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From the opening paragraphs of Double Double:“We were sitting in a coffee shop talking, looking at the view of downtown Charlottesville, Virginia. This was ten years ago, and we had both been off alcohol for more than a decade. We were disagreeing about the best way to stay sober, when my mother said, “I think we should write a book about alcoholism.” I sat back. ‘We?’ ‘Both From the opening paragraphs of Double Double:“We were sitting in a coffee shop talking, looking at the view of downtown Charlottesville, Virginia. This was ten years ago, and we had both been off alcohol for more than a decade. We were disagreeing about the best way to stay sober, when my mother said, “I think we should write a book about alcoholism.” I sat back. ‘We?’ ‘Both of us. Two points of view.’ ” To the final page of this dual memoir, Martha and Ken Grimes keep the reader entertained and informed. Double Double is a unique and honest, dual memoir of alcoholism, a disease that affects nearly 45 million Americans each year. People who suffer from alcoholism as well as their families and friends know that while it is possible to get sober—there is no one “right” way to do this. Now, award-winning mystery writer Martha Grimes and her son, Ken Grimes, offer two points of view on their struggles with alcoholism. In alternating chapters, they share their stories—stories of drinking, recovery, relapse, friendship, travel, work, success and failure. Double Double is an intensely personal, candid and illuminating book, filled with insights, humor, a little self-deprecation, and a lot of self-evaluation.


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From the opening paragraphs of Double Double:“We were sitting in a coffee shop talking, looking at the view of downtown Charlottesville, Virginia. This was ten years ago, and we had both been off alcohol for more than a decade. We were disagreeing about the best way to stay sober, when my mother said, “I think we should write a book about alcoholism.” I sat back. ‘We?’ ‘Both From the opening paragraphs of Double Double:“We were sitting in a coffee shop talking, looking at the view of downtown Charlottesville, Virginia. This was ten years ago, and we had both been off alcohol for more than a decade. We were disagreeing about the best way to stay sober, when my mother said, “I think we should write a book about alcoholism.” I sat back. ‘We?’ ‘Both of us. Two points of view.’ ” To the final page of this dual memoir, Martha and Ken Grimes keep the reader entertained and informed. Double Double is a unique and honest, dual memoir of alcoholism, a disease that affects nearly 45 million Americans each year. People who suffer from alcoholism as well as their families and friends know that while it is possible to get sober—there is no one “right” way to do this. Now, award-winning mystery writer Martha Grimes and her son, Ken Grimes, offer two points of view on their struggles with alcoholism. In alternating chapters, they share their stories—stories of drinking, recovery, relapse, friendship, travel, work, success and failure. Double Double is an intensely personal, candid and illuminating book, filled with insights, humor, a little self-deprecation, and a lot of self-evaluation.

30 review for Double Double: A Dual Memoir of Alcoholism

  1. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Many years ago, I had a love affair with Martha Grimes and her Richard Jury mysteries. I devoured them and couldn't wait to get to the next. It was a happy day for me when a new one came out and I adored the characters in these books and the lives they led. Unfortunately, the novels began to go down hill and ultimately ceased to be mysteries. I'm not sure what the heck they were but they were rambling and dull and I stopped reading them and consequently wrote off Martha Grimes. Imagine my surpris Many years ago, I had a love affair with Martha Grimes and her Richard Jury mysteries. I devoured them and couldn't wait to get to the next. It was a happy day for me when a new one came out and I adored the characters in these books and the lives they led. Unfortunately, the novels began to go down hill and ultimately ceased to be mysteries. I'm not sure what the heck they were but they were rambling and dull and I stopped reading them and consequently wrote off Martha Grimes. Imagine my surprise when I recently read that Martha Grimes and her son wrote a dual memoir about their alcohol addiction. I couldn't help but think; "AHA! This is why her books began to stink, she was drunk!" Alas, I do not know if this is true or not because I could not get through the first fifty freaking pages of this book. Rambling would be a compliment. Incoherent would be closer. What in the hell is she talking about? I don't know and now I don't care.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sam Sattler

