5 Stars -The Road to Recovery from Alcohol and Drug Addiction March 11, 2013
The Courage to Surrender by John W is an honest and compelling account of decades of alcoholism and drug addiction and the ultimate recovery and sobriety…I believe every word this author wrote; it is compelling, and sometimes difficult, to absorb. It is clear that he is educated and intelligent. He is also a savvy technologist and managed to hide his addictions and hold down various positions throughout his career…The author says he "is not a writer" but I thought his writing clear, and honest, and well-thought out. I thought his writing quiet brilliant at times in that he was able to clearly express his feelings, his failings, and his fears. For people who are ready to confront their addictions and begin the road to sobriety, this is a must-read. The author wants to help people, and he says if he can help just one person become sober then it will have been worth it.
Reviewed by Lynn Schneider
4 Stars -Awesome and Honest!! - February 19, 2013
This is a thought-provoking story about a young man's slide into drugs and alcohol… The author felt that he needs to let others know about the pain and heartache alcohol addiction can cause, the insecurities involved and a possible catastrophic future…. I really enjoyed the way the author described how he grew up and how alcoholism and drugs were a big part of his day to day existence… What was special and unique about the book was that it gave me an insight into the life of an alcoholic and drug user and how crafty they can be to get what they want. The writing style was great and what set it apart was it showed how true to life it was and how easy anyone can fall into that trap. Reviewed by Shelley Walling - Helpful votes received on reviews: 78% (18 of 23)
4 Stars - Inspiring Memoir of Addiction and Determination, Feb 13, 13
"Courage to Surrender" is part memoir, part confessional, and all inspiring… The memoir takes us back to John's childhood, where he has his first beer at the age of eight, in his idyllic, all-American hometown.… This memoir was different from anything I've picked up before, and I enjoyed it. John W. tells his story simply but with interesting detail, and the way he expresses the shame and humiliation that comes along with being an alcoholic...My heart broke for him, his children, and even his wife, who comes off as much more of a villain in the memoir (her coke addiction leads her to abandon her children)…he managed to turn his life around and stay sober. I think this memoir will be very inspiring to those struggling to overcome any sort of addiction, and may also be a comfort and aid to those who love someone who struggles with addiction.
Reviewed by Erica Lucas - Helpful votes received on reviews: 97% (35 of 36)
5 Stars – An honest look at the battle for sobriety - February 12, 2013
One of the reasons I liked this book so much is the author's writing style. There's nothing flowery or sugar-coated. He simply tells his story beginning…The book is set throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s for the most part and the first-hand accounts given about different historical happenings, such as the Vietnam War and Woodstock, were very interesting. The raw honesty provided here had to be painful to write but is superb to read. There were times I just wanted to yell at the author to give up on his drug addict wife or stop screwing up great job opportunities but he never makes excuses for his mistakes, just presents his life as it happened. There is no preaching in the story as so often happens when someone finally becomes sober. Instead he is honest about just how hard maintaining that sobriety is still to this day. This is an excellent book for anyone to read even if it is heart wrenching at times.
Reviewed by: Francine1898 - Helpful votes received on reviews: 86% (57 of 66)
4 Stars - Sobriety came with a price and he was willing to make the exchange
My first comment is to congratulate author John W. on more than 11 years of sobriety!...I am impressed with the amount of courage he has shown in the ability to relive his experiences in depth to write this book. I would think it had to be very painful as he unveiled his fears and uncertainties in order to share a life of secrets and regret… I was astonished at how he was able to hold a professional IT position with major companies while living under or within the influence of alcohol and mood altering drugs…, I felt I was on the journey of memories with John. He stresses the era of the baby boomers or the Woodstock generation as being a time of change when the stigma of using recreational drugs is more acceptable. He reveals the out of control roller-coaster of living a life fueled by addictions, not just to substances, but also the obsession of being able to keep, protect, and help his wife as she spiraled further from him in her haste to escape the all-American dream… If you have a dependency on alcohol and/or drugs or if you have a family member or friend who needs a guiding hand, this book is recommended reading…the experiences of John W. it puts a new light of perspective on the reason an alcoholic would hesitate to seek help. After the book, I felt a different compassion for those who are fighting daily to stay sober!
Reviewed by dcl (MS & AR) - Helpful votes received on reviews: 84% (46 of 55)
4 Stars - So Vivid and Honest! - February 1, 2013
A true story chronicled for everyone with this problem by an ex-notorious drunk and drug abuser, whose life-changing story is really a revelation for those in need of help from this ignoble and addictive behavior… This book is his story, of one holding on to something even in the face of blinding defeat. Of one who saw the truth in the words of President Barack Obama, 44th president of the United States; that the definition of hope is to still believe, even when it is hard… In this book, the author really broke down his life's journey, and the last pages are quite hopeful for the teeming millions on Earth still bugged down with this seemingly perpetual disease, which continues to evade a cure through the intervention of modern orthodox medicine. This book is worth recommending to any alcohol and drug addict in need of help, and this I gladly do with heartfelt praise to John W.
