A strangely powerful, moving and unpleasant book, by all odds the best of the novels dealing with alcoholism to come off the press since The Lost Weekend established a market and set a pattern. -- but a book that assuredly no one will read for pleasure. ""Booze, is your wife, Booze, that's who you're married to"" -- this speech on the part of Jimmy Murphy's mother, who adores him, forgives him, gives him money when he asks for it, sets the background for the title of the book. This differs sharply from other books on the theme in the scope of inclusion-the effect of Jimmy's ""weakness"" on his family, on the girl he'd grown up with who loved him, on the child they had, on the rich girl-about-town who helped finance his debauchery, on the girl he met at the hospital, and who saw him through his ultimate degradation. There is less of the introspective quality that has distinguished the other books -- perhaps because this is done by a woman (who must have known intimately some such situation, but who isn't writing from inside out). As Book of the Month for July, this will have added impetus to sales.