A Drinking Life

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Overview

A journalist and author of Loving Women recreates the hard-drinking Brooklyn-Irish lifestyle that informed every aspect of his childhood and early career and that eventually destroyed his marriage.

A celebrated journalist, whose career has included writing for both The New York Post and New York Newsday, provides an unforgettable memoir of what it means to grow up Irish in New York--and a frank look at how alcohol shaped those years. "Energetic, compelling, very ...

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Fair Ex-Library rental. Disc(s) are professionally cleaned and free of scratches. Includes disc(s), case, and artwork. ARTWORK MAY BE UNORIGINAL AND PRINTED BY LIBRARY. Disc(s), ... case, and artwork may contain library/security stickers and ink writing. Case and artwork may show some wear. Case may not be original packaging. All disc(s) are authentic. Read more Show Less

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A Drinking Life: A Memoir

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Overview

A journalist and author of Loving Women recreates the hard-drinking Brooklyn-Irish lifestyle that informed every aspect of his childhood and early career and that eventually destroyed his marriage.

A celebrated journalist, whose career has included writing for both The New York Post and New York Newsday, provides an unforgettable memoir of what it means to grow up Irish in New York--and a frank look at how alcohol shaped those years. "Energetic, compelling, very funny . . . often brutally candid."--Entertainment Weekly.

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Editorial Reviews

Vincent Patrick
Pete Hamill's 30 years of writing come to fruition in "A Drinking Life." It is constructed seamlessly, with the pacing and eye for telling detail learned as a novelist and the hard, spare prose of a fine journalist. -- New York Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hamill's autobiography entails his long odyssey to sobriety. This is not a jeremiad condemning drink, however, but a thoughtful, funny, street-smart reflection on its consequences. To understand Hamill ( Loving Women ), one must know his immigrant parents: Anne, gentle and fair; Billy, one-legged and alcoholic. The first offspring of this union--Republicans in Belfast, Democrats in Brooklyn--Hamill has a special gift for relating the events of his childhood. He recreates a time extinct, a Brooklyn of trolley cars, Dodgers, pails of beer and pals like No Toes Nocera. He recalls such adventures as the Dodgers' 1941 pennant and viewing the liner Normandie lying on its side in the Hudson River. We partake in the glory of V-J day and learn what life in Hamill's neighborhood was centered on: ``Part of being a man was to drink.'' Puberty hits him and booze helps him to overcome his sexual shyness. But Hamill's childhood ended early. After dropping out of high school he lived on his own, working at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and drinking with his workmates. Wanting more, he studied art, soon meeting a nude model named Laura who was a lot different from the neighborhood girls, those ``noble defenders of the holy hymen.'' And escape was always on Hamill's mind. First it was the Navy, then Mexico, but it was always the same--drinking nights which today he can't remember. There were fist-fights and jail time in Mexico and he learned that ``drinking could be a huge fuck you to Authority.'' Back home with a job at the New York Post , he mastered his trade at the Page One bar every morning, drinking with other reporters. Much time was spent in saloons away from his wife and two daughters and he remembers the taunts of his childhood, ``Your old man's an Irish drunk!'' Then one New Year's Eve 20 years ago he noticed all the drunkenness and had his last vodka. When asked why, he said, ``I have no talent for it.'' It may be the only talent Hamill lacks. Author tour. (Jan.)
Library Journal
The author of seven novels (e.g, Loving Women , LJ 4/1/89), Hamill has put in over 30 years as a reporter, primarily at the New York Post , where he was recently named, fired, and then rehired as editor-in-chief. Here he ranges from his Depression-era childhood to his years on the beat and as a recovering alcoholic. When the time comes, he'll be on the Today show to plug his book.
From Barnes & Noble
Neither sentimental nor self-righteous, this is a seasoned writer's vivid portrait of the first four decades of his life & the steady way that alcohol became an essential part of that life. The bittersweet memoir of a lifetime New Yorker.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402575914
  • Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
  • Publication date: 5/3/2011
  • Format: CD

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 37 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(15)

4 Star

(8)

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(9)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great book - ebook is filled with typos

    Really didn't think I would get into this book, but the writing is so superb I couldn't put it down. Unfortunately, for some reason the ebook I downloaded from B&N is fraught with typos.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 23, 2009

    Pete Hamill could easily have grown up next door to me, or been related to me, because his recollections hit home every time.

    A poignant recollection, and one I was extremely comfortable slipping into since I had the good fortune to grow up in New York City during that time period. I rediscovered forgotten memories of people, places and incidents and enjoyed revisiting them from an older (and hopefully, wiser) perspective. Thank you, Mr. Hamill, for a gem of a book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Honest, expertly-written memoir of growing up Irish in 50s Brooklyn (and how he discovered his bliss: writing)

    I enjoyed Pete Hamill's memoir as I would a gripping novel. He has gone all the way back to young boyhood, honestly and with perfected craft re-creating boyhood and young adulthood. It's not only "A Drinking Life", it's a comic book-devouring and replicating life, a working life, a life of the Irish first generation in mid 20th century New York. Hamill's early draw to art, Greenwich Village, learning (mostly auto-didactic) and hard work seem to lead inexorably to his career as a writer.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2014

    I read this book  when it first came out in paperback and I abso

    I read this book  when it first came out in paperback and I absolutely loved it. I could not put it down, this is a book that really
    really stuck with me and I have loved Pete Hamill's writing ever since. I re-read it again recently and I still love it. It makes you laugh and cry.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2012

    Entertaining only gets you so far

    While this book has many interesting stories, there is no real plot and it pretty much goes nowhere

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2012

    Awful

    Yy

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended

    A truly remarkable book. Read it through twice!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted June 30, 2011

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews

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