10 July, 2013

Book Review: Drink, Smoke, Pass Out: An unlikely Spiritual Journey

From Goodreads: At last, a book about life that discusses liquor and lovemaking as much as it does the point of it all.
Judith Lucy has looked everywhere for happiness. Growing up a Catholic, she thought about becoming a nun, and later threw herself into work, finding a partner and getting off her face. Somehow, none of that worked.
So lately, she's been asking herself the big questions. Why are we here? Is there a God? What happens when we die? And why can't she tell you what her close friends believe in, but she can tell you which ones have herpes? No-one could have been more surprised than Judith when she started to find solace and meaning in yoga and meditation, and a newfound appreciation for what others get from their religion.
In her first volume of memoir, the bestselling The Lucy Family Alphabet, Judith dealt with her parents. In Drink, Smoke, Pass Out, she tries to find out if there's more to life than wanting to suck tequila out of Ryan Gosling's navel. With disarming frankness and classic dry wit, she reviews the major paths of her life and, alarmingly, finds herself on a journey.

Thoughts: I read this to fulfill the spiritual genre of my 13 in '13 challenge , a category I was struggling to find something for. The reality is most spiritual books (and excuse the French here) shit me. I know what I believe. It is something I have given much thought to and am quite content with. As such, I don't feel the need to read many spiritual books. Maybe if I was less sure of my own thoughts I would find them helpful, but in general I find them preachy and condescending. Possibly I've been reading the wrong ones, who knows. 
This however was in a different vein. It was someone else's spiritual journey - their search for something to make sense of it all. What's more, it took great pains to remind you that this was her journey, not yours and as such she felt no compunction to try and change your mind or convert you - refreshing. In fact it's the lack of preachiness that has made me consider exploring some of the avenues Lucy has found solace in - specifically meditation.
This book is not for those who offend easily, especially if they offend at someone taking the piss out of their religion. Her view of the traditional catholic church is scathing. Lucy makes no apologies for her views and opinions. Much of the book is dedicated to her explaining how she got to where she was - early life, career choices, lifestyle choices and a growing feeling of being dissatisfied with aspects of her life and looking for something that made sense. Her exploration of different faiths and beliefs is actually quite a small chapter that summerises the TV series she did for the ABC. I watched the series too and found the book and the series complemented each other wonderfully. While the book explained the why of looking, the series looked at the actual exploration of different faiths and beliefs. I strongly suggest if you read the book you also watch the series and vice versa.
The TV series about Juidith Lucy's Spiritual Journey.

Challenges: 13 in '13 Challenge, Aussie Author Challenge