    Having one alcoholic in the family is bad enough, but it seldom stops there. Sadly enough, alcoholism is a never-ending problem for many families, one that can devastate them for generations. In Double Double: A Dual Memoir of Alcoholism, popular mystery writer Martha Grimes and her son Ken very frankly share their own struggles to get, and remain, sober. The pair, in alternate chapters and several "conversations," look both backward and forward in their lives, revisiting the times and events du Having one alcoholic in the family is bad enough, but it seldom stops there. Sadly enough, alcoholism is a never-ending problem for many families, one that can devastate them for generations. In Double Double: A Dual Memoir of Alcoholism, popular mystery writer Martha Grimes and her son Ken very frankly share their own struggles to get, and remain, sober. The pair, in alternate chapters and several "conversations," look both backward and forward in their lives, revisiting the times and events during which they became addicts, their struggles to survive their addictions, the manner in which they finally got themselves sober, what their lives are like today, and what their hopes are for the future. Despite living in the same house during the worst of all of this, Martha and Ken managed to hide their problems from each other, or were so caught up in their individual struggles with addiction, that neither was much aware of what the other was experiencing. Ken, in particular, appears to have been a master of deception, the rather typical teenager who easily managed to hide his real life from his mother. Martha, on the other hand, made alcohol such a constant part of her everyday life that the lifestyle seemed perfectly normal to her and her son. There was no need for Martha to hide her drinking from Ken because it really did not seem to be all that unusual to either of them. Despite the similarities in their stories, what are likely to intrigue readers most are the pair's different approaches to attaining and maintaining sobriety. Ken is a true believer in AA's Twelve-Step approach, while Martha seems to have been so put off by the program's more overtly religious aspects that she could not tolerate the meetings. She preferred, instead, the clinical approach but is frank about that approach’s limitations and the ease in which some alcoholics manipulate both their therapy and their therapists. Double Double, despite Martha's assertion that its readers are all likely to be wondering whether they themselves are alcoholics, is filled with revealing insights that nondrinkers and social drinkers will find useful. Certainly, some readers will realize that they are on the brink of similar problems - and others will find that they have already crossed that line. But even nondrinkers who have only experienced alcoholism second-hand via observation of a distant family member or friend will come away from the book with a better understanding of the problem (Martha only reluctantly calls it a disease) than they had going in. Bottom Line: Double Double is a very readable and honest memoir in which its two authors are not afraid to embarrass themselves and each other. What they have to say about alcoholism is important, and their willingness to expose themselves this way will help others to solve, or even avoid, a similar experience in their own lives.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    Thought this book would be interesting- I enjoy memoirs & my father is a recovered alcoholic. The son, Ken's passages are a big more compelling than the mother, Martha's. However, this book was not what I expected and put it down in favor of spending time reading something more enjoyable. Thought this book would be interesting- I enjoy memoirs & my father is a recovered alcoholic. The son, Ken's passages are a big more compelling than the mother, Martha's. However, this book was not what I expected and put it down in favor of spending time reading something more enjoyable.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Connie N.

    I was mildly interested in this book because several of my family members are dealing with, or have dealt with, alcoholism and other addictions. What I found most interesting about this book were the different responses and attitudes expressed by the mother/son writing team. As expected, I found Martha's chapters to be straightforward and in-your-face, but she'd go off on tangents that I didn't really understand, getting too much into the research and less about her feelings. Ken wrote about the I was mildly interested in this book because several of my family members are dealing with, or have dealt with, alcoholism and other addictions. What I found most interesting about this book were the different responses and attitudes expressed by the mother/son writing team. As expected, I found Martha's chapters to be straightforward and in-your-face, but she'd go off on tangents that I didn't really understand, getting too much into the research and less about her feelings. Ken wrote about the problems of his growing up years and the difficulties of overcoming alcoholism at a younger age, much more personal and emotional chapters. My favorite part of the book was the Q&A "conversation" between mother and son as they debated various aspects of the disease/addiction, reasons for drinking, etc. Interesting that they have such different points of view but ended up coming to the same conclusions. Interesting quote on why Martha chose to stop drinking, "Why stop? My health was in no immediate danger; drinking wasn't affecting my writing output. So why stop? Because I couldn't. And if I couldn't, something other than my own dimwittedness was in complete control of me. Thus, my inability to stop began to outweigh the pleasure of drinking." A discussion about the non-drinker's inability to understand the problem: "It leads us back to reason: why people struggle with bringing reason to a problem that is not conducive to reason. You cannot reason a problem out of existence when the problem resists reason at every single turn. The irony is that the only thing any of us has to use in dealing with problems is reason, or logic. Here is someone who appears to be ruining his own life and the life of other people. What can we use except reason and logic? But that's not going to get you very far. So what are you going to do?" A quote about anger (and other feelings), "...I still have to work to contain my anger. Now I realize that my feelings were the tail that wagged the dog. I couldn't live with them. Other people seem to manage fear, loneliness, and disappointment without having to kill them with a chemical or raging at someone or something. It's as if I were born without the ability to process certain feelings and I'm still overwhelmed by them today."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy Smock

