Smashed Story of a Drunken Girlhood Author:Koren Zailckas From earliest experimentation to habitual excess to full-blown abuse, twenty-four-year-old Koren Zailckas leads us through her experience of a terrifying trend among young girls, exploring how binge drinking becomes routine, how it becomes "the usual." With the stylistic freshness of a poet and the dramatic gifts of a novelist, Zailckas descr... more »ibes her first sip at fourteen, alcohol poisoning at sixteen, a blacked-out sexual experience at nineteen, total disorientation after waking up in an unfamiliar New York City apartment at twenty-two, when she realized she had to stop, and all the depression, rage, troubled friendships, and sputtering romantic connections in between. Zailckass unflinching candor and exquisite analytical eye gets to the meaning beneath the seeming banality of girls getting drunk. She persuades us that her story is the story of thousands of girls like her who are not alcoholicsyetbut who use booze as a short cut to courage, a stand-in for good judgment, and a bludgeon for shyness, each of them failing to see how their emotional distress, unarticulated hostility, and depression are entangled with their socially condoned binging. Like the contemporary masterpieces The Liars Club, Autobiography of a Face, and Jarhead, Smashed is destined to become a classic. A crucial book for any woman who has succumbed to oblivion through booze, or for anyone ready to face the more subtle repercussions of their own chronic over-drinking or of someone they love, Smashed is an eye-opening, wise, and utterly gripping achievement.« less
Mostly a "drunk-ologue", no real reflection on the underlying issues and implications of her behavior. Zailckas was only sober 6 months or so when she wrote this, so don't expect a triumphant story of overcoming her addiction. "Drinking: A Love Story" is much better.
I'm not sure what to think of this book. In places it made me laugh thinking back on old college days, but mostly I was disgusted. I can't imagine how she made it through college. The book just goes on and on about how much she drank. I think I would have gotten the point in half of the pages.
Suzanne reviewed Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood on
Helpful Score: 4
Brave and quite unflattering retelling of the young author's destructive relationship with alcohol. Just when the reader tires of the author's zillionth hangover description, she makes it a worthwhile read in the last 2 chapters. A highly recommended read both for teens and for those who care about them.
I thought this was a great book and finished it in a couple of days. The portrayal of binge drinking for women in theis age group was dead-on. I felt like this story could have been mine or that of many close friends. Puts into perspective the "normality" of getting smashed everyday until you get that wake-up call.