Book Review: “The Trip to Echo Spring” – Olivia Laing

The Trip to Echo SpringThe Trip to Echo Spring by Olivia Laing
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was both enlightening and, in many ways, sad. The author looks at five prominent American authors, all with immense talent, and explores how alcoholism impacted their writing and their ability to write.

All of these authors, save one, had extensive and multiple attempts to stop drinking during their lives and their careers. The failure rate is staggering, but it also confirms much of what recent in-depth research into the 28-day rehab industry has revealed about its inefficacy in dealing with addiction.

Not only were these writer addicted to alcohol, but the rest of their lives showed other areas of addiction that some got a handle on and some never did. One of the things this book showed in living color is how much addiction affects everything and everyone associated with the addict. There is never just a single casualty as long as the addict is feeding their addiction. The damage spreads like wildfire.

Well worth the time to read. I’ve read two of the authors discussed pretty extensively, but because of this book, will delve into some of the works of the other three.

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