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Orangutan: A Memoir

1 rating: 4.0
A book by Colin Broderick

Guest Interview: Colum McCann Talks with Colin Broderick    Colum McCannis the internationally bestselling author of the novelsZoli,Dancer,This Side of Brightness, andSongdogs, as well as two critically acclaimed story collections. … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: Colin Broderick
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
1 review about Orangutan: A Memoir

Gritty and Gripping

  • Oct 14, 2010
I've read quite a few memoirs of addiction and this is one of the better ones. It is a compelling and well-told story of Irish immigrant Colin Broderick, who came to the US in the late 1980s and remains here today, having survived his own chronic and acute alcoholism and the hideous problems that resulted from it.

Broderick repeatedly says that he aspired to be a writer, but it is clear that he gave top priority to drinking rather than putting in the effort required to actually get published. His account seems searingly honest and it is apparent that there is something within him that compelled him to be high at all costs. And his drinking and drugging cost him a lot -- two marriages and several relationships, ties with friends and family, houses, cars, jobs, a bookstore business and lots and lots of cash. Somehow he managed to clean himself up and, at least at the time this book was published, he remains sober.

I like to imagine that Broderick's character comes through in his writing and, assuming that's true, he seems like a guy who is decent at the core. His writing reveals a quality that makes one want to root for his success. There are some pretty appalling situations detailed in his book and Broderick certainly did a lot of shameful things, but he does have the courage to own up to his own shortcomings. Plus, his "drunk-a-log" is at points hilarious and thus an entertaining read overall. I am hoping he is able to resist the temptation to drink again and that he continues to publish in the future.
Gritty and Gripping Gritty and Gripping

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