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Summary

Lisa Smith was a bright young lawyer at a prestigious law firm in New York City when alcoholism and drug addiction took over her life. What was once a way she escaped her insecurity and negativity as a teenager became a means of coping with the anxiety and stress of an impossible workload.

Girl Walks Out of a Bar explores Smith's formative years, her decade of alcohol and drug abuse, divorce, and her road to recovery. In this darkly comic and wrenchingly honest story, Smith describes how her circumstances conspired with her predisposition to depression and self-medication in an environment ripe for addiction to flourish. When her close-knit group of high-achieving friends celebrate the end of their grueling workdays with alcohol-fueled nights at the city's clubs and summer weekends partying at the beach, the feel-good times can spiral wildly out of control.

Girl Walks Out of a Bar is a candid portrait of alcoholism through the lens of gritty New York realism. Beneath the façade of success lies the reality of addiction.

©2016 Lisa F. Smith (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Girl Walks Out of a Bar

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Sad saga

Lisa Smith's story about her addiction is staggering, in as much as I am surprised she is alive. Most people would have long died after the sheer volume of alcohol, cocaine and cigarettes she consumed daily for years, from morning till night. How her heart, her liver and her brain withstood this abuse is verging on unbelievable. And it is a credit to her constitution that she was able to perform in such a responsible job, and not get fired.
It was of course life affirming to read that she managed to save herself.
My quibble with the story is the pervasive attitude that life without alcohol lacks excitement, glamour, friendships, fun, good sex, etc. The author maintains the view that those who can party non-stop without almost killing themselves are very lucky indeed. She concedes that it is great to wake up without vomiting blood and needing booze to steady her hands, but makes little reference to the fact that life has beauty and wonder, interest and excitement in itself.
I think the book would have done a better job by shortening and downplaying the long years of endless drinking, snorting and embarrassing behavior and focusing more on her twelve years of sobriety. What did she find out about herself, her friendships, the world, the universe, the meaning of life? For many ex-alcoholics, sobriety opens so many doors, allows for all that extra time, money, talents, health, mental clarity and focus. I am sure Ms. Smith has found this. Perhaps a subject for another book.

10 people found this helpful

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I’m an alcoholic accountant....

....39 years old and this book has NOT helped.......done detox myself......please somebody anybody HELP ME!!!!! Where do I go from here????

5 people found this helpful

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Fantastic !!

What a book a must read thoroughly enjoyed it so real so relatable and didn’t want it to end brilliant!!!

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excellent read

enjoyed listen to this book. one of my favourite quit help books. would highly recommend

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not top of my quit list

I struggled to find much inspiration in this one. if you are looking for a good quit lit there is plenty better to be found, written by more heroic addicts. She just comes over as selfish, entitled and unlikeable. Even in recovery....If you can make it that far. The performance is also a tiresome drawl

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Fantastic book, shame about the narration

If you enjoy listening to the talking clock then you’ll love listening to this book - which is such a shame as the book is actually brilliant and made me persevere with the monotonous delivery of Ms Huber.

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A Godsend

Pardon the word choice, this book was addictive. Since my recent choice of giving up my poisons of choice - legal but harmful - I find myself needing Lisas in my life.

Lisa's memoir is exquisitely written, it reflects all the good and bad along the journey. Like a multi-layered map that stays with you.

The narration had me a bit confused. 95% beautifully delivered, the different voices so well modulated. Then those 5% where Hillary Huber sounded like an older version Google Translate? Especially in sentences starting with 'as if'.
Was that intentional I wonder?

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Enjoyable, but too focused on the before

I enjoyed this book, but I was surprised about how weighted it was towards the ‘blood and thunder’ stories of Lisa’s life BEFORE finding sobriety. I wanted to spend more time with Lisa in the 12 step, recovery, and post drinking parts of her life, but it wasn’t to be. Worth a listen anyway.

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absolutely inspirational!

Absolutely amazing story, beautifully written and inspirational! I also loved the narrator's voice!! I would recommend to everyone who likes a memoir! xx

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Great story, well narrated

A really good introspective biography. Honest, warts and all. I have listened to many audio-books of recovering drug/alcoholics and this is rates highly in my favourites.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Gillian
  • 14-06-17

A Good Look At The Dual-Diagnosis...

Drugs and alcohol are fun, until they're of equal weight with despair, until they're heavier than the despair that kills. "Girl Walks Out of a Bar" isn't a comic look at addiction as the publisher's summary states it is. While candid and not taking itself overly seriously, it's not comic at all. Instead, it's a bio of an illness, especially of the dual-diagnosis of mental illness treated by self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. Smith is very open about how necessary it all is at the beginning, a way of dealing with depression and feelings of inadequacy, of always trying to shoot for more as a way of feeling good enough. It's a necessary and fun part of being with friends who drink and party, but not as hard as you do. It's a necessary way of getting through the stresses of a job, the stresses of daily life.
And what do you do when the shakes start, and you start vomiting blood? Smith shows how recovery is hard and not for the faint of heart, but for those struggling to survive even one more minute.
While parts of "Girl Walks Out of a Bar" did drag a bit, mostly since it goes heavily into her past, as in: every single event is remembered, I found the book on the whole to be quite worth it. Not everybody understands how addiction is sometimes (heck, probably "mostly") used to self-medicate, and the book paints a vivid portrait of alcohol and drugs as a singular coping mechanism. The initiated will appreciate it, friends and family going through this will appreciate it.
And the blessedly uninitiated might find it to be a portrait of everyday courage in the face of what some view to be a self-inflicted disease.
It's frank, honest, a fine portrayal.

