A series of approximately 175 short fictional monologues or "postcards," each less than a page, in the voice of an alcoholic--the view from "the bottle"--describing the obsession, rationalization, pain, dissolution, and toll that alcoholism takes on career, body, friends and family. Each "postcard" is written in a different voice: sometimes old, sometimes young; male or female; reformed or not. In few words, they capture intense moments that vividly evoke the misery and folly in the rest of alcoholic existence. There is humour and despair.


The Montreal-born writer and poet, Rivard, is himself a recovering alcoholic. His intriguing presentation adopts the view that alcoholism is a disease, a form of insanity. But it does not entirely absolve the sufferer; selfishness and self-centeredness are clearly part of the illness, either as causes or as symptoms. A "cure" is possible only when the patient is willing to set aside the egotistical behaviour.

This, Rivard's sixth, book is not (necessarily) autobiographical because he plays widely with gender, careers, roles, and impacts. Empathic without being flattering, the tiny essays seem to be an exercise in brutal honesty that could have been part of the author's own recovery. A selection of these monologues would work very well in a reader's theatre format.


Black Moss Press

Place Published

Windsor, Ontario, Canada



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