THE LOST WEEKEND

Charles Jackson gives us five days out of a man's life while in the flamboyant arms of alcohol; this type of a book might have been burdensome or highly sensational--instead the author has given as clear a picture of what goes on in the mind of an alcoholic as is probably possible.  William Seabrook treated the matter completely in his ASYLUM, but this is the meticulous and factual account of a good mind holding its own throughout the flattering of the ego and the anti-social aspects produced by excessive drinking.

To the layman, alcoholism is merely a state of being drunk, of intoxication; but to those who have studied psychopathic trends, alcoholism is a release of all that man has within him, it is the highest and at once the lowest.  Within the confines of the bonds of this stimulant, man achieves his loftiest ambitions in thought, experiences and aberrations to do with everything from theft to possible murder, which the true alcoholic shuns.  As the book and serious writers on the subject point out, it is only the drug addict who will kill to satisfy his appetite.  Alcoholics may beg, steal, borrow or pawn to satisfy that thirst, but murder as a general rule is foreign to such a disturbed mind.

Mr. Jackson has contributed what is possibly the finest study in print of true alcoholism from the standpoint of the afflicted; his book is a priceless primer toward understanding of that great number who find escape for such a short time down the drinkers' road.  After so much trash has been written on this and kindred subjects, concerning the 'escapist' side of man, this book should prove invaluable to mankind to understanding not only alcoholics, but his own reactions based upon whole or part intoxication.  Mr. Jackson is not the type of writer to soft-pedal his ideas, but the sex angle of this book is well into the background and hardly raises its inquiring head; of course this might be different in relation to the subject--assuredly women alcoholics react differently than the males, but in all people of this type, the sex-life plays a dominant part and this author has given full scope to the possibility if not elaborating upon it.  To those who have seen patients of this type by the dozens, confined behind institution walls, this book will find a welcome world of avid readers; to those whose lives are touched with the "fiery fumes" of this line of escape, let them read and analyze for themselves, forgetting that dreams are all necessary to escape the realities of life.  No human being should miss this book, moreover, no human being can afford to.

Source:   The Amarillo, October 22, 1944


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