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Extended Audio Sample Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood, by Koren Zailckas Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (12,698 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Koren Zailckas, Ellen Archer Narrator: Ellen Archer Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Garnering a vast amount of attention from young people and parents, and from book buyers across the country, Smashed became a media sensation and a New York Times bestseller. Eye-opening and utterly gripping, Koren Zailckas’s story is that of thousands of girls like her who are not alcoholics—yet—but who routinely use booze as a shortcut to courage and a stand-in for good judgment.

With one stiff sip of Southern Comfort at the age of fourteen, Zailckas is initiated into the world of drinking. From then on, she will drink faithfully, fanatically. In high school, her experimentation will lead to a stomach pumping. In college, her excess will give way to a pattern of self-poisoning that will grow more destructive each year. At age twenty-two, Zailckas will wake up in an unfamiliar apartment in New York City, elbow her friend who is passed out next to her, and ask, “where are we?” Smashed is a sober look at how she got there and, after years of blackouts and smashups, what it took for her to realize she had to stop drinking. Smashed is an astonishing literary debut destined to become a classic.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Zailckas is unsparingly insightful and acutely aware of what drinking can and does do to girls. She explains that while kids are taught that drugs are always dangerous, alcohol is perceived as an acceptable rite of passage. Her book is deeply moving, written in poetic, nuanced prose that never obscures the dangerous truths she seeks to reveal.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Raw, eye-opening memoir will deepen readers’ understanding of American culture and perhaps their own lives.”


Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Leigh | 2/10/2014

    " interesting, scary account of underage drinking "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Meghan Dymock | 2/4/2014

    " This book was absolutely fascinating. The author combined binge drinking statistics with her own binge drinking experiences and the result is extremely unbelievable and scary. This book is an honest portrayal of binge drinking that the majority of women in their mid to late twenties can probably relate to. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Joanne | 1/21/2014

    " Difficult to get into at first. Most of the book is grossly overwritten, with flowery metaphors that really distract from the meaning. the author gave me no reason to like her, nor to feel anything but pity and disgust for her as she went through one drunken anecdote after another. She did not redeem herself in the end when she lumped all women into the same group as her: self loathing, man hating twits who feel they can only have a real personality if they drink to gross excess. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Melissa | 1/14/2014

    " In the Book Smashed by Koren Zailckas, the readers are informed of her childhood and teen years as an alcoholic. The main character is Koren a little girl at the time. The main settings are at her friends houses, parties that she would find out about and her house. The main setting is at the college where she attended (Syracuse University). What stands out in my mind is all that time that she drank, and she did not die. I like the part where she is in college and she is about to join the Zeta's and she has to go sober for a while, i really like this part because it just showed all the frustration and the yearning that she had for alcohol. This reminds me of the times that I have been to a family party and all of my uncles and cousins are drinking, it reminded me of how she (Koren)got out of hand and would be violent. That is when i was reminded of my uncles who are binge drinkers and they get really violent when they have had an excessive amount of alcohol. I did not like the part where she describes how she was the night after she had sex for the first time, that is something that should not be announced to the public. The authors message tot he readers is, Drinking is not good for you because it will lead you to many things that you are not expecting to do. For example having a relationship with a person you just meet or staying longer than you intended, even paying more than you wanted to spend. I would recommend this book to people who do not drink so that they know that drinking will destroy the person that their parents have raised, affect them academically as well as physical and mentally. I would not recommend this book to people who do not like books that give good descriptions of everything that happens, and to people who are against drinking. Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood "

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