    I love the Richard Jury mysteries although they have definitely gone downhill. I wish she had written another one of those instead of this book. I guess she is a dry drunk and that's why her books have taken on the morose tone they now have. I wish she had taken her son's road to recovery and we could now be enjoying Jury and friends. What a waste of time this book was. I feel sorry for her son--he was right to not want to write this book. I love the Richard Jury mysteries although they have definitely gone downhill. I wish she had written another one of those instead of this book. I guess she is a dry drunk and that's why her books have taken on the morose tone they now have. I wish she had taken her son's road to recovery and we could now be enjoying Jury and friends. What a waste of time this book was. I feel sorry for her son--he was right to not want to write this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Garrett

    I received this book from a Goodreads first reads giveaway. This book was a really good read. The authors made themselves and there problems seem very human and relatable - no preaching, just real life. I would recommend this book!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kristi Lamont

    What I term a really good "recovery memoir" will usually make me want to go fix a glass or pour up a pint or shot of whatever our author is imbibing as his or her alcoholic beverage of choice, just from the vivid descriptions of the Scotch or the condensation on a glass or the atmosphere of a smoky bar or evocation of the chill of the wine on first sip. (Even though I don't like Scotch and can't be in a smoke-filled room for longer than about five minutes without nearly falling out. And, FTR, if What I term a really good "recovery memoir" will usually make me want to go fix a glass or pour up a pint or shot of whatever our author is imbibing as his or her alcoholic beverage of choice, just from the vivid descriptions of the Scotch or the condensation on a glass or the atmosphere of a smoky bar or evocation of the chill of the wine on first sip. (Even though I don't like Scotch and can't be in a smoke-filled room for longer than about five minutes without nearly falling out. And, FTR, if I read a book in which people are all eating vividly described cheeseburgers at a diner, well, a cheeseburger it must be for me!) Sadly, Martha Grimes made me never care if I ever had a vodka martini. And I would not want to share a pint with Ken Grimes. Sigh. It's harsh to say about one of my favorite writers, but I think Ms Grimes pushed her son to write this book so they could make some fast $$$. Sloppy writing, sloppy editing, and it really pains me to say that given how much I love her fiction. I struggled to stay awake reading this (in broad daylight, quite sober) up until page 94 of 213 pages, when I finally gave up.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Liz Pardey

    My name is Eiizabeth and I'm an addiction addict. The good old story of a descent into the hell of alcoholism/drugs/anorexia and the struggle out. You know, start with the flawed childhood, sneaking Daddy's bourbon and Mom's Valium, flunking out of grade 8 because you were always smoking weed in the washroom, three divorces due to my adultery until I discover AAA/my obsessive-compulsive disorder/God Martha Grimes; a writer of mediocre mysteries and her son, both former alcoholics are co-authors a My name is Eiizabeth and I'm an addiction addict. The good old story of a descent into the hell of alcoholism/drugs/anorexia and the struggle out. You know, start with the flawed childhood, sneaking Daddy's bourbon and Mom's Valium, flunking out of grade 8 because you were always smoking weed in the washroom, three divorces due to my adultery until I discover AAA/my obsessive-compulsive disorder/God Martha Grimes; a writer of mediocre mysteries and her son, both former alcoholics are co-authors although thereis little actual interplay. I was, frankly, very disappointed. There is no real coherent time line, they only communicate in three dialogues when they discuss AAA vs other treatments. Somehow they just don't seem to care. Another disappointment was that Ms Grimes is writing down to us in her mystery novels. A lot of what she says, the literary background she has, seem to show that she's just turning out the Richard Jurys, not too much effort expended, just get a new one to the publisher every year or so and keep that revenue stream

