Larry H Turner
on July 11, 2010 :
Larry H. Turner, Springtime Counseling Center
For thirty years, I have guaranteed my patients that Alcoholics Anonymous works if they will work the Alcoholics Anonymous program. Marion’s book precisely illustrates why I make that guarantee. The book is an engraved invitation to change your life, join a lot of now-happy souls, who used to think they were different, and find release from addiction.
Marion’s light-hearted side seems to explain to the reader that the A.A. program’s promise is like a door prize except there are millions of winners. The caveat: you must be present to win.
Marion, in his self-disclosures, leads us through the very real stages of denial, blaming, then the gut-wrenching awakening to the truth about ourselves, and onward into the beautiful relief of surrender to a disease that is, as the Big Book states: “…cunning, baffling, powerful.” Simply put, Marion does a splendid job of telling the reader how and why the A.A. program will work for them where other avenues of ‘fixes’ did not.
He’s not sitting across a desk from you writing a prescription. He’s sitting right next to you with his hand on your shoulder telling you: “I did this and so can you.”
Biochemist, inventor, information systems analyst, attorney, and, I happily say, philosopher, Marion weaves a path for us into the A.A. rooms with understanding, compassion, philosophical wisdoms, then, without hesitation, he aptly demonstrates the simple pragmatism of the A.A. program by saying: “Friend, things get better if you don’t drink.” A message rarely heard in the world of therapy.
Through one-liners (Life is hard by the yard, by the inch it’s a cinch), Marion quotes from historical A.A. folks while adding to the 75 year wisdom of the A.A. program by collecting the words of contemporary members who, in their own way tell us that we must cry, we must dry our tears and listen, and we must come to appreciate what good people we are in order to sustain recovery. One can pay $150 an hour for therapy and never reach this conclusion, or, as Marion stresses, one can consistently take in A.A. meetings, listen and share, and receive it as a gift. In the addiction field we often say, treatment is discovery, A.A. is recovery. No one has ever recovered in a treatment center. But by teaching about the 12 Steps, we can point you in the right direction.
To do less is malpractice. Marion’s book is a lesson in the 12 Steps of A.A. by a man who’s been there. Listen to him.
As a therapist, I have always looked for the magic elixir that would make my patients want to go to A.A. and Marion’s book just may have that magic. His words make going to your first A.A. meeting acceptable, inviting,…even fun. Buy Marion’s book of elixir for an alcoholic and let him or her “drink up.”
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)
Amy L. Allison
on June 24, 2010 :
I had read the First Edition in its entirety when it was completed. I was anxious to see the Second Edition, when I heard it existed. I was utterly amazed at the volume of memories, witicisms, harsh facts, articulated anecdotes, indignant protestations (all during Marion's younger period of spiritual growing), his colorful analogies, metaphors and black-and-white truths of what it was like/what happened/what it is like now for him in his 25 years of sobriety. Here you have a lawyer, turning sober to find that there is so much life yet to live. He throws himself into every activity, and so willingly shares with others what has been given to him in sobriety. The incredulous task of note-taking for 21 years in A.A. meetings, truly is a labor of love and growth, peppered with humor, insight and awe. He realized that that he was beat by his long-time friend (alcohol), and did something about it. His background of his early home-life brought tears to my eyes, and I am usually a stoic when it comes to things like that. He takes you along with him in his Journey of Recovery...his mistakes, his errors, self-doubt, and eventual enlightenment that there was a better life for him-sober- and he found he had always been a Child of God, despite what he once thought. This book needs to be on a Best-Seller booklist...but that may be in violation of one of the Traditions of A.A. ! I witnessed, for myself, Marion taking mountains of notes "inside those rooms". I had no idea they were eventually going to become this book. Excellent reading!!
(reviewed the day of purchase)