Download America Anonymous: Eight Addicts in Search of a Life Audiobook

America Anonymous: Eight Addicts in Search of a Life Audiobook, by Benoit Denizet-Lewis Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Benoit Denizet-Lewis Narrator: David Drummond Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2009 ISBN: 9781400181353
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (230 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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America Anonymous is the unforgettable story of eight men and women from around the country—including a grandmother, a college student, a bodybuilder, and a housewife—who are struggling with addictions. For nearly three years, acclaimed journalist Benoit Denizet-Lewis immersed himself in their lives as they battled drug and alcohol abuse, overeating, and compulsive gambling and sexuality. Alternating with their stories is Denizet-Lewis's candid account of his own recovery from sexual addiction and his compelling examination of our culture of addiction, where we obsessively search for new and innovative ways to escape the reality of the present moment and make ourselves feel "better."

Addiction is arguably America's biggest public-health crisis, triggering and exacerbating many of our most pressing social problems (crime, poverty, skyrocketing health-care costs, and childhood abuse and neglect). But while cancer and AIDS survivors have taken to the streets—and to the halls of Congress—demanding to be counted, millions of addicts with successful long-term recovery talk only to each other in the confines of anonymous twelve-step meetings. (A notable exception is the addicted celebrity, who often enters and exits rehab with great fanfare.) Through the riveting stories of Americans in various stages of recovery and relapse, Denizet-Lewis shines a spotlight on our most misunderstood health problem (Is addiction a brain disease? A spiritual malady? A moral failing?) and breaks through the shame and denial that still shape our cultural understanding of it—and hamper our ability to treat it.

Are Americans more addicted than people in other countries, or does it just seem that way? Can food or sex be as addictive as alcohol and drugs? And will we ever be able to treat addiction with a pill? These are just a few of the questions Denizet-Lewis explores during his remarkable journey inside the lives of men and women struggling to become, or stay, sober. As the addicts in this book stumble, fall, and try again to make a different and better life, Denizet-Lewis records their struggles—and his own—with honesty and empathy. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • An intimate journal. The Boston Globe
  • “Engrossing…Denizet-Lewis gives readers a sense of the ravaging power of addiction.”

    Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • “An arresting, personal glimpse into the merciless world of drug and behavioral addiction. All eight of the people (Denizet-Lewis) followed are gripping subjects, and he describes their plights in seasoned, dexterous prose.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Benoit Denizet-Lewis writes with an impressive mix of transparency and compassion about the addict’s eternal battle between will and action. He sees deep into the sadness of desperate people, and equally deep into the systems that redeem such sadness. This is an intimate, compelling volume.”

    Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression

  • “This book reaches into the dark depths of the heart and soul of addiction by telling the stories of people who have struggled to find their way into the light of healing. It is a collage of potent experiences from ordinary people—women and men caught in the web of addiction whose fight for recovery will inspire anyone who reads Benoit’s book.”

    William Cope Moyers, author of Broken: My Story of Addiction and Redemption

Listener Reviews

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  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Patrick | 2/20/2014

    " Would have preferred if the author had just focused on sex addicts. The panoply of addicts covered seemed to mask and dilute the insight that one would hope from getting inside the world of these characters. What they share didn't seem as interesting as how they differed. Felt cursory and blowsy. A young author, so maybe next books... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tammy | 2/20/2014

    " I enjoyed the book more in the beginning and then felt my interest start to lag. It was a fine book and it did challenge some of my notions of addiction, but I didn't find it powerful or extremely informative. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Larry | 2/11/2014

    " Well-written and well-researched exploration in to the world of addiction. The author, himself a sex addict, follows several addicts from different regions of America and dissects their varied addictions. Good references tie many parts together. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janice | 2/4/2014

    " The author follows eight addicts of various persuasions through a few years of sobriety and relapse. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara | 1/30/2014

    " A profile of eight addicts in various stages of recovery. There are alcoholics, drug addicts, sex addicts, overeating addicts, and even a shoplifting addict. Being that I was married to an addict I found it strange that the book never explored the idea that all these people are emotionally damaged. If you have no exposure to addiction this is a good book to give a quick look into the basics of recovery. But don't expect any brilliant insights into the 2% of addict who actually do change. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jude | 1/14/2014

    " This book is great for anyone who's been in addiction or loves someone who's an addict. You'll never feel alone again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan | 12/18/2013

    " I thought this was pretty good, but hard, extremely sad. I really respected the author's candor about his own life and addiction. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jamie | 12/14/2013

    " Awesome book! Gives insights to many addictions many people suffer from. From cocaine to shoplifting. To steroids and sex! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kendra | 11/23/2013

    " Wonderful book. It shows the real side of addiction and everyone that is affected by it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jaime | 6/9/2013

    " I dug this book. A great story about addicts- expanded to include new definitions of addicts: sex addicts and shopping addicts. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa | 4/12/2013

    " I read this in rehab! Great writing and inspirational stories "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elise | 4/3/2013

    " A very shallow look at addiction in the US. Seemed more like a college paper than a researched book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christina | 12/31/2012

    " maybe eight addicts was a bit hard to follow... but i liked this book "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James | 11/7/2011

    " How wonderful to read a book written by a friend:) Benoit is a wonderful writer--images and words just float across the page. Beautifully written and brutally honest. I recommend it to everyone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jay | 7/2/2011

    " By far the best book I've read about addiction. I read it in two sittings. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Missy | 10/24/2010

    " Well written and compelling. Interesting chapters on compulsive shopping. I wasn't prepared for the nature of the sexual addiction details. Probably not a book for just anyone, but if you know someone in addiction, it's helpful to read the stories of these eight people. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peter | 2/15/2010

    " Profiles of people in various addictions. Mostly sympathetic and smartly written, but not containing much in the way of groundbreaking enlightenment or solutions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jose | 1/10/2010

    " Really good, will use in 603 dsm class. nice audio book as well. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Liz | 9/20/2009

    " I finally gave up on this rather jumbled narrative when it became too openly an advertisement for the twelve step approach. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James | 6/30/2009

    " Very eye opening! Enjoyed this book very much. "

About the Author

Benoit Denizet-Lewis is an award-winning contributing writer for the New York Times magazine. Formerly a senior writer at Boston magazine and a staff writer at the San Francisco Chronicle, his work has also appeared in Sports Illustrated, Details, Spin, Slate, and other publications. Benoit speaks nationally on a variety of issues—including youth culture, addiction, and sex and sexuality—and has appeared on many television and radio programs, including The O’Reilly Factor, Good Morning America, and NPR’s Talk of the Nation. A former Alicia Patterson Fellow, Denizet-Lewis lives in Boston.

About the Narrator

David Drummond has made his living as an actor for over twenty-five years, appearing on stages large and small throughout the country and in Seattle, Washington, his hometown. He has narrated over thirty audiobooks, in genres ranging from current political commentary to historical nonfiction, fantasy, military, thrillers, and humor. He received an AudioFile Earphones Award for his first audiobook, Love ’Em or Lose ’Em: Getting Good People to Stay. When not narrating, he keeps busy writing plays and stories for children.