  9. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    Since Martha Grimes is one of my favorite authors and has blessed my life with good writing and memorable characters, I was surprised initially to see the focus of this memoir. But reading her story and now knowing about her battle with alcohol, I have more insight into her novels and appreciate them even more. Now I understand young Emma's knowledge of making mixed drinks in the Hotel Paradise series and all the drinking that took place with the aunt upstairs and the business partner downstairs Since Martha Grimes is one of my favorite authors and has blessed my life with good writing and memorable characters, I was surprised initially to see the focus of this memoir. But reading her story and now knowing about her battle with alcohol, I have more insight into her novels and appreciate them even more. Now I understand young Emma's knowledge of making mixed drinks in the Hotel Paradise series and all the drinking that took place with the aunt upstairs and the business partner downstairs. Alcohol permeated her childhood, so no wonder it became an issue as an adult. And now I know why the Richard Jury novels are each named after a pub in England. It wasn't just a quirky name...or was it? The pubs were much more than a place to drink. And she is much more than alcohol. It may have been an addiction, but it didn't own her or change the brilliant scope of her work. When we read all of an author's books, don't we feel we know them? Now...all the more. Add in meeting her son, Ken. It's no wonder he experienced the same addictions, with his own special twist of suffering. I was caught off guard to find so many similarities between alcoholism and depression. At the root of both are loneliness, fear, anger, insecurity, isolation. Both increase the isolation and are destructive physically and emotionally. "It's as if I were born without the ability to process certain feelings, and I'm still overwhelmed by them today...A degree of pain will be with me forever. It's more formless than that, to be restless, irritable, and discontent...I've come to realize that no matter how I feel, I shouldn't take it too seriously, because three hours from now, I'll feel differently." "I have a wardrobe of illusions."

  10. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I won this book as a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway. I was very happy to have won this book because the subject of Alcoholism is one near and dear to my heart. My Grandfather is recovering alcoholic, my Uncle is an alcoholic and I, myself, have had a very real struggle with alcohol. It always interests me to see how others cope with their illness and how families can persevere. With that being said, I was very disappointed with this memoir. I knew that I would be getting both points of view but I I won this book as a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway. I was very happy to have won this book because the subject of Alcoholism is one near and dear to my heart. My Grandfather is recovering alcoholic, my Uncle is an alcoholic and I, myself, have had a very real struggle with alcohol. It always interests me to see how others cope with their illness and how families can persevere. With that being said, I was very disappointed with this memoir. I knew that I would be getting both points of view but I was expecting it to be a little more cohesive than it was. While I realize that having two people, "speaking" may not always lend itself to the smoothest read, I know that it can, actually. This felt very random even within the one voice. While I have that criticism, I feel that I must say I'm not sure how they could have made it better? Was each story written with a beginning, middle, end and then broken up into chapters? It didn't feel that way to me. It seemed as if they each had a random thought of their recovery and they wrote it down and shared it. Lastly, I feel I should comment on Ms. Grimes's point of view most of all. While I don't feel entitled to comment on anyone's struggle with alcohol or how they go about getting or staying sober, after all, it is such a different journey for each of us, I will since I was asked to give my honest opinion here. I felt at many times during her convoluted rants that I wanted to shout out, "Please just go have a drink already!"

