A Drinking Life: A Memoir Epub º A Drinking PDF or


10 thoughts on “A Drinking Life: A Memoir

  1. Jim Golden Jim Golden says:

    I was expecting of a story about alcoholism and specific drunk events in Hamill's life This is much than a story about alcoholism it is a story about Hamill's life and alcohol just so happens to be pervasive throughout his childhood and adulthood This is truly a complete picture of a man of his boyhood in the Neighborhood his family marriage his career and alcohol touched every aspect of his life Drinking was a constant throughout Pete's journey a way to celebrate with friends a way to get through your anger a way to be social in the Neighborhood and a way to relate to your co workers as a newspaperman In Hamill's boyhood it was a point of pride in the Neighborhood to be able to handle your liuor not to be a drunk but to keep a steady stream of drinking while trading jokes and stories and songsHamill doesn't push any kind of 12 step program in this book He got sober on his own in a snap and he is unusual in his ability to do so For this reason for alcoholics looking to relate and to get some insight into their disease I would recommend Caroline Knapp's book instead For anyone looking for a fascinating memoir a touching journey through life and an inside look and the life of being a reporter Hamill's memoir is highly recommended


  2. MJ Beauchamp MJ Beauchamp says:

    How can you not love Pete Hamill In this remarkably candid memoir Hamill opens up about a lifelong lovehate relationship with alcohol recounting his upbringing and dreams all memories revolving around the power and comfort of a drink I knew of Pete Hamill newspaperman and writer with heart reporting on his New York with only true love and soul but I did not know the extent of it A Drinking Life reveals the man and the boy behind the stories in all his sensitivity and vulnerability This is Hamill at his best


  3. Paul Paul says:

    Very well done Pete Hamill


  4. Moonkiszt Moonkiszt says:

    I will live my life from now on I will not perform it This was the author's mantra as he took the final step to shake a lifelong drinking habit built since his nursery days through his family's acceptance of drinking as a way of life coping with all that comes in hard family living Once he was beyond childhood he too took it up as a way to copePete Hamill's autobiography is contained in this book and explains all the roads that led to his Rome a drinking life and how he got himself out of it On the way there are beautiful descriptions of New York his part of New York and other places of the world The yearnings of a young man in that world wanting to draw getting kicked down rising up trying a different direction within that desire There are very graphic descriptions of all the devils of a young and growing human and later unrestrained explorations His way up in the newspaper world journalism and writing at large is noted landmark by landmark His family members his Irishness his women and his children All are hereI do so love his writing He does such a great job of showing how becoming a drinker a life drinker was an act of loyalty and commitment to family friend tribe local gang region and was just a breath short of being a religion it was a mantle a jacket a uniform Then just as deftly he shows the day it stopped ways and reasons which informed the moment on the day it stopped Short of inserting some of those words here I'm without means to pass it along to you dear reader this magic of his and if I could would feel the cheat that is to you I don't want to do anything that would prevent you from picking up this book and reading every word for yourself Pete Hamill ends with the tests to his decision to stop drinking and how he weathered them and I promise you satisfaction A thirst uenchedPassing by my writing desk my daughter saw A Drinking Life and turned to me with her uestion faceshe touched the book and said Why this as my drinking life was short lived and long before she was a twinkle in the universe I responded You should read it It's a great book I wished I had said that this book could help anyone who has suffered from addictions passed on through family tradition and habits carefully nurtured into them by people who were just barely surviving the world as they knew itThere is explicit language and sexual topics present in this book if you are a shy type well You've been warned As much as I enjoy Hamill's work this did feel a little gratuitous and perhaps like he was bragging a little Oh well I get it Bragging feels a lot different when you are ancient as I am and he is older than I it is a wistful hope that all was truly as exciting as are the greatest hits memory playbacks If they were not hopefully all participants are no longer in a position to be able to so testify4 sober and shining stars over Brooklyn Of course Somewhere close to Paddy Mcginty's goat


