• Quitter

  • A Memoir of Drinking, Relapse, and Recovery
  • By: Erica C. Barnett
  • Narrated by: Jean Ann Douglass
  • Length: 10 hrs and 48 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (227 ratings)

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Quitter  By  cover art


By: Erica C. Barnett
Narrated by: Jean Ann Douglass
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Publisher's summary

"Barnett's prose style is brassy and cleareyed, with echoes of Anne Lamott." (Beth Macy, The New York Times Book Review)

"Emotionally devastating and self-aware, this cautionary tale about substance abuse is a worthy heir to Cat Marnell's How to Murder Your Life." (Publishers Weekly starred review)

A startlingly frank memoir of one woman's struggles with alcoholism and recovery, with essential new insights into addiction and treatment.

Erica C. Barnett had her first sip of alcohol when she was 13, and she quickly developed a taste for drinking to oblivion with her friends. In her late 20s, her addiction became inescapable. Volatile relationships, blackouts, and unsuccessful stints in detox defined her life, with the vodka bottles she hid throughout her apartment and offices acting as both her tormentors and closest friends.

By the time she was in her late 30s, Erica Barnett had run the gauntlet of alcoholism. She had recovered and relapsed time and again but after each new program or detox center would find herself far from rehabilitated. "Rock bottom", Barnett writes, "is a lie." It is always possible, she learned, to go lower than your lowest point. She found that the terms other alcoholics used to describe the trajectory of their addiction - "rock bottom" and "moment of clarity" - and the mottoes touted by Alcoholics Anonymous, such as "let go and let God" and "you're only as sick as your secrets" - didn't correspond to her experience and could actually be detrimental.

With remarkably brave and vulnerable writing, Barnett expands on her personal story to confront the dire state of addiction in America, the rise of alcoholism in American women in the last century, and the lack of rehabilitation options available to addicts. At a time when opioid addiction is a national epidemic and one in 12 Americans suffers from alcohol abuse disorder, Quitter is essential listening for our age and an ultimately hopeful story of Barnett's own hard-fought path to sobriety.

©2020 Erica C. Barnett (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

“I can’t think of another memoir that captures the nightmare of drinking relapse like this one. Erica Barnett’s tale is brutal, maddening, and beautiful. Quitter will give hope to anyone afraid they can't ever get this thing. Hang in there. You just might.” (Sarah Hepola, New York Times best-selling author of Blackout)

“[Barnett] paints a grotesque portrait of the horror show that is alcoholism with great skill and style. I tore through this book.” (Cat Marnell, New York Times best-selling author of How to Murder Your Life)

“Quitter is all these things: a beautifully told story of one woman's descent into darkness; a rigorously researched exploration of the causes and treatments of alcohol abuse; a furious howl of pain. Erica C. Barnett has written a female story of addiction that moves beyond clichés and accepted truths. I loved this book, in all its raging glory.” (Claire Dederer, author of Love and Trouble)