  11. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This book was so approachable. Much of it read like a conversation over tea and biscuits with Martha and Ken Grimes. Growing up in an alcoholic household, so many things in this book rang true for me. While this is a nonfiction, I have no problem saying that I connected with both of the authors. I especially appreciated each talking about how society’s treatment of alcoholics has changed over the decades. While both entered into treatment, each chose different paths. One is an atheist and one is This book was so approachable. Much of it read like a conversation over tea and biscuits with Martha and Ken Grimes. Growing up in an alcoholic household, so many things in this book rang true for me. While this is a nonfiction, I have no problem saying that I connected with both of the authors. I especially appreciated each talking about how society’s treatment of alcoholics has changed over the decades. While both entered into treatment, each chose different paths. One is an atheist and one is not. One went with Alcoholics Anonymous and one with a private clinic. While one toyed with drugs, the other did not. On a more poignant level, the authors talk about Ken growing up with an alcoholic parent and never being sure of when or how Martha’s mood would swing. Additionally, Martha talks of her summers working at the family hotel and alcoholic mood swings of the manager – friendly and funny to furious in zero seconds flat. Their discussions of the constant vigilance, if not out right battle, against falling back into the bottle showed how strong a person needs to be to kick any addiction. They also have a great discussion about whether or not alcoholism should be considered a medical disease. It is not a question I had pondered before this book and has given me something to chew on. Narration: Kate Reading and Holter Graham were perfect choices for the voices of Martha Grimes and Ken Grimes. They provided a clear narration of what was at times a difficult subject. I especially liked the sections that were conversations back and forth between Martha and Ken.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Laurian

    I've read quite a few books on alcoholism at this point and this one is by far the most personal and thoughtful response. I've read quite a few books on alcoholism at this point and this one is by far the most personal and thoughtful response.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Emilayday Adamcyk

    It was a fast read. I liked a lot of what the son had to say and his writing, the mom seemed to be trying to say something really wise or quotable but ended up talking in weird rambling fragments a lot. It was an okay read in the recovery genre.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Mullen

    This book is an underwhelming combination of bad writing and bad editing that results in an essentially incoherent manuscript.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Judith

    This was an interesting take on alcoholism, with dual narrators: a mother and her son. Both are recovering alcoholics, and since they are from two different generations, their addictions contrast sharply. Whereas the mother pictures frosty martinis, the son seeks mostly chemical alteration through pharmaceuticals. Because I am an oldster, I related to the mother's story even though martinis are not my chosen form of poison. She had a gift for language and she is the author of a series of mystery This was an interesting take on alcoholism, with dual narrators: a mother and her son. Both are recovering alcoholics, and since they are from two different generations, their addictions contrast sharply. Whereas the mother pictures frosty martinis, the son seeks mostly chemical alteration through pharmaceuticals. Because I am an oldster, I related to the mother's story even though martinis are not my chosen form of poison. She had a gift for language and she is the author of a series of mystery novels and won prizes for her other books. I liked what she said about stopping drinking because it seems to apply to stopping any harmful behavior: "You don't stop drinking by analyzing; You don't stop drinking by understanding why you do it or 'reasonably' deciding to cut back; You stop by stopping. This is bad news. It's hard to think you can't somehow nibble around the edges of a problem, maybe suck on the lemon twist or the olive; that maybe you can cut this quitting into workable parts." And her thoughts on the over used advice for dieting, drinking, etc., which is to substitute new habit, food, drink, etc. : "What? Are these books kidding? Nothing can take the place of that frosty martini on the bar. . . ." She goes on to explain that it could be argued that anything you would choose to take the place of the drink would simply be enhanced by drinking at the same time. But my favorite passage was about our children growing up and away: "The story of parents and children is one of tragic implications. Its success depends on separation. It's as if, between the shutting and opening of a door, or turning away and turning back, everything changes. You wonder about a child: where did you go?"

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chaitra

    Here's the thing. Had it been only a memoir of alcoholism and not a dual one, it would have been much better. I admit I picked it up because it was a mother and son dual thing, but it didn't make for a coherent book. The focus was all over the place. I'm mostly in the minority with this opinion. But, for me, Martha's story of her struggle with alcoholism and the difficulties she faced with overcoming it was much more palatable than Ken's. Ken, I'm not sure I connected with. He had the more human Here's the thing. Had it been only a memoir of alcoholism and not a dual one, it would have been much better. I admit I picked it up because it was a mother and son dual thing, but it didn't make for a coherent book. The focus was all over the place. I'm mostly in the minority with this opinion. But, for me, Martha's story of her struggle with alcoholism and the difficulties she faced with overcoming it was much more palatable than Ken's. Ken, I'm not sure I connected with. He had the more humane elements whereas Martha had the answers, but I still liked Martha's portions better. I think that had to do with how their respective portions were written. Or something. The subject was would-be interesting. I'm not an alcoholic, nor have I known anyone who was one, but I'm interested in addictive behavior. But this memoir was just too convoluted for me to make sense. Just as I would be getting into a voice and the story, the narrative cut, without any rhyme or reason, to the other person. Not exactly the brightest of ideas to splice the memoir that way. 2 stars. I received a copy of the book for review via NetGalley.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Vilo

