Top 10 Alcohol-Fueled Novels
#10 - Sideways [2004] Rex Pickett
<em>Sideways</em> [2004] Rex Pickett Image

"I blundered on, aware that I was spewing drunken nonsense, feeling that cavernous loneliness welling up in me again but oblivious of the consequences and determined to hurtle forward with abandon."

#09 - Ironweed [1983] William Kennedy
<em>Ironweed</em> [1983] William Kennedy Image

"Francis felt healthy and he liked it. It's too bad he didn't feel healthy when he drank. He felt good then but not healthy, especially not in the morning, or when he woke up in the middle of the night, say. Sometimes he felt dead."

#08 - Appointment in Samarra [1934] John O'Hara
<em>Appointment in Samarra</em> [1934] John O'Hara Image

"And so what you did, what you did was take a knife and cut me open from my throat down to here, and then you opened the door and let in a blast of freezing cold air, right where you had cut me open, and till the day you die I hope you never, never know what it feels like to have someone cut you open all the way down the front of you and let the freezing blast of air inside you."

#07 - Factotum [1975] Charles Bukowski
<em>Factotum</em> [1975] Charles Bukowski Image

"Frankly, I was horrified by life, at what a man had to do simply in order to eat, sleep, and keep himself clothed. So I stayed in bed and drank. When you drank the world was still out there, but for the moment it didn't have you by the throat."

#06 - Tender is the Night [1934] F. Scott Fitzgerald
<em>Tender is the Night</em> [1934] F. Scott Fitzgerald Image

"One writes of scars healed, a loose parallel to the pathology of the skin, but there is no such thing in the life of an individual. There are open wounds, shrunk sometimes to the size of a pinprick, but wounds still. The marks of suffering are more comparable to the loss of a finger, or of the sight of an eye. We may not miss them, either, for one minute in a year, but if we should there is nothing to be done about it."

#05 - The Sun Also Rises [1926] Ernest Hemingway
<em>The Sun Also Rises</em> [1926] Ernest Hemingway Image

"You're an expatriate. You've lost touch with the soil. You get precious. Fake European standards have ruined you. You drink yourself to death. You become obsessed by sex. You spend all your time talking, not working. You are an expatriate, see. You hang around caf├ęs."

#04 - On the Road [1957] Jack Kerouac
<em>On the Road</em> [1957] Jack Kerouac Image

"I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'Awww!'"

#03 - Leaving Las Vegas [1990] John O'Brien
<em>Leaving Las Vegas</em> [1990] John O'Brien Image

"He sits at the filthy bar, amidst the leather vested fat guys, the worn and weary pool tables, the smelly sluts who are much harder and drunker than he'll ever be, the puke-piss-spit-blood encrusted carpeting, the brain-damaged human carcasses who have held their heads below their shoulders for longer than he's been alive, the slimy sidewalk penny-loafers who wanna be his pal, and the rest of the supporting cast with heads vacuous and pant seats full . . . He sits as the last remnants of today and all that came before it slip into the void of blackout."

#02 - Under the Volcano [1947] Malcolm Lowry
<em>Under the Volcano</em> [1947] Malcolm Lowry Image

"Good God, if our civilization were to sober up for a couple of days it'd die of remorse on the third . . . "

#01 - A Fan's Notes [1968] Frederick Exley
<em>A Fan's Notes</em> [1968] Frederick Exley Image

"I had been consumed by the flames of my own reprehensible desire and was living in the terrifying memory of the flames, spending all my waking hours recalling the horror and the dismay, the laughter and the bitterness, of that holocaust I called my life."

User Comments - Add a Comment
jesus - 2007-11-08 12:43:04
What, no Hunter's Rum Diary!
Neil Fulwood - 2007-12-04 15:29:24
Kingsley Amis's 'The Old Devils' should be on the list, too.
Thomas - 2008-01-22 23:04:08
Umm..."The Lost Weekend" by Charles Jackson. It goes with me everywhere, just to serve as a reminder....& warning.
someone - 2008-02-07 23:20:04
Yep, The Rum Diary is missing...
Teef - 2009-02-17 09:43:08

You just lost the game. L2P. Read moar, plz.

Barbara - 2009-07-26 12:22:39

Another contender: Easter Parade by Richard Yates

Jill - 2009-11-09 17:23:11

The Shining...

iceburgian - 2009-12-21 02:44:31

Not a great list. I agree, no Run Diary!? No, Augusten Burroughs books?

Lee - 2009-12-23 12:56:08

How can you have a list of Alcohol-Fueled novels without the main character himself? JOHN BARLEYCORN! If you're not aware of it, this is said to be Jack Londons' autobiography and is an amazing and sad story. And to think, this was written just a couple of years before AA was founded. Great list and thanks

Frank - 2010-03-23 21:17:10

You guys need to calm down. It is a pretty good list, obviously everyone will have their own opinions, but cmon lighten up. Oh no... this list didn't include my favorite book written by my favorite author waaa!

Leroy Jetta - 2010-06-12 11:13:23

Yes nice one Franky.

John V - 2011-01-15 19:01:31

Good to see Under the Volcano on this list. I read that a few years ago and the whole book is one drunken stupor.

Anonymous - 2012-12-08 10:45:50

I would think an early Stephen King novel would have made the list.

Long Ago - 2013-04-23 20:34:11

Despite many telling me to see the movie, I've never seen film adaptation of 'Sideways'. As far as reading it? I can now say... Glad I didn't. Why? From the line posted on this site: "I blundered on, aware that I was spewing drunken nonsense, feeling that cavernous loneliness welling up in me again but oblivious of the consequences and determined to hurtle forward with abandon." WARNING WARNING WARNING. Seriously folks- while reading it I nearly spit coffee on my computer. This one sentence alone if full of amateur red flags- "blundered on... spewing drunken nonsense... cavernous loneliness...determined to forward hurtle with abandon?" If this passes as literature I'm about to start my first novel.

keith - 2013-04-30 02:54:08

solid list

Tony S. - 2014-01-16 18:16:06

One of the best novels about alcoholism is 'Disturbing the Peace' by Richard Yates.