Dec. 7th, 2016

adiva_calandia: (iBook)
 I have really enjoyed Doctor Sleep -- I like Dan Torrance a lot, and I like Abra Stone, although I think Sai King has a somewhat shaky grasp on the voice of 21st century teenage girls -- but I also have the hugest cognitive dissonance around the ode to AA. Like, it's clearly deeply personal to King and I really like that, in the same way I like a lot of King's obviously autobiographical stuff. The sections on writing in Misery come to mind.

But also AA as an organization is so freaking weird and religious and dubiously effective and treats illness like a lack of willpower that I'm like "???" There's a line near the end of the book where one of the AA members says "For every seven alcoholics who walk through our doors, six walk back out again and get drunk. The seventh is the miracle we all live for." I don't like them odds, man!

I have mentioned on Tumblr before that I find AA-style narratives really compelling in media, particularly TV -- e.g. Sherlock on Elementary, Reid on Criminal Minds, Leo on The West Wing -- because one, it has such a classic arc of descending to the underworld, overcoming battles, returning to the light, and two, because it offers an ongoing and interesting source of internal conflict for the character. (Today I have also been thinking about rape being used a plot device or backstory for female characters, because of Maureen Ryan's piece on that topic, so I'm also pondering how addiction functions in a similar way.) But does presenting that narrative over and over do harm to addicts who aren't helped by AA? Are there any good stories out there about alcoholics who get therapy or medication and recover that way?

I dunno. Anyway. I should probably move off King and back to Octavia Butler, but I like him so much! And I gotta reread The Wasteland before the movie comes out, obviously.

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