DID I HAVE A GOOD TIME? by Marion Howard


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From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death Teenage Drinking Like Marion Howard's (School of Medicine, Emory University) earlier book on teenage pregnancy and parenthood, Only Human (1975), this consists of three fictional (composite?) case studies of teenagers facing and combating the problem. The stories are not masterpieces, but they do keep the pages turning; too bad each succumbs to a highly dramatic conclusion. Jesse, the lower-class kid, is basically a good guy whose dad is gone and whose mom is ravaged by alcoholism: his first few, angry attempts at drinking himself very nearly get him involved in a grocery store shoot-out. Country-clubbing high school sophomore Christine is introduced to alcohol by older boys (seniors) primarily out for one thing; her equally foolish friend Sandra winds up losing an eye in a car accident with her drunken date. (It's only to be expected when the girls lose all interest in things wholesome, like cheerleading, schoolwork, and swimming.) Then there's Penni, who hangs out at a shopping mall while both parents work, stashes a bottle or two under her bed, and eventually stoops to shoplifting and burglary to obtain refills; after she's fleeced by the police, she finds a group of kids who likewise need to combat alcoholism, and her lonely struggle begins in earnest. Not all kids will respond to these textbook neat morality plays; and some may be turned off by Howard's interspersed commentary offering the facts about alcohol and teenagers (for kids and their parents alike). But for those in whom it produces a glimmer of recognition, it may likewise offer a glimmer of hope. Others, who want straightforward information, would do better with John Langone's Bombed, Buzzed, Smashed or Sober (1976).

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1980
Publisher: Seabury