Saturday, April 7, 2007

Sober ... and Staying That Way

By Susan Powter
ISBN 0-684-81595-8

Reviewed by Don B.

The blonde with the buzz-cut tackles alcoholism. After a nationally syndicated radio program, TV infomercials, and books on diet, nutrition and exercise, Susan Powter now gives us the cure for alcoholism. Just what we've all been waiting for - it's a wonder no one else has discovered it.

First she takes us on a 'tour' of her battle with alcohol - going to Alanon meetings at age 11, hereditary links (mother & brother both alcoholics), and her eventual attendance at AA meetings - how can one be "anonymous" with her looks and fame? She also takes great exception with AA's 'powerlessness', the 7- 12% success rate in AA, and that the only "cure" is "disease talk", taking one's inventory, etc.

Next, she launches into her rather nebulous conspiracy theory - how the government, hospital industry, liquor lobby, advertising industry, and current recovery thinking (read AA here) are making sure that we don't get the necessary information to keep us sober. Great reading for people who see conspiracies everywhere!

We finally get to the "cure" - claiming an 80% success rate, but citing only Ms. Powter and her brother as being cured. The cure is based on equal parts of Jack Trimpey, proper nutrition, and exercise. It's very big on "the Beast" and your "addictive voice" straight out of "The Small Book". The rest is all nutrition (with a bit of exercise thrown in) - staying away from refined sugar, white flour, caffeine (more conspiracies here) and eating properly, to support the 'biochemical environment' for sobriety.

Overall, not a bad book, but not a great one either. I had leafed through it and rejected it when it first came out, feeling it wasn't worth the price. When it next appeared a few months later on the half-price shelf, I gave in. Suggest getting it from the library, borrowing it from a friend, or buy (if you must) at half-price or less. Perhaps the best part of the book - she includes some nutritional recipes that might be worth a try. (January 1998).

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