When "Bohunk," a young, Jewish-Catholic heads to college, he aspires to become a doctor but fulfills his family destiny of alcoholism instead. Drinking his way through medical school and getting hooked on easy-to-access narcotics along the way, Bohunk inescapably finds himself on the precipice of death. After he emerges from a suicidal, drug-induced coma, he finally decides to confront his greatest fears and commits to live.
Between those extremes, Bohunk, with disarming frankness, shares the everyday work it takes to manage addiction, in good times and bad, as well as complex issues of legacy and spirituality: The son of a Catholic mother and a secular Jewish father, Bohunk, in his youth, felt some shame at his Jewish heritage, and while in recovery found his own beliefs in conflict. The “higher power” component of Alcoholics Anonymous eventually nudged him to work to find a “God-consciousness” in his own way, a process that Bohunk describes with welcome humility–he never tells anyone how to live, instead offering his experience and self-discovery as an example.
Elsewhere, Bohunk’s Redemption is alive with spirited, persuasive opinions (“The Industrial-Medical complex overall kills more than it saves lives when it comes to addicting drugs they push on to the public”) and striking character sketches: He describes his father as “a typical New Yorker, worldly in the confines of a few square blocks.” The twelfth step of AA recovery, of course, emphasizes the joy of living, a phrase that could have served as this lively book’s title. Bohunk’s celebration of life as a parent proves as engaging as his suspenseful account of the abduction, and he laces insight about addiction throughout.
Takeaway: A psychiatrist’s memorable story of facing addiction, sobriety, and child abduction.
Great for fans of: Peter Grinspoon’s Free Refills, Leslie Jamison’s The Recovery.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A