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Extended Audio Sample Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood Audiobook, by Koren Zailckas Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.48 out of 53.48 out of 53.48 out of 53.48 out of 53.48 out of 5 3.48 (29 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: April 2005 ISBN: 9781400171545
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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.”

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 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 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 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 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 "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 george | 1/8/2014

    " Hmmm. Definitely did not love it. The book would have been vastly improved by a ghostwriter. She doesn't really take any personal responsibility for her alcohol abuse. That said, her experiences mimic those of most girls and women that I've encountered and it's easy to see how she lost control. Could be a good wake-up call for many. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Miranda Kelley | 12/31/2013

    " This Story Was So Vivid. The Author Talks About Her Past And What Happened Leading From Her First Drink. It Isn't Child Appropriate, But I Gave It A Try And Fell In Love With The Book. The Book Had So Much Detail And It Was Great For Koren's First Book. Not Only Was There A Lot Of Detail, But There Was Also Feelings And Connections. It Made The Book Even Better. I Was Hooked On It Since Page One. The Only Reason Why I Am Upset Is Because The Book Ended. It Was So Great But Because It Is A True Story There Is No Continuation. Overall I Had A Great Feeling About This Book And I Will Recommend It To A Lot Of My Friends. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer Frazee | 12/30/2013

    " Love real life stories about alcoholism and drug addiction and loved this story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Blue Mama | 12/27/2013

    " starts off strong but, you realize this is a spoiled girl who makes fun of people while trying to be just like them. i guess that is an affliction of american girls. either way, gets slower and slower by the page until it ends and you really don't care anymore. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chasity | 12/27/2013

    " The whole book was really good and something that I could definitely relate to but the last chapter was by far my favorite. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bree | 12/26/2013

    " Reads like fiction but provides insight into the dangers of substance use and abuse. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Danielle Rovito | 12/23/2013

    " Good for college-aged women, and although she faced the extremes in her life, everyone can still relate. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joely | 12/22/2013

    " shockingly honest "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Chuck Finley | 9/25/2013

    " Spoiled rich girl heroically overcomes average college-level drinking. Is awash in self-pity. "oh woe is me I used to get drunk on the weekends in college (paid for with daddy's credit card of course), what a tortured soul I am." Meanwhile, a dozen children just starved to death in Haiti. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melzanie | 6/12/2013

    " i love a good story about adolescent drama. the prose here is smart and lucid--added bonus! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aurora | 5/10/2013

    " It made me feel so bad about myself! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anita | 11/6/2012

    " Although a bit of an anti-drinking propaganda story, the tails from her drunken times are actually quite relate-able and funny. She may have not meant them to be funny, but I have a twisted sense of humor and having gone through similar situations (minus the roofie'd parts) I think it's funny. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Snarky's | 9/23/2012

    " I hope MK Olsen plays the narrator in the film version! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 8/9/2012

    " A very accurate description of life a Syracuse. Interesting expression about alcoholism. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Isabelle | 6/16/2012

    " not incredible, but definitely important for any girl our age to read... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan Hutchison | 4/20/2012

    " This was quite possibly one of the most interesting books I have read, being a high school teacher, about teen drinking, and the thought processes behind it. It was incredibly honest, and I devoured it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Monica | 4/10/2012

    " This is the tale of a privileged little suburban girl who took too many trips to the wine cabinet. Her "rebellion" is laughable at best. The worst thing she does in the book is sleep with a boy she doesn't know. Oh no, anything but that! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Teresa | 11/28/2011

    " Sobering. Pun intended "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jaclynrose | 11/26/2011

    " im so far really liking it. she is a wonderful writer she. its like im there in the book.. and its a true insparation of what i never want to become. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Devon | 7/2/2011

    " This memoir is a fascinating and distrubing look into teenage alcoholism. There is a strange nostalgia and romance in Zailckas' descriptions and remembrances. Definitely worth a read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leigh | 4/17/2011

    " interesting, scary account of underage drinking "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 4/14/2011

    " Zailckas writes very well. A very captivating, yet sometimes uncomfortable to read, story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anita | 4/13/2011

    " Although a bit of an anti-drinking propaganda story, the tails from her drunken times are actually quite relate-able and funny. She may have not meant them to be funny, but I have a twisted sense of humor and having gone through similar situations (minus the roofie'd parts) I think it's funny. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rana | 3/11/2011

    " I was moved by this candid, brutally honest story about the author's relationship with alcohol. I appreciate the courage it took to lay herself out as she did, and how she was able to reflect on her experiences to grow from them. This was a great read.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 K. | 3/8/2011

    " A trainwreck of a journey but loved it--couldn't stop reading it. "

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About the Author
Author Koren Zailckas

Koren Zailckas is an internationally bestselling writer, and has contributed to the Guardian, US News & World Report, Glamour, Jane, and Seventeen magazine. She currently lives with her family in the Catskill mountains of New York.

About the Narrator

Ellen Archer is an award-winning narrator, actress, and singer with a degree in Opera Performance from the Boston Conservatory. She has performed extensively on the New York stage and in regional theaters. She has narrated numerous audiobooks and has won several AudioFile Earphones Awards, as well as the prestigious Audie Award for best narration.