Drunk - Jackson Biko
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: 2017
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
It Starts with a girl. Girls actually. It's only fair that it start with a girl, no? Only problem is that most stories that start with a girl always end up with someone banging on the door saying, i just want to talk. This is not one of those. This one is about Larry. Mad Larry. He drinks. He shags girls. He hates his father. And he looks nothing like his step brother who stays by his side throughout the madness.
When Larry does something terrible, it looms over him, shaping his future, transforming all the relationships around him and hurtling him into a rabbit hole. Oh, and wheelbarrows are involved. Five of them. Somehow Larry and one of these wheelbarrows will collide and things will get pretty hairy, that is, not for you, dear reader. (Source: Book Blurb)
Every Kenyan who has read this book and rated it on Goodreads has given it 5 Stars. I am not sure if this is because they really loved the book or because they love the author. Who doesn’t love Biko, right? He is an amazing writer and has kept us entertained on his weekly blogs for eons. I, personally, have been a huge fan and follower since he took over Man Talk from Oyunga years ago so I guess it’s easy to just fall in love with anything he writes. Granted.
Drunk is the story of Larry. But not just Larry, it is a story about how lives can seemingly be so intertwined, about how our actions or inactions can have rippling effects, blessing or scathing everyone we encounter. Larry is a successful sales agent, he rises to managerial level and seems to have everything going for him. A good job, lives in an upmarket estate, a seemingly good family, he even has a way with the ladies going by the trail of broken hearts he leaves behind. But Larry also has daddy issues and it could be this or other myriad of issues that drive him to alcoholism. He sinks deep, knowing and realizing that he is in too deep but unable to come out of it.
A tragic encounter with little Malkia, a sweet young girl and the apple of her parents’ eyes, drives him to seek help but as with most alcoholics or people struggling with substance abuse, the reality of relapse is grave and Larry is not any different. The ending is tragic and miraculous – for Larry and Malkia.
Getting into this book, right off the bat, it felt like I was reading one of Biko’s blog posts. It’s had this ‘bloggy’ flow which I didn’t like at first but I gave it a moment. The writing also seemed very familiar and almost like a buildup of bit and pieces of stories he has written over the years which culminated into this book. The subject matter is heavy, delving into mental health and substance abuse and how this affects not only the addict but their family and even people unknown to the addict, as is the case with Larry and Malkia.
This is a great book for people who enjoy short reads or blogs or short stories, I however relish longer reads where the characters and plot are drawn out and complex. Although I did wish the book was longer because it was such an enjoyable read, I also felt like the story that needed to be told was told in its entirety.
A good easy read. 3.5 stars.
Have you read this book, what are your thoughts on it? Leave me a comment.