The appeal of Curtis' question-and-answer format will be to unambitious readers, and his coverage is also geared to that level. Answers are generally categorical, with no recognition of conflicting evidence and no attention to tentative or very recent studies or to wider social and psychological questions. (Missing too, mercifully, is the usual history of intoxicating beverages.) The intellectually curious will be better off with Langone (p. 693, J-243), and almost anyone will be dissatisfied with the answer to why people are thirsty ""the next day after drinking heavily"": ""Thirst is one of the symptoms of a hangover."" Instead of factual specifics, the one-paragraph answers are concerned with such practical matters as how people become alcoholics, how much alcohol is in different drinks, how much can be burned per hour, what happens if you are stopped for drunken driving, etc. There are also conversations with young recovered alcoholics and with teenage children of alcoholics, as well as a closing chapter on AA, Al-Anon and Alateen. Pragmatic.