Book Review: Drowning

Drowning: A Memoir by Andy Palmer is a story packed with emotion and heart.

Drowning: A Memoir by [Andy Palmer]

Title: Drowning: A Memoir
Author: Andy Palmer
Release: August 2020
Genre: Memoir, Alcoholism

Andy is trying to escape. His diet of booze and drugs has pushed everything good away. After his mum saves his life by sucking vomit from his lungs, he sets off in search of a reason to live. From Barnsley he heads to Texas. From Texas to Dorset. His days start with wine and cigarettes. His nights end in blackness. One day, he finds himself on the floor of a supermarket in a puddle of wine, glass, and blood. But between that floor and the end of a pier, everything changes.

It’s hard to discuss “characters” in a memoir but I think Palmer did an excellent job selecting people from his life who, not only made a big impact on him but were great to read about. The family, friends and other people selected for the book were well chosen and helped improve the story.

Palmer did a good job of helping me understand the lay of the land in the town that he grew up in and the places he visited. There wasn’t a huge emphasis on describing every single place, the story was more focused on the people in the places, but I felt comfy in each location and the way the people used it helped me understand where I was even more.

The “plot” of this story is the authors own life which I think is a hard thing to write. Keeping a life story interesting without losing the message or fabricating too much is complicated. I think Palmer really lived a fascinating life because this book reads like fiction while also feeling authentic. The depth of emotion is there, because Palmer truly lived it. Not only that, but he’s perceptive and his memory is long. Being able to remember and relay others emotions during those times was well done, despite the fact that Palmer was using heavily during a majority of the time period the book takes place in.

I found this book easy to read and I made a connection with Andy through the writing style. Simple while also laced with slang and terms that I didn’t know, the word usage was still easy to follow. I truly enjoyed the journey that Andy took us on. A journey through his past.

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