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Pour Me a Life
Cover of Pour Me a Life
Pour Me a Life
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An astounding and brilliant memoir, A.A. Gill's Pour Me a Life is a riveting meditation on the author's alcoholism, seen through the lens of the memories that remain, and the transformative moments that saved him from a lifelong addiction and early death.

Best known for his hysterically funny and often scathing restaurant reviews for the London Sunday Times, journalist Adrian Gill writes about his near-fatal alcoholism in this extraordinary lucid memoir. By his early twenties, at London's prestigious Saint Martin's art school, Gill was entrenched in his addiction. He writes from the handful of memories that remain, of drunken conquests with anonymous women, of waking to morbid hallucinations, of emptying jacket pockets that "were like tiny crime scenes," helping him puzzle his whereabouts back together. Throughout his recollections, Gill traces his childhood, his early diagnosis of dyslexia, the deep sense of isolation when he was sent to boarding school at age eleven, the disappearance of his only brother, whom he has not seen for decades. When Gill was confronted at age thirty by a doctor who questioned his drinking, he answered honestly for the first time, not because he was ready to stop, but because his body was too damaged to live much longer. Gill was admitted to a thirty-day rehab center—then a rare and revolutionary concept in England—and has lived three decades of his life sober. Written with clear-eyed honesty and empathy, Pour Me a Life is a haunting account of addiction, its exhilarating power and destructive force, and is destined to be a classic of its kind.

An astounding and brilliant memoir, A.A. Gill's Pour Me a Life is a riveting meditation on the author's alcoholism, seen through the lens of the memories that remain, and the transformative moments that saved him from a lifelong addiction and early death.

Best known for his hysterically funny and often scathing restaurant reviews for the London Sunday Times, journalist Adrian Gill writes about his near-fatal alcoholism in this extraordinary lucid memoir. By his early twenties, at London's prestigious Saint Martin's art school, Gill was entrenched in his addiction. He writes from the handful of memories that remain, of drunken conquests with anonymous women, of waking to morbid hallucinations, of emptying jacket pockets that "were like tiny crime scenes," helping him puzzle his whereabouts back together. Throughout his recollections, Gill traces his childhood, his early diagnosis of dyslexia, the deep sense of isolation when he was sent to boarding school at age eleven, the disappearance of his only brother, whom he has not seen for decades. When Gill was confronted at age thirty by a doctor who questioned his drinking, he answered honestly for the first time, not because he was ready to stop, but because his body was too damaged to live much longer. Gill was admitted to a thirty-day rehab center—then a rare and revolutionary concept in England—and has lived three decades of his life sober. Written with clear-eyed honesty and empathy, Pour Me a Life is a haunting account of addiction, its exhilarating power and destructive force, and is destined to be a classic of its kind.

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  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 30, 2016
    British journalist Gill lays everything on the line in this honest, if disjointed, memoir of a drinking life. His readers are used to his biting wit and endless jabs in the Sunday Times, but this may be the first time his barbs are so publicly pointed at himself. Through the shards of his own jagged memory, Gill describes piecing together his life after subjecting his body to drugs and alcohol. The story skips around between “the end of a marriage and the end of drinking.” His last drink was decades ago on his way to rehab: a glass of Champagne with his father. Drinking strips away memory, so the timing of events is askew, with individual scenes like “fragments from sagas found stuffed in a mattress,” but when Gill locks into a moment, especially one from his years as a young, destructive drunk, readers are brought face to face with a gripping truth. Gill’s story holds up a mirror with which to evaluate one’s own ugly and beautiful jaunts through life. His is not a tale told with a clear beginning, middle, or end; it is, however, chock full of wit and humanity, and enhanced by Gill’s striking gift for prose.

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