50 people found this helpful

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  • Lawrence
  • 01-10-17

Missing important details

The story is interesting, and the author shares details of her addiction which are frightening. However the stories are never fleshed out. It is almost as though she is afraid to cover negative or personal details about others in her story. This is most apparent in the epilogue where she mentions in passing interesting things that have happened to her since being in recovery. These are the kind of stories (related in depth) that your audience is interested in! For a superior memoir of recovering from alcoholism I highly recommend Blackout by Sarah Hepola, or maybe Dry by Augusten Burroughs, or even Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Leah
  • 26-02-17

Just as it is...

If you could sum up Girl Walks Out of a Bar in three words, what would they be?

Raw, Real, and Eye-opening.

What did you like best about this story?

I sure did learn a lot about what addiction does to a person, on the inside (literally and figuratively) and to the people we surround ourselves with. I'd have to say this author has some beast courage. I love that the honesty began to roll off of her tongue when lying was really the familiar habit. She was so ready that lying wouldn't come.

Any additional comments?

Thank you. I so needed to learn how it really is. I'm the people we surround ourselves with....the Mommy.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Lindsay
  • 03-07-17

Not good, not bad, just ok

What three words best describe Hillary Huber’s performance?

Hillary Huber's performance was fine. Not particularly memorable, but also not particularly memorable in an annoying way either.

Any additional comments?

Meh, only ok. Worth the daily deal, not worth a full credit.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Goob
  • 10-06-17

very worth it

If you could sum up Girl Walks Out of a Bar in three words, what would they be?

Sarcastic, compelling, calm

What was one of the most memorable moments of Girl Walks Out of a Bar?

When Lisa's marriage fell apart or really any time she told a story of something outragious she did when she was drinking

Which character – as performed by Hillary Huber – was your favorite?

Lisa's mom

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes

12 people found this helpful

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  • Holly Woods
  • 10-08-17

Love love love

I loved everything about this book! I did not want it to end! I love the way Lisa writes, it is so real. I do not suffer from her addiction, I could relate! The narrator is perfect! You would have thought she wrote the book herself! It can be dark and depressing at times, but it is so worth the read!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Bill
  • 07-07-17

NO PUNCHES PULLED

This lady has put herself out there for sure. This is truly a story that has been written from the heart. I commend her and the story.

2 people found this helpful

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  • nam wife
  • 02-07-17

Just too repetitive

Inspiring true story, but could have been better without so many renditions of the same narrative of drinking, drugs and lying about it.

Give the author credit for being able to tell her story to help others.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Aubrey
  • 20-06-17

Good but not outstanding

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Hm.. this is a difficult question. While I found the book interesting insight into an addict's life, and how she got on the road to addiction - and then to recovery - it wasn't anything outstanding in this genre. I don't think there was anything that made this special and worth recommending.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked that Lisa was very self-aware about her problem - and maybe this was hindsight - but at the same time she struggled with making the change. I also liked that there wasn't one huge "rock bottom" moment that made her change. it was just that one day she woke up and couldn't do it anymore. Not every HAS a huge life-changing moment. Sometimes it just happens, and I feel like that was the most interesting part of this memoir.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Hillary Huber?

No, oh my gosh. I feel like she ruined the book with her whiny tone. She made Lisa sound much more petulant and childish than I think was intended.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

This would not make a great movie. It would mostly be Lisa drinking, drinking, getting sick, drinking some more, etc.

Any additional comments?

If you're interested in a narrative look at a person in the throes of addiction, this might be the book for you. It's not too long so it would only take a few sessions (or one, if you're like me and have eight hour work days to listen to an entire audiobook), so I would consider that a plus. It's certainly not a bad book, but there was nothing too thrilling either.

I would probably recommend reading, rather than listening, mostly because the narrator's voice was just too whiny for me.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Laura
  • 11-01-17

Loved it!!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, it was great I couldn't put it down.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Girl Walks Out of a Bar?

When she was already in a cab on our way to go see her brother's first child his daughter being born and she turned around because her coke dealer called and she would rather go do that then meet her niece.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

One Day At A Time

Any additional comments?

This book has honestly opened up my eyes to how bad someone could actually get addicted to drugs, drinking, smoking, eating, well anything really. I mean the only thing I've ever really heard about addiction and coming off of it is detox after that nothing I had no idea it was like that like for real. I couldn't imagine having to live one day at a time like that, it takes a very strong person to do that

10 people found this helpful