Drunk as Fu*k

Non-Fiction - Memoir
200 Pages
Reviewed on 07/09/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

I have to begin my review of Drunk as Fu*k by congratulating the author, Ryan Kanaley. This couldn’t have been an easy memoir to write, given the copious amount of personal detail about Kanaley’s teen years that even he states “will not paint me in the best light” such as a group of drunken teenagers “pissing on doorknobs” of a vacant house for sale. More reserved readers might find such admissions less humorous than the author did at the time, but I urge you to suspend judgment. After all, who of us hasn’t done things in our youth we wouldn’t dare share, let alone publish in a memoir with a title as explicit as this? With that out of the way, if you are, or know someone battling alcohol addiction, read this book. Kanaley states in both the beginning and end of his memoir that he didn’t write it as a guide on how to get sober but because it was a story that he considered worth telling. He’s right! Kanaley’s experiences as the abused child of a dysfunctional family where alcohol played a major role set him on an undesirable path. Alcohol became his way of coping with anxiety as he stumbled into his teens, struggled through school, braved military training, meandered through the workforce, secured three college degrees, and most importantly of all, overcame his addiction. Awe-inspiring!

If you can handle the in-your-face, less-than-polite language in Drunk as Fu*k and the frequent use of that 4-letter word in the title, you will enjoy this memoir. He’s got the gift of the gab as he shares one eyebrow-raising funny story after another. Kanaley’s final thoughts warrant serious consideration. As he states, “no matter what life throws your way, you don’t have to be a product of your surroundings” and in his conclusion, he adds a call to action: “I would like every one of you to look deep within yourselves, figure out what you want to fix or achieve, own it and get after it. Well said, Ryan Kanaley!

Pikasho Deka

Drunk as F*ck is a humorous take on alcohol addiction by Ryan Kanaley. The author uses his own life story to showcase his alcohol addiction and how he quit without twelve steps, meetings, or rehab to find his way back to sobriety. Through this book, Ryan hopes to help some people come to terms with their relationship with alcohol or, at the very least, provide a good laugh or two at his expense. Ryan's tryst with alcohol started at the tender age of fourteen, and he recalls how he woke up in a grown man's apartment, hungover after guzzling down some beers while being underage. He also recounts his days in the Army, a freak encounter with former UFC fighter Forrest Griffin, and how he met his wife while working in juvenile jail.

Drunk as F*ck is a hilarious narration of author Ryan Kanaley's life, demonstrating the significant role alcohol played in most parts of it. This is an underdog story you can't help but enjoy. The author takes an unflinching look at his life and lays it bare to help readers learn from his mistakes or at least have a good time reading his life story. The humor sprinkled throughout the pages brings a sense of levity to the narrative that deals with a sensitive topic. Despite the light-hearted approach to the topic, Kanaley handles the subject of addiction with the required nuance and subtlety that brings a sense of authenticity to the book. An inspirational story that I highly recommend.

Susan van der Walt

Drunk as Fu*k is raw and honest. Ryan Kanaley tells readers of his journey with alcohol as it was, including the use of explicit language. Written as a memoir, it covers his childhood, teenage, army, and working years, and how his drinking had been an integral part of his life since he was a teenager. Even though the narrative shows that he lived to drink, he didn't consider himself an alcoholic simply because he was still functioning effectively in his everyday life. When he was in a position where he couldn't drink, he didn't experience any withdrawal symptoms or cravings, although he did grab a bottle as soon as he could. Kanaley shows how his drinking caused him to make many bad choices and he indicates that genetic factors often exacerbate any tendency towards addiction.

The fact that the use of alcohol is socially acceptable made it easier to hide his excessive alcohol use and more challenging for him to recognize that he was an alcoholic. Even when pivotal moments in his life raised the question as to whether he had a drinking problem it wasn't enough for Ryan Kanaley to fully appreciate the extent of his alcohol abuse. Drunk as Fu*k shows the devastating effects of alcoholism but also brings hope that freedom from this addiction is possible. I admire how Kanaley managed this without a formal program like Alcoholics Anonymous, relying instead on the support of his wife and friends. In this memoir, readers will meet a troubled man who made many mistakes due to alcohol abuse, but who also shows us that you can overcome addiction with persistence.