    Martha Grimes is the author of the Richard Jury and other mysteries. Her son Ken works in the publishing industry. She convinced him that they should write a dual memoir of their respective struggles with alcoholism (and in Ken's case other drug abuse) and how they each moved on. Each chapter is an individual essay by one or the other on some aspect of their experience. I love Martha Grimes' writing, but I especially appreciated Ken's chapters because he is so straight forward and compelling in Martha Grimes is the author of the Richard Jury and other mysteries. Her son Ken works in the publishing industry. She convinced him that they should write a dual memoir of their respective struggles with alcoholism (and in Ken's case other drug abuse) and how they each moved on. Each chapter is an individual essay by one or the other on some aspect of their experience. I love Martha Grimes' writing, but I especially appreciated Ken's chapters because he is so straight forward and compelling in his account--and perhaps his approach is one that resonates more with me. The book does make you wonder what mildly addictive behaviors you might have and how they might interfere with your life. Martha says that her alcoholism never affected her work or ability to function, and yet in both their descriptions of Ken's growing up years it is clear that her involvement with alcohol may well have interfered with her ability to see her son's struggles in life. One of the friends Ken made in recovery says that he's not sure why he felt that one shouldn't have pain in life (and therefore why he tried to dull all pain with drugs/alcohol). An interesting read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Linda Caminiti

    I know there are a zillion books on addiction but this one is different because it's told from two points of view. Two stories unfold...that of the alcoholic mother and that of the addicted son. Each give their once perspective on addiction, how they deal with it and how it has affected their lives. Martha Grimes is a famous murder mystery writer, the author of the Richard Jury series. Her son became addicted to drugs of all kinds in his early teens. He anted to be the cool guy until his friends I know there are a zillion books on addiction but this one is different because it's told from two points of view. Two stories unfold...that of the alcoholic mother and that of the addicted son. Each give their once perspective on addiction, how they deal with it and how it has affected their lives. Martha Grimes is a famous murder mystery writer, the author of the Richard Jury series. Her son became addicted to drugs of all kinds in his early teens. He anted to be the cool guy until his friends started calling him "Spent Ken". He almost dies from his addiction. His story is more about how he became an addict and what drove him there. His mother's is more about how difficult it is to be an alcoholic and to stay sober. I believe we all have people around us that are addicted to something, alcohol, gambling, drugs etc. So this is a very insightful look into the lives of those trying to stay sober and clean.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Carole Yeaman

    Martha comes across grumpy, cynical, unempathetic & the only one with "all the answers" - someone with a permanent hangover. Although admirably "dry" for 20 years through her own willpower (and a couple of hospitalizations which she doesn't describe at all), she ends the book with definitive renouncement of the substance which was the only way she felt she could connect "not simply with other people but with myself and with the world." Ken, her beleguered yet uncomplaining son, displays a much mo Martha comes across grumpy, cynical, unempathetic & the only one with "all the answers" - someone with a permanent hangover. Although admirably "dry" for 20 years through her own willpower (and a couple of hospitalizations which she doesn't describe at all), she ends the book with definitive renouncement of the substance which was the only way she felt she could connect "not simply with other people but with myself and with the world." Ken, her beleguered yet uncomplaining son, displays a much more human and multifaceted person who is open to the world as his reformed alcoholic parents (long divorced) are closed to it. One difference may be that has gone through AA and believes in the saving grace of the "higher power". Regardless, we are shown many approaches to solving or ignoring the "disease" (Martha & Ken cannot agree on even this concept) as the two of them bump through their separate lives & witness interesting lessons from others similarly-challenged.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Martha Bratton