  5. Chad Chad says:

    What a bore Mistakenly I thought this book would be about growing up in an alcoholic household and how that experience molded the writer Instead I got a simpleminded coming of age story in an all too familiar atmosphere Brooklyn in the 40's Man the way some people write about their youth in New York you'd think they all attended the same writing seminar Dodgers check Abusive father check Angelic mother check Hanging on the corner with your friends check Playing stick ball in the street check Freaking lame check If you're going to write about this boring shit at least have your main character join the mafia or become a junkie at some point because these New YorkAmericana nuggets of nostalgia aren't valuable in themselves Honestly I thought I was reading the novel to A Bronx Tale for the first seventy five pages except A Bronx Tale was never a novel and this piece of shit didn't even have any mafia dudes in it This was a lazy memoir Period We've all heard this story before except this one doesn't end it just keeps masturbating about stupid boring shit which might be important to the writer but is really dull for the reader unless you get a hard on for candy warm popcorn and baseball oooh whoopee Let's put it this way unless you grew up in NY during the war you might just want to throw this book in the fireplace So when the story fails the reader you delve into the narrative right Wrong Hamill's writing is so plain so goddamn simple you'd think you were reading the directions for a lawnmower And the story or whatever you call it Jesus Get to the point man I couldn't wait till the writer lost his virginity or got hit by a car so I could stop reading about dumb baseball games and candy and dull American pastimes Shit James Joyce made Dublin sound like a beautiful grotesue fantasy that's writing fifty pages into The Dubliners and you're in tears Hamill's version of Brooklyn is about as dramatic as a bad HBO movie with Shia Lebouf Honestly I'm tired of New Yorkers claiming their adolescence was somehow richer and special than everyone else's There are so many NY writers spouting off about these kind of memories with a gusto and arrogance that makes my skin crawl Give me some context Give me something dangerous or interesting Christ I'll take Less Than Zero's coke fueled Los Angeles over this hokum any day of the week Stories like this make me proud of being a Los Angelino where sports doesn't govern our lives danger lurks in the most unexpected places and existentialism is not just a philosophy but a damn reality We encounter the worst part of the human character from the moment we're born in this town We have to uproot ourselves from the shallow graves of rich junkies gang members empty streets crowded freeways Hollywood assholes That's context That's conflictYeah we might not be as deep and wise as New Yorkers but we're also not as sanctimonious God this book pissed me off


  6. Emma Emma says:

    I often think I can't remember that much about my childhood comparatively speaking You know those people who can provide you intricate detail of what they wore and how they felt towards every teacher they ever had and aesthetic details about houses I thought I did not belong among them until I read this book It is probably very strange that a memoir set from World War Two onward set in New York City about a poor Irish American kid would prompt such strong memories for me and an identification but it did because Hamill and I share something in common and I imagine you do too the drinking life And I don't mean that in the sense that I am or you are an alcoholic although I do identify on the personal level having had very close relationships with those who are but also in the sense that I am part of a deeply entrenched Western drinking culture one where celebrations failures monotonies weekends weekdays can all reasonably be reacted to with a drink When remembering childhood through the lens of drinking remarkable memories resurfaced which I decline to share but acknowledge in my own wayAnd this is what is remarkable about this book Hamill could have just opened the shame file recounting only embarrassing and humiliating stories from the depths of his alcoholism which he does do a bit of If he had done that this probably would have been a sad little book that we could have appropriately distanced ourselves from because after all we have never broken the door of a brothel and been fired at by Mexican police as a result And I mean that's all interesting to read about and the name dropping if fabulous Norma Mailer et al But by making this a memoir from childhood he illustrates a deeper issue with drinking culture that transcends the individual and he illustrates the ways in which such a culture facilitates in some ways the naturalisation and denial of alcoholism even in the face of its devastating conseuences In this way the realities of his particular struggle become real and the decisions understandable at the same time that they stop being uniuely hisI will note two things firstly the title should not have an 'A' at the front it should just be Drinking Life because it is not just the story of a singular drinking life and then it would readily have the double meaning of 'drinking life'; secondly the accounts of alcoholics who have a flash of clarity and never drink again are really uite astounding to read Bill Wilson one of the founders of AA is one such case


