The classic tale of one man’s struggle with alcoholism, this revolutionary novel remains Charles Jackson’s best-known book—a daring autobiographical work that paved the way for contemporary addiction literature.
It is 1936, and on the East Side of Manhattan, a would-be writer named Don Birnam decides to have a drink. And then another, and then another, until he’s in the midst of what becomes a five-day binge. The Lost Weekend moves with unstoppable speed, propelled by a heartbreaking but unflinching truth. It catapulted Charles Jackson to fame, and endures as an acute study of the ravages of alcoholism, as well as an unforgettable parable of the condition of the modern man.
In this new edition of Jackson's groundbreaking, autobiographical 1944 novel, we meet Don Birnam, a charming, handsome, 33-year-old alcoholic who has just abandoned a fragile three-day sobriety. Don's writing career has been thwarted by his out-of-control binge drinking, and he has alienated everyone in his life save for his long-suffering brother Wick, who lives with him and pays all his bills, and his eternally patient, sometime girlfriend, Helen. During the eponymous five-day bender, Don careens violently around New York City, borrowing and losing money, getting kicked out of bars, and waking with no recollection of the previous day's events. With direct prose and a refreshing lack of pathos, Jackson lays bare the inner torment and outward chaos of Don's downward spiral. He vividly details Don's euphoric tunnel vision and delusions of grandeur that occur when Don is drunk, and the crippling pain of withdrawal and terror of delirium when he is not. Just like his loved ones and the strangers he encounters, the reader is repeatedly duped by Don's lies; we believe him every time because of Jackson's masterful storytelling. This frank examination, written before the disease of alcoholism was understood, offers no solution, no moral, just an unblinking look into the life and mind of an addict.
Customer ReviewsSee All
An eye opener!
A gut wrenching true story of obsession. An unflinching true story written with precise character folly. I think this book speaks to anyone interested with the dark soul of repeating melodrama which will follow you to your own shadow asking one self how I got this far!
What are we going to do about Don? Download him immediately, that's what.
Been waiting a long time for this brilliant work to be available digitally, and here it is.
Downloaded nicely and seems to be complete so far, with no formatting errors immediately evident. Period touches like colophons and half-page formatting at each chapter title page are all there. I haven't gone over the whole file yet, but so far the digital version seems to be complete and well put together. I checked the TOC and a few random pages as far as "The Mouse," and it looks fine.
It's a big day when a radioactively stunning work of genius like this one can live in your phone (or tablet or pad or whatever). Many thanks to the publisher for making it happen.