    I had no idea of what to expect from this book, but I wanted to read it because I think I've read every Grimes book and I was stunned to hear about her alcoholism. Martha Grimes doesn't mince words, so this is an eloquent confrontation of a spooky problem. The focus is on what works and what doesn't--AA vs. clinics. She and her son come at the issues from different angles, and I now know more than I ever wanted to now about how difficult it is for an alcoholic to stop drinking. I have had alcoho I had no idea of what to expect from this book, but I wanted to read it because I think I've read every Grimes book and I was stunned to hear about her alcoholism. Martha Grimes doesn't mince words, so this is an eloquent confrontation of a spooky problem. The focus is on what works and what doesn't--AA vs. clinics. She and her son come at the issues from different angles, and I now know more than I ever wanted to now about how difficult it is for an alcoholic to stop drinking. I have had alcoholics in my life but never understood why they "chose" to drink. It turns out that "why" is not the issue. The back and forth between Grimes and Grimes is not medical or scientific so much as anecdotal. As in her books, her witty sparkle shines through whatever she is talking about. She helped her son get a job in publishing, which I have always considered a hard-drinking environment. But that is not what started him drinking and drugging. I'm glad I read it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cara

    I like the premise of this dual memoir on alcoholism, written by a mother and son. It was interesting to read about some of the same events from their different perspectives--I always like that. Also, he's pro-AA, and she's not. I enjoyed the small debates on that. Overall, the story didn't really touch me on any emotional level, though. I guess there wasn't that much story there, really. They both drank a lot, and the son also used other drugs. Then they each got clean. It was hard. They've sta I like the premise of this dual memoir on alcoholism, written by a mother and son. It was interesting to read about some of the same events from their different perspectives--I always like that. Also, he's pro-AA, and she's not. I enjoyed the small debates on that. Overall, the story didn't really touch me on any emotional level, though. I guess there wasn't that much story there, really. They both drank a lot, and the son also used other drugs. Then they each got clean. It was hard. They've stayed clean. That's hard, too, at least for the mother. It seems like the son didn't say that much about it, come to think of it. Actually, the ending did make me cry. (view spoiler)[It seems really sad that this poor lady has to live the rest of her life without her best friend (alcohol) and isn't completely convinced there's any point in doing so. (hide spoiler)] I wish them both the best of luck.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth☮

    This is a memoir of a mother and and her son: both alcoholics. This seemed like an interesting in theory, but doesn't do well in the execution of it here. I was interested in this book because I have alcoholism in my own family and I thought this might help get into the mind of a mind addled by addiction. I did find Martha Grimes to be honest about her addiction and the choices she has made, but I found her son's account more relatable. He uses AA for recovery while his mother utilized an outpati This is a memoir of a mother and and her son: both alcoholics. This seemed like an interesting in theory, but doesn't do well in the execution of it here. I was interested in this book because I have alcoholism in my own family and I thought this might help get into the mind of a mind addled by addiction. I did find Martha Grimes to be honest about her addiction and the choices she has made, but I found her son's account more relatable. He uses AA for recovery while his mother utilized an outpatient clinic and finds AA to be too much like a church rather than a support group. The pacing is quick, but feels disjointed at times. I am glad to have read it, but it didn't add much to what I know about addiction.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stacie

    Received this book from Net Galley First of all, it was kind of cool to read a book that referenced a place I used to work. I am, however, afraid that might have been my favorite part of this entire book. I love reading memoirs, especially those dealing with addictions. Double, Double had great potential but I think the dual points of view got a little confusing at time, especially in an advance copy with editing mistakes. It also seemed as if I was reading two different books in the same book. I Received this book from Net Galley First of all, it was kind of cool to read a book that referenced a place I used to work. I am, however, afraid that might have been my favorite part of this entire book. I love reading memoirs, especially those dealing with addictions. Double, Double had great potential but I think the dual points of view got a little confusing at time, especially in an advance copy with editing mistakes. It also seemed as if I was reading two different books in the same book. I appreciate the dual views but I think this may have been better as an essay in a magazine or something with several parts to it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    Very interesting book coauthored by a mother and son about addiction and recovery. Written together after they were decades sober. They have very different ideas about alcoholism, addiction, and recovery. She prefers inpatient treatment while he choose AA meetings. Of course, the best outcome of any treatment is sobriety which they both seem to have found. They do agree on the premise that after treatment there is no social "I can handle it now" drinking. Having experienced this within my own fa Very interesting book coauthored by a mother and son about addiction and recovery. Written together after they were decades sober. They have very different ideas about alcoholism, addiction, and recovery. She prefers inpatient treatment while he choose AA meetings. Of course, the best outcome of any treatment is sobriety which they both seem to have found. They do agree on the premise that after treatment there is no social "I can handle it now" drinking. Having experienced this within my own family I completely agree. This book was cleverly written they each had their own chapters and then there were cowritten chapters in an interview format.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joyce Yanney