  7. Patrick O& Patrick O& says:

    With A Drinking Life Hamill has written the great American proletarian memoir Which is no small feat considering aside from his working class roots Hamill has become anything but a proletariat I’m not disputing he was a hard working journalist who put his time in writing for the New York Post – a profession almost as hard as his former two fisted drinking binges But what I find interesting is Hamill’s insistence on romancing his working stiff upbringing as if it somehow not only justifies his drinking but also allows him the credibility to poetically philosophize the psyche of the entire working class Well written concise compact and prose driven A Drinking Life is Hamill’s narrative of his attempts at several careers school love marriage and his relationship with his father – all of which he lost abandoned or simple ignored due to his alcoholism Waxing nostalgically he chronologically leads us through his life from birth to adolescence and finally adulthood The majority of the book concentrates on his rather tough childhood in Brooklyn New York Where due to his father’s inability to work as a result of his alcoholism at the age of 16 Hamill left school to work in the Navy shipyards Torn between earning money for his family and resuming his education Hamill follows in his father’s footsteps and begins drinking as a way of coping with the difficulties of life 195 pages into his book the entirety being 265 pages Hamill hasn’t taken us far He’s in his twenties and is attending College in Mexico Due to his drinking he has run afoul of the law and is incarcerated in jail Not the best of circumstances to begin with his experience is brutally horrendous From his detailed and lengthy depiction of this episode one would think it a pivotal turning point for him Knowing he was there due to his drinking it would seem Hamill is showing us this scene because it influenced him or gave him reason to reevaluate his lifestyle Instead it appears his inclusion of this scene is primarily for establishing his credibility as a libertarian of the underprivileged Although thoroughly mortified by what he has witnessed Hamill does nothing and flees Mexico returning to New York to attend the prestigious Pratt Institute to continue his studies and eventually become a journalistreporter Interestingly this is when Hamill’s drinking began to escalate in earnest only he caulks it up as merely a hazard of the profession sort of gentleman’s club activity for journalists Leaving me wondering if Hamill was ever going to take responsibility for his drinking Yet what is of further interest and what pretty much answers that uestion with a resounding “kind of” is his leaving only the last 52 pages to describe the next twenty years of his life his final days of drinking his failed marriage abandoning his children his extramarital affairs his workaholic behavior As if it was all something he preferred to forget rather than admit However in these last few chapters Hammill writes some of his strongest work allowing to reader to catch a glimpse of who he really was Yet unfortunately in the final five page epilogue titled “Dry” Hamill simply tells us he just uit drinking and than attempts to explain it away as a decision he made rather than it being a result of trying to repair all the damage he has done to himself and those around him Hardly the insightful summary I had expected Yet maybe that was my problem from the very beginning I expected I wasn’t so concerned with the colorful tales of his childhood or his youthful transgressions instead I would have been interested in the factual not so glamorous aspect of his drinking life But then having already been swayed by the book’s hype – the least of which coming from the New York Times’ book review “Tough minded brimming with energy and unflinchingly honest” I came prepared to read a much different story


  8. Roy Roy says:

    My dad gave me this book because it resonated with him and his life He was barely one year old for V E day and he grew up in Harlem not Brooklyn so his life wasn’t in lock step with Hamill’s Drinking Life but there were similarities Both went to Catholic school drank in the same bars found early solace in the public library and hated Cardinal Spellman Like most boys in New York in the 50s they ran up against and with gangs For this and other reasons when it was time for my dad to raise a kid he left the city Like my father Hamill has great stories and fondness for the difficulties he had while growing up in New York They both remember about their early years than I do and though there were difficult times they had adventures in a city and time that had fewer restrictions and tribal segregation Some of these tales sound only good in the re telling One thing I’ve come to realize is that an “adventure” is something that was uncomfortable to painful at the time but makes for a great story Hamill had a few adventures in his time which makes me jealous I haven’t lived out in the world but then again I don’t think I would ever follow his footsteps to Mexico Paris or even Bay RidgeThere is also a certain Forest Gump uality to this memoir Famous people and events happen in a flurry It seems like people were accessible in a pre information age time Surely I’ve lived a uieter life as I’ve never been in a situation to party with the Rolling Stones or Jack KerouacOne important difference between my father’s upbringing and Hamill’s was that my dad didn’t grow up with a drunk A Drinking Life illustrates how corrosive alcoholism can be even if you ignore the cirrhosis I can’t imagine a life with someone so absent and useless as Billy Hamill When you live a drinking life you miss out on the rest of your lifeHamill’s life of drinking did not lead him to the expected depraved low point In fact he takes his last drink during a swinging New Year’s Eve event He stops drinking because he doesn’t like what it has done to his life and the lives around him He stops drinking to embrace life and to be clear of thought He stops drinking so that he can remember all that he has done


