Wow. That was intense. One of the most intense books I’ve read in a while. I just closed it, and even up to the last word, there was so much emotion. The book is dark, definitely not an easy read, but it captivated me so fully that I couldn’t put it down.
Dry is a memoir, so Burroughs speaks in first person, which I love. There’s nothing I find more fascinating than getting the nitty-gritty on someone’s life, straight from the source. I’m nosy like that. However, a lot of memoirs can come across extremely self-involved and egotistical–this was not like that at all. In fact, he was almost showing how he discovered through the recovery process that he WAS self-involved and egotistical, and by the end of the book he had learned not to be.
This book deals with a lot of hard-hitting issues, without waiving any flags. By that, I mean, the issues were there, but they were subtle, woven into the story. Take homosexuality for example. It was there, in every part of the story. Burroughs himself is homosexual. But it was written so matter-of-factly that you couldn’t imagine any other reality. It wasn’t flamboyant, like Will and Grace, “Hey look at me I’m Gay and I want everyone to know that I’m making a point to tell everyone I’m Gay!” I think a lot of times in our culture, homosexuality gets such a public eye because of all of the changing laws and prejudices that sometimes we forget that to some people, it’s just normal, every day life. It doesn’t have to be a Broadway musical all the time.
Another major part of the book was Burroughs constant struggle with alcoholism. Actually that was THE major point of the book, hence the name, Dry. We hear about AA and alcoholism, but unless you’ve really lived it, it’s kind of a community of its own. I didn’t really know much about rehab and what goes on. The struggles Burroughs and the other addicts go through are enormous. This book was not written as a self-help book, but there is a lot to be said about the therapy talked about here.
I would definitely recommend this book. It was one I couldn’t put down–one I could escape into where someone’s problems were bigger than my own. I will definitely be reading Burrough’s other books, not only based on this one alone, but I’ve had several recommendations for them this week.