Smashed by Koren Zailckas – Book 8

I was really looking forward to reading “Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood” by Koren Zailckas.  This nonfiction story follows Koren from her teenage years until her twenties, and her experiences with excessive drinking.  Koren is not an alcoholic, but she has definite alcohol issues, drinking in excess mainly to overcome her anxiety and shyness.

Koren is an extremist.  Everything that she does is in excess.  She goes from excessive drinking and partying, to being an anti-social hermit, to being obsessed with a new boy, and back to excessive drinking.  Koren says, “I already need alcohol, not physically but certainly emotionally; my relationships, self-image, and ability to cope fluctuate with my blood alcohol content” (p297).

While the book is interesting, unfortunately, it was also long and wordy.  I thought “Smashed” would be similar to the other one-worded titles of “Wasted” and “Madness” by Marya Hornbacher, a journalist/author whose eating disorder and bipolar disorder dominated her life.  Marya’s stories in both novels were easier to read, less wordy, and, at the risk of sounding insensitive, more interesting.

If you are going to read a book about a woman’s battle with a disorder, I’d start first with “Wasted” and “Madness” by Marya Hornbacher.

Have you read any of these three books?  Let me know what you think!


7 thoughts on “Smashed by Koren Zailckas – Book 8

  1. Caroline Knapp’s ‘Drinking: A Love Story’ is another wonderful book along this same theme. It is one of my favorite books. Her book on anorexia, ‘Appetites: Why Women Want’ is how I was first introduced to her work, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.


    • Thanks for those book recommendations! I will definitely look into Caroline Knapp’s books!

      Thank you for reading!!!!


  2. I see this cover all the time when I go to the used bookstore and I’ve always wanted to pick it up and just haven’t. Now I’m glad I haven’t. I will look into the ones you mention though for sure! : )


    • Cassie, you’d think a book about a girl battling alcoholism would be a little more interesting!

      Thanks for reading and responding!!!!!


  3. Sorry to hear this wasn’t a better read! I’ve seen it floating around for years and wondered if it would be something I could get into . . . sounds like not, unfortunately.


  4. Pingback: Mother, Mother by Koren Zailckas | Love At First Book

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