While the form of this book, that is comparing and analyzing the drinking lives of several famous American writers, can seem contrived, somehow Laing pulls off an interesting read. Perhaps the fact that her subjects, namely Fitzgerald, Hemingway. Tennessee Williams, John Berryman, John Cheever, and Raymond Carver, are wildly talented writers as well as fascinating characters, helps her cause. In other words, it would be difficult to portray the behaviors of this group without the drama and fascination their real lives created.
Laing travels the country by train to the various places made famous by the writers, places immensely colorful, like New Orleans and Key West. It seems that Laing undertakes this project in order to somehow understand the destructive role alcohol has played in her own life.
The book peters out toward the end, but the anecdotes of this crew enliven and support the trip. To borrow this book.
My ocean physicist husband and I raised two wonderful sons, my proudest accomplishment. For many years I taught writing at a university, my job of a lifetime, and worked as a freelance writer for local publications. I am an ocean girl, sometimes profane, who loves animals, reading, and creative projects. I am curious about nearly everything. Loyal and caring, I make a good friend.