Book Review: Drunk: A Novel by Ben Stearns

Release Date: September 3, 2019
Publisher: Wilder Dance Press LLC
Format: ebook
Pages: 213 pages
Genre:  Mystery/Comedy
Buy: Kindle | Paperback | 


Find the girl and find himself or find a bar and drink. Beck's choice just might kill him.

Anne McKenzie is missing.Unfortunately for her, the only person who cares is Beck Sherwood, an alcoholic hipster she befriended after meeting him at a house party they were both a decade too old for.

Now she’s gone. Everyone else thinks Anne is one of hundreds of girls fleeing lives they’re tired of living but Beck doesn't and decides to investigate. Soon he’s chasing her ghost through grimy Baltimore streets, probing her dark online past, and fighting his demons every step of the way because he knows he’ll either find Anne McKenzie or end up back on a barstool drinking himself into an early grave.

Drunk is a classic detective story with a philosophical twist that one reviewer called “A punk rock Alchemist.” Heart-rending and laugh out loud funny, DRUNK explores essential questions of identity, purpose, and belonging through an absurdist lens. A millennial masterwork, Drunk will appeal to anyone who has ever struggled to find meaning, sobriety, or the next cool bar.


I had a difficult time reading this story.  While some parts were hysterical and whimsical others just felt forced and unappealing.  Beck's search for Ann McKenzie takes some interesting turns when he finds himself in a yoga cult, a LGBT bar, and on the doorstep of a pornographer. Many of these situations had me laughing and smiling along, even Beck's search for purpose was interesting but honestly the ending left me feeling flat.  I also got a bit tired of Beck's drunken escapades by the end, I'm not quite sure how he even held a job for most of the book, and living in a room filled with empty bottles and trash was too much for me. So while there were some amusing parts to this book it was a struggle to read most of it.

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through in exchange for an honest review.

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