn into the nocturnal world of his sociopathic clientele, with their squabbles, delusions, and bizarre acts of violence. In this brilliantly funny portrait of addiction and its consequences, escape offers the only chance of survival. Utterly absorbing and surprisingly tender, Ablutions is a startlingly bold and original debut.

©2009 Patrick deWitt (P)2012 W F Howes Ltd

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Booze raddled comedy of nightmares

This is a gritty and frequently nauseating story of a whiskey addicted barman and his descent into oblivion while working in a Hollywood dive bar. The author serves up a series of vignettes filled with vomit, graphic physical decline, revolting sex and the madness of people trapped in the nightmare of drug and alcohol addiction. Patrick De Witt is very impressive author who manages to inject humour and tenderness into the proceedings despite this story being filled with some of the most unappealing people you will never wish to meet. My only quibble is that he seems to focus his revulsion on the rather two dimensional female characters with a number of unpleasant and fairly similar scenes involving haggish and sexually voracious women. My favourite book by this author is The Sisters Brothers and it one I highly recommend. Ablutions is a much more difficult book to love but is well worth a read/listen if you can handle some very strong stuff.

Garrick Hogan does a very fine job of bringing this whole thing to life in all its stomach churning glory.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Unmissable

Where does Ablutions rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
One of the best. Rarely do you find a book which stands out so far above the rest. I wonder how someone can gain such an insight into humanity.

What other book might you compare Ablutions to, and why?
Perhaps something by Michel Houellebecq in so far as the style is so different. It is like a different language.

Which scene did you most enjoy?
No single scene, they are all fascinating.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
Discuss this..

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Ablutions.

I read this book after reading the Sisters Brothers ( Patrick DeWitt ) so it was never going to be as good a read.
but it was good enough. full of reckless characters but no real story.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not DeWitt’s Best

I’ve read most of deWitt’s books and loved them all. Unfortunately this one just got very repetitive with the constant introduction of new characters and the continual drink and drug references.

Maybe I missed something, maybe there was a twist I missed. But it just ended and I didn’t care. Shame.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good but least favourite of deWitts books so far

Nothing new on addiction either - aside from the fact that these characters sit cobbled alongside those in The Sisters Brothers.