Reviewed by: George Shadow Helpful votes received on reviews67% (8 of 12)
4 Stars - Enjoyable Read - February 18, 2013
John not only wrote this book to tell his story of addiction and the struggles he face, but he wrote it as an inspiration to others struggling with similar things. He tells of his thirty-three year struggle that he was able to put an end to in hopes of inspiring those who may be going through this now…. One that that really factors into John's lifestyle is the fact that John was born into the baby boomer era. Drugs were more acceptably used for recreational purposes during this time, as there are even mentions of Woodstock within the book…I enjoyed reading this book. I felt like I was reliving John's memories with him while I read it. It is very inspiring to know that even though he struggled with drugs and alcohol for as long as he did (thirty-three years to be exact) that he was still able to recover from it. Congratulations to John W. and his eleven years of sobriety. I would recommend this to anyone looking for an inspirational journey. Great job to the author.
Reviewed by Tiffany Davis - Helpful votes received on reviews: 88% (97 of 110)
3 Stars – John W's Courage to Surrender, January 31, 2013
John W's story is…the process of getting up the courage to tell the truth…Where John W touches a nerve is in his struggles or as he calls it, his "bottoms… for anyone who has ever suffered from addiction. I particularly liked that he was not afraid to also talk about the need to surrender in regard to his faith; surrendering to his higher power…is often left out of stories…it is essential as John W finds out. The book also has an interesting perspective on addiction to those who are considered baby boomers which I had not thought of before and am grateful to this book for putting that on my radar.
Reviewed by: Jolene - Helpful votes received on reviews: 91% (10 of 11)
4 Stars - My first comment is to congratulate author John W. on more than 11 years of sobriety! 2-12-13
I am impressed with the amount of courage he has shown in the ability to relive his experiences in depth to write this book. I would think it had to be very painful as he unveiled his fears and uncertainties in order to share a life of secrets and regret with friends and the public.
I read of his experiences for the 33 years of living daily with his alcohol addiction and times of combining the alcohol with drugs. I was astonished at how he was able to hold a professional IT position with major companies while living under or within the influence of alcohol and mood altering drugs. The highs and lows of his depression and self-esteem seem to push him further into the use of more or stronger drugs.
In the book, The Courage to Surrender, I felt I was on the journey of memories with John. He stresses the era of the baby boomers or the Woodstock generation as being a time of change when the stigma of using recreational drugs is more acceptable. He reveals the out of control roller-coaster of living a life fueled by addictions, not just to substances, but also the obsession of being able to keep, protect, and help his wife as she spiraled further from him in her haste to escape the all-American dream family into a world of drugs.
It is frightening to read of his daily actions of driving while high or stoned, being successful and working among corporate management, and then the nighttime excursions to score more drugs.
He writes of the worry and impact his actions was having on his two children. As you read the book you can anticipate he will hit bottom, but at what cost? Sobriety came with a price and he was willing to make the exchange. It was not an easy journey, but he is walking it with the help of AA and others who care.
If you have a dependency on alcohol and/or drugs or if you have a family member or friend who needs a guiding hand, this book is recommended reading. As you read the experiences of John W. it puts a new light of perspective on the reason an alcoholic would hesitate to seek help. After reading the book, I felt a different compassion for those who are fighting daily to stay sober!
Review by: Diane Lochala
Feb 12-2013 atomskeater
Courage to Surrender is one man's memoir that recalls his struggle with substance abuse. He candidly tells us as much of his history as he can, from his days as a rebellious youth trying to gain the approval of an aloof father, to his days dodging the draft and beyond. The memoir is pretty powerful, and I was kept interested for the duration of the book for both the history of John W. (who seems to have lived a pretty exciting life) as the major historical events that play into the narrative. The 60s, 70s etc were interesting times.
The author is able to provide a vivid image of the turbulent times he lived through, and the vast amount of colorful characters he interacted with who had some hand in ultimately shaping the kind of person he became. Despite this, the writing is problematic in places. Commas are often missing where they're needed, creating run-on sentences, or inserted where they're no needed. Sometimes the syntax of sentences is way off. It's still understandable, but more editing would have helped. It's not too long a tale, which helps keep it from overstaying its welcome, and I liked the honesty of the memoir. We see his high points and the lowest lows of his substance abuse.
5 Stars – January 28, 2013
I found John W.'s book compelling and brutally honest. This type of honesty is rare these days. Being a Boomer myself, the book harkens days gone past of a "devil may care" to sex, and drugs.
For anyone struggling to find peace through sobriety, I highly recommend this book.
Reviewed Laney (LMC)