The New York Times
The Alcoholicby Jonathan Ames, Dean Haspiel (Illustrator)
This touching, compassionate, ultimately humorous story explores the heart of a failing writer who's coming off a doomed romance and searching for hope.
Acclaimed novelist and creator of HBO's new series "Bored to Death" Jonathan Ames writes his first comics work with the original graphic novel THE ALCOHOLIC, illustrated by THE QUITTER artist Dean Haspiel.
This touching, compassionate, ultimately humorous story explores the heart of a failing writer who's coming off a doomed romance and searching for hope. Unfortunately, the first place his search takes him is the bottom of a bottle as he careens from one off-kilter encounter to another in search of himself.
The New York Times
Long before he was a novelist of some repute, Ames was a teenage drunk of fearsome abilities. As Ames relates in this autobiographical graphic novel, he got drunk for the first time at the age of 15 in 1979 and found he loved it. The years that followed might have been a vomit-soaked mess, but that didn't stop Ames from keeping on with it. Even later, once Ames gets sober and becomes a writer, he continues his romance with alcohol by having the hero of his mystery novels be a serious drinker. Told in flashback fashion (with occasional sardonic asides) from a particularly horrendous postdrinking blackout, Ames's novel is primarily, and admittedly, a self-obsessed narrative of self-destructive behavior, with a particular emphasis on bad breakups and sexual misbehavior. The insular narrative is given drive by Haspiel's characteristic slash and jab illustrating style. But with the exception of the hauntingly unresolved story of Ames's painfully fraught childhood friendship with Sal, his original drinking partner, this is standard-issue graphic confessional, enlivened by the occasional bit of debauchery. (Sept.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
With stints as a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter under his belt, Ames tries his hand for the first time at the graphic novel. Beautifully illustrated in moody, expressionist panels by Haspiel, The Alcoholic tells the story of Ames' alter ego, Jonathan A., and his self-destructive love affair with the bottle. Jonathan's taste for liquor begins, as for many with his affliction, during illicit high-school parties. From there, his binges follow their own unique trajectory, keeping pace with an undistinguished college career and following him into an oddly successful livelihood as writer of hard-boiled detective fiction. Ames lends a quirky flavor to Jonathan's occasionally nightmarish narrative by eavesdropping on his relationship with his aging great-aunt; the perplexing estrangement of his best friend, Sal; a heartbreaking romance with a woman he refers to as "San Francisco"; and a drunken midlife tryst with an octogenarian dwarf. Yet Jonathan's tale is ultimately a universal one, reflecting the struggles all of us have in navigating the tributaries of career and relationships while keeping personal demons at bay. --Carl Hays
Rarely does a collaboration produce a graphic novel of such literary and artistic merit. -- Kirkus Reviews June 16, 2008
THE ALCOHOLIC is gonna be hard to top as my favorite original graphic novel of the year. -- Brian K. Vaughan, writer Y: THE LAST MAN
this hilarious, wrenching story gorgeously illustrated in a graphic novel is a flat-out thrill. -- Bret Easton Ellis, author LESS THAN ZERO, AMERICAN PSYCHO
- DC Comics
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 9.24(w) x 10.88(h) x 0.61(d)
Meet the Author
Jonathan Ames is a columnist, author, screenwriter, raconteur and sometime pugilist who resides in New York City. He is the author of several collections of journalism and novels including I Pass Like Night and Wake Up, Sir! Dean Haspiel is the Eisner award-nominated artist of Billy Dogma, Opposable Thumbs and many more independent comics, including American Splendor.
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IF you are a post-middle aged man who can really honestly relate to an alcoholic who is too easily obsessed and who (like most functional addicts) can explain their own disease back to you with every reason but why they keep doing it, you might really enjoy it. The art is good but the story just isn't moving ENOUGH to keep me engaged. If this is either a story you have never heard before or one you can POWERFULLY reate to, read it. It'll seem new or ring with verisimillitude. This seemed like a fine story that would have made a nice movie but didn't make a spectacular graphic novel. I'm glad he was able to get it out on paper but I don't know that I needed to sit in on the therapy. Glad I read it, not recommending it to my friends. Nice linework (I don't care for a lot of the new style of multi-media computerized graphic novel art). Expressive. Nice combo of text and art. Good balance.
I do recommend this book.I couldnt put it down, a good book indeed.This book tells the story of a young man who struggles with this desease call alcoholism and its ugly effects.I'm sure a lot of people can relate to this story in a negative and positive way.
I had a little trouble with this one. Ames has created this graphic memoir, only sections of it aren't true at all. He fully admits that his parents are alive and well (even though in "The Alcoholic" they perish in a car accident, thus spurring his alcoholism to new levels. So what am I supposed to believe here, and what should I take with a grain of salt? Either way, true or not, it's a journey that I'm glad I traveled along. It was wonderfully illustrated by Dean Haspiel, and it make me want to read Ames' work.