    Two views of dealing with alcohol from a mother and her son that have been alcohol free for over 10 years. Martha believes alcoholism has never affected her work or ability to function. Because of alcohol she never noticed her sons struggles in life. Ken tells of his dealings with alcohol and drugs. He goes to AA and believes in powers above for saving him. We get to look into the lives of 2 people and what drove them to their alcoholism and what it has taken to stay sober and clean. A very tell Two views of dealing with alcohol from a mother and her son that have been alcohol free for over 10 years. Martha believes alcoholism has never affected her work or ability to function. Because of alcohol she never noticed her sons struggles in life. Ken tells of his dealings with alcohol and drugs. He goes to AA and believes in powers above for saving him. We get to look into the lives of 2 people and what drove them to their alcoholism and what it has taken to stay sober and clean. A very telling story that I am sure others can identify with, themselves or family members. An excellent story. Recommend reading this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    An eye-opening and unique look at alcoholism. Witty, entertaining, moving, and profound, Martha and Ken give two sides to a dirty coin--She's used rehab clinics to get dry, and he's a lifer with AA. A mother and son pair with equal amounts of writerly talent, I think this book will appeal to a wide range--those interested in alcoholism and addiction, those who love a good [dual] memoir, anyone who likes something a bit different on their bedside table, and fans of Martha Grimes, so famed for her An eye-opening and unique look at alcoholism. Witty, entertaining, moving, and profound, Martha and Ken give two sides to a dirty coin--She's used rehab clinics to get dry, and he's a lifer with AA. A mother and son pair with equal amounts of writerly talent, I think this book will appeal to a wide range--those interested in alcoholism and addiction, those who love a good [dual] memoir, anyone who likes something a bit different on their bedside table, and fans of Martha Grimes, so famed for her mystery novels.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Quite an interesting mother and son memoir. One who swears by AA and another who doesn't believe in it at all. I found both stories quite fascinating. Having lived with an alcoholic probably made me appreciate this book more than I would have otherwise, but it was a good read for sure. Alcoholics are a different breed and I think that if you don't have firsthand experience with one (or if you aren't one yourself) you may not get some of this. What seems stupid and ridiculous to most makes perfec Quite an interesting mother and son memoir. One who swears by AA and another who doesn't believe in it at all. I found both stories quite fascinating. Having lived with an alcoholic probably made me appreciate this book more than I would have otherwise, but it was a good read for sure. Alcoholics are a different breed and I think that if you don't have firsthand experience with one (or if you aren't one yourself) you may not get some of this. What seems stupid and ridiculous to most makes perfect sense to an alcoholic.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Reamer

    Martha Grimes is one of my favorite mystery writers and this book was an interesting look at her life and that of her son and how their addictions dovetailed throughout their lives so far. I especially liked the reports she gave about how her battle with her addiction did not seem to affect her writing, at least in any major way - this was a surprise to me. It was an intense read and very thought-provoking.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    Well, growing up in a family of alcoholics I definitely related to this book. Have to say though that I was more engrossed by Kens writing than Marthas sometimes. She really went off into a lot of thoughts and phrases which at times could make you try to "move on" through the paragraghs, lenghthy. Kens were a little more direct, to the point, interesting. There is a lot of good insight in these pages and I will surely pass this on to those who can benefit. Well, growing up in a family of alcoholics I definitely related to this book. Have to say though that I was more engrossed by Kens writing than Marthas sometimes. She really went off into a lot of thoughts and phrases which at times could make you try to "move on" through the paragraghs, lenghthy. Kens were a little more direct, to the point, interesting. There is a lot of good insight in these pages and I will surely pass this on to those who can benefit.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    Good information on understanding addicitons in general and alcoholism in particular. Especially like the idea that it is from two perspectives...mother and son. Different generations, different experiences, different methods. I would recommend to anyone with questions or concerns. Simple, straight forward, interesting read.

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