  9. Daniel Daniel says:

    My friend Sally thinks Anna Karenina should be called Levin; I always thought you might as well complain that Moby Dick isn't about the whale I think I have found however the winner of the least apt title this book has almost nothing to do with the author's drinking problem It's a memoir and the struggle with drink is no a thread to his story than is the fact of his Irish ancestry It's an interesting book written in a forceful journalistic style but there are some uestions it raises in my mind about memoir uestion 1 How do people remember all these things I for one can hardly remember my childhood so how is it that these people writing memoirs can describe scenes from age 6 with such clarity uestion 2 Would you write a tell all autobiography while your mother is still living This guy's mother appears to have been a nice Irish Catholic lady so how could he announce to the world and to her his sexual exploits at age 15 16 17 all in lurid foul mouthed detail I mean doesn't he have any sense of shame And why do we all rush to call it unflinchingly honest NYT instead of bizarrely indiscreet Poor Mum uestion 3 At what age does it become idiotic to blame all your moral failings on your father Towards the end of this book when our anti hero is telling us how he wrecked his marriage and finally is getting around to mentioning drinking as a serious theme he speaks of how he didn't have much sense of how you behave as a father because of his father blah blah blah OK dear reader there is this little thing called The Golden Rule and here's how it works Did you like it when your father ignored you and went to a bar to drink No It made you feel bad inside Then you try not to do that to your kids see You do the opposite of the things that made you feel bad I miss St Augustine Sure agonizing over those apples might be a bit tiresome but at least Auggie made a real effort to understand his past and why he did things Atheist or not isn't it an interesting problem to figure out how morals work What constitutes the good life And if you haven't lived it properly aren't you ashamed


  10. Spider the Doof Warrior Spider the Doof Warrior says:

    I'm nearly done with this book I don't drink than wussy sweet wine no higher than 4% alcohol I do not think I am so dorky for this Pete Hamill talks about growing up surrounded with alcohol having his first drink around the age of 11 and how drinking shaped his life He talked about wanting to be an artist and a writer and having the pressure to not rise above his station thrust ed on him by his peersI say screw that Live life the way you want to Don't just drown your feelings in booze Feel them Live them This book is about how he opens his eyes to this fact and decides to break the pattern To stop drinking to deal with the agony of not living the life the way he wants toIt's very inspiring Especially since he like me wanted to be a writer and also an artist I say let's work on making our dreams come trueThe only thing is folks go on about how great the past is and how it was so much nicer than it is nowadays but they had the same problems only no one TALKED about them No one talked about alcoholism they just scorned people who could not handle their booze and folks didn't talk about their bad marriages they just struggled through them I wonder if that's actually healthy81818I read to it again and it makes me seriously hate alcohol At the culture behind it I am not judging drinkers but the larger society I'm not saying teetotal totally but there's something warped about society and how it handles drinking and gender roles and life in general and I really don't know what to do about it Also he married a 17 year old Gross The booze kept him from dealing with why his life sucked and why his decisions sucked and he realized he was acting through life and wanted to change thatat least


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


A Drinking Life: A Memoir [Download] ➵ A Drinking Life: A Memoir Author Pete Hamill – Thomashillier.co.uk As a child during the Depression and World War II Pete Hamill learned early that drinking was an essential part of being a man inseparable from the rituals of celebration mourning friendship romance a As a child during the Life: A eBook ✓ Depression and World War II Pete Hamill learned early that drinking was an essential part of A Drinking PDF or being a man inseparable from the rituals of celebration mourning friendship romance and religion Only later did he discover its ability to Drinking Life: A PDF Ì destroy any writer's most valuable tools clarity consciousness memory In A Drinking Life Hamill explains how alcohol slowly became a part of his life and how he ultimately left it behind Along the way he summons the mood of an America that is gone forever with the bittersweet fondness of a lifelong New Yorker.

  • Kindle Edition
  • 280 pages
  • A Drinking Life: A Memoir
  • Pete Hamill
  • English
  • 06 February 2016

About the Author: Pete Hamill

Pete Hamill was a novelist Life: A eBook ✓ essayist and journalist whose career has endured for than forty years He was born in Brooklyn A Drinking PDF or N Y in the oldest of seven children of immigrants from Belfast Northern Ireland He attended Catholic schools as a child Drinking Life: A PDF Ì He left school at to work in the Brooklyn Navy Yard as a sheetmetal worker and then went on to the United States Navy While serving in.