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How did the narrator detract from the book?
Rob Davis rockets along at breakneck speed, as if he has to impart as much information as quickly as possible. Fortunately I am already a great fan of audiobooks so his snappy delivery didn't put me off the medium of audio.
However, in this case I would recommend a hard copy or Kindle as well as or instead of the audiobook. There is a great deal to absorb, lists to make and one needs to refer back for clarification and reinforcement. This is no drive-by reading.
Any additional comments?
Yes, I'm an addict - cigarettes being my poison of choice - for over 40 years. And, yes, I have tried to kick it using books, therapy, acupuncture, programs, medication and nicotine replacement.
From past experience, the resounding message that usually comes through is that with some assistance and self-discipline, addiction can be beaten - no problem. Some methods are even arrogant enough to claim that they can make the process relatively easy and quote excellent success rates. Many never follow up after completion of their programs, so how do they know how good they really are? It's not easy, hence permanent success rates are statistically fairly disappointing. Addiction in itself is not the problem - it is the manifestation of the problem.
Finally a book which tells it like it is! Not only do Fred Woolverton and Susan Shapiro go into the underlying causes of addiction, but warn us up-front that we will suffer through the process - for as long as a year. If you are not prepared for a difficult road, don't go past the first chapter, or don't buy the book. Addiction is the accumulation of years of deep underlying sadness, pain, feeling unworthy or unloved, not a self contained bubble of indulgent pleasure. There is a lot to unravel and heal - it has to take time.
By allowing ourselves to being open and prepared to gain an understanding of how and why our addictions have come to be, they explain how to approach and eventually free ourselves of the fear of not needing the perceived but ultimately unsatisfying comfort that addictions provide. Far from protecting us, they explain how isolating and destructive the "smokescreen" of addiction is.
For such a short book, they manage to touch on a wide spectrum of issues, leaving it to us, the readers, to explore independently in detail whichever topic or thread is most pertinent to us. Again, I believe that a wise therapist will succinctly let us know what is "out there", without boring us by belaboring their preferences.
There are always negative reviews, which is understandable. Unorthodox methods do not resonate for everyone, while others are hoping for another quick fix. Fred often quotes his personal issues and frequently sings his own praises. But I believe that any therapist worth his/her fee should have first hand experience coupled with academic credentials to augment his/her effectiveness.
Apparently the sign of a good therapist is someone who makes us uncomfortable, to really force us to deal with our issues, not floating on air at the end of each session. Fred and Susan are real people who have done the time and they want us to benefit from their struggles.
Read and/or listen to this book more than once with an open mind and commitment.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
As defined by the book, "addictions" are the use of any substance or activity that allows the user to escape from real life. Through a series of in-depth case studies, Dr. Woolverton defines addictions and gives concrete suggestions about how to improve one's overall quality of life by addressing these problems. Dr. Woolverton's frank style is reassuring and hopeful, and also quite personal. After listening to this title, I have more confidence to address my own addictive issues. I'd recommend this book to someone who is wondering about his/her own possible addictions and who wants straightforward insight about where and how to begin addressing the concerns. Don't look for a quick fix for your "fix" here, however – there isn't any magic. There is plenty of support, advice and reassurance for those thinking of beginning the journey to being addiction-free.
Downsides: much of the specific advice is repetitive. Also, I thought the ending was a little depressing after so many success stories, uplifting information and useful suggestions found throughout the rest of the book. Some readers may also note the great deal of personal information provided by the author. This might prove distasteful to those who would prefer a more clinical or impersonal approach.
The performance was adequate: neither particularly remarkable, but certainly not annoying or distracting in any way.
In sum, check out this title if you are looking for a point to start addressing your addiction(s) with honesty and clarity. I found it a compelling, and ultimately reassuring aid to facing my own issues. This book helped me recognize that I have more resources and support if I choose to seek them, and that success is indeed a potential outcome.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful