A not-review of Jill Stark’s HIGH SOBRIETY

I was going to be very clever with this. I thought to use a 12-step framework to present the review. Geddit? I got to two steps and then stopped writing (but not reading, finished it like that [snaps fingers] and have been proselytising about it all over the city.) I’ve also decided this will not be the first review I put up here cause I decided to focus on fiction.

1. Buy the book at Readings St Kilda. Go in and ask for ‘Jill Stark’s book called High Society.’ Get embarrassed especially as Angela Meyer’s gorgeous better half is serving another woman at the counter and I recognise him from the Dog’s Tales and hope he doesn’t recognise me. I was going to say hi but then I said Society instead of Sobriety and feel like such an idiot so pretend I haven’t seen him, but prepare to say hello at upcoming soiree. Prepare to make a joke about mishandling of book title. Pay for book and run away.

2. Start reading the book and get a creeping feeling. Keep thinking about the First Tuesday Book Club where 3 of the 5 panellists hadn’t had a drink of alcohol since finishing the book. In Marieke’s case, it had been ‘weeks ago.’ Knowing the Old Ms Fits to be especially fond of the booze, this interests me.


I can probably fill in a few more points now I’ve finished the book.

3. Read entire book. Don’t drink for several days. This is easy because it is the beginning of the week and I try not to then anyway.

4. Morning after finishing it, lend to colleague to read. Not in a ‘you need to read this’ way but she’d been talking about a friend of hers who has a drinking problem (a big one, so big that she turns up at school pissed to pick up her kids) so I said: hey, read this. It’s interesting and important.

5. Sit down to write a few notes about the book, for my, er, review.

6. Stop writing those notes after the second point.

7. Read some other books, think about writing first review on Gatsby. Why not? No one can complain if I am critical.

8. Sit and wonder why I care what people think so much?

9. Tell self I don’t care. Not that much.

10. Realise I am drinking wine on a Monday night.

11. Make excuse to self that I am out with girlfriends. Make excuse too that because one of those friends picked me up and I’m not driving, I can have that second glass. Talk about HIGH SOBRIETY and say they should read it too. That it’s important. Friends look a bit shifty.

12. Resist temptation to ask Jill Stark on twitter whether she has gone back to her old drinking ways or not. Maybe there will be another book.

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