THE BOOK OF JOHN (NOT THE ONE IN THE BIBLE) by John T. Long

THE BOOK OF JOHN (NOT THE ONE IN THE BIBLE)

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A lawyer and life coach recounts years of drug addiction and how he found sobriety.

In his debut memoir, Long describes his lifelong struggle to stay sober after decades of substance abuse, and how he embraced metaphysical beliefs. Raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Long’s obsessions started at a young age, he says: “I discover sex for the first time when I’m thirteen. After that, my motive is to find the dope, get the girl, get her drunk or high, and take advantage of the easy lay.” Due in part to drinking and drug use, he says, he struggled in college. He later married a woman he describes as “my sex machine,” with whom he had two sons. The deteriorating marriage ended in divorce, with substance abuse as a contributing factor. (The author married twice more and was widowed twice, losing his third wife to an overdose.) Long became a lawyer, but after he was caught with illicit drugs, he was told he had to go into rehab to keep his license. The author eventually ended up in Alcoholics Anonymous; he worked through the steps and realized that he “could use God.” This led him to immerse himself in developing his spirituality, rejecting common religions for deep meditation and magic, which he calls “real witchcraft.” Overall, the author relates a story that may inspire some readers to get the help that they need. At times, though, his spiritual search, as he recounts it here, led him into dangerous situations; at one point, he says that he allowed a “metaphysical healer” named “John of God” do an operation on his ailing eye with a butter knife. The book is also deeply unsettling in other ways; for example, he tells of smoking crack with his 15-year-old son, and comments that, when he was using, he had “No thought of the children.” These instances may be particularly upsetting for anyone who’s endured child endangerment. Other scenes also depict harmful domestic situations, as when Long tells of a fight with his third wife over drugs, during which he crashed their car, breaking her hip and fracturing vertebrae in her neck.

An often disquieting story of recovery.

Pub Date: May 9th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-5255-4994-6
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: FriesenPress
Program: Kirkus Indie
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