Review: Drink, Smoke, Pass Out by Judith Lucy

Title: Drink, Smoke, Pass Out: An unlikely spiritual journey

Author: Judith Lucy

Published: Penguin Viking October 2012

Synopsis: At last, a book about life that discusses liquor and lovemaking as much as it does the point of it all. Judith Lucy has looked everywhere for happiness. Growing up a Catholic, she thought about becoming a nun, and later threw herself into work, finding a partner and getting off her face. Somehow, none of that worked. So lately, she’s been asking herself the big questions. Why are we here? Is there a God? What happens when we die? And why can’t she tell you what her close friends believe in, but she can tell you which ones have herpes? No-one could have been more surprised than Judith when she started to find solace and meaning in yoga and meditation, and a newfound appreciation for what others get from their religion.

Status: Read from October 21 to 22, 2012 — I own a copy {Courtesy Penguin Australia}

My Thoughts:

Judith Lucy is a popular Australian stand up comedienne who starred in the comedy sketch television show The Late Show and The Mick Mollow Show, hosted breakfast and drive time radio and has had small roles in Australian produced movies like Crackerjack and The Sapphires. She often makes guest appearances on shows such as Good News Week and The Project and tours the country with her own woman stage shows. Judiths first book, a memoir titled The Lucy Family Alphabet, is an irreverent examination of her dysfunctional upbringing and has been reprinted several times.

Judith’s wry, dark sense of humour and her distinct voice is the antithesis of the pretentious earnestness of Gilbert’s bestseller, Eat Pray Love. In Drink Smoke Pass Out Judith recounts her journey from hard drinking youth to a more moderate middle age as her rekindled interest in spirituality vies with her deeply ingrained cynicism.

Raised a practicing Catholic, Judith abandoned the church when she grew old enough to question the religion’s hypocrisies placing her faith in comedy, red wine, marijuana and sex. With disarming honesty and self deprecating wit, Judith reviews the hedonism of her twenties and her mantra of ‘here for a good time, not a long time’ that excused daily drinking binges and awkward one night stands. Her addictions took a grimmer turn after discovering, during a family fight when she was 25, that she was adopted, and again after the deaths of her parents and a close friend in her early thirties. As her lifestyle began to affect her health she was introduced to Yoga and despite her skepticism found that it helped her feel better. Initially only interested in the physical relief Yoga offered her, Judith eventually began to read some of the philosophy underpinning the movement and found the combination was slowly effecting change as she began to consider the larger questions of existence.

Judith’s growing interest in spirituality led to the development of a 6 part TV show for the ABC – the idea to trace her steps from Catholicism to atheism, to her new enthusiasm for yoga and beyond. The precis of the series ‘Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey’, which aired in 2011, takes up the last quarter or so of the book. Judith speaks with an eclectic group of people including nuns, an ex-priest, psychics, Aboriginal elders, Buddhists and a handful of Australian celebrities flavoured with her own brand of irreverent humour.

I am not religious nor particularly spiritual and I have to admit I am fairly dismissive of both for various reasons, however I do not begrudge those whose chosen faith helps them make positive changes in their lives or the lives of others. I found Judith’s journey interesting because she approaches it without the evangelical fervour, obsessive self interest or smug condescension common to such tracts. Drink Smoke Pass Out made me laugh and made me think and I’m even considering attending a Yoga session.

Available to Purchase

@Penguin Australia@BoomerangBooks I @Booktopia I @Amazon Kindle

via Booko

You can watch all of the episodes of Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey on You Tube

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Alexa
    Oct 25, 2012 @ 13:24:25

    I’ve had my eye on this book (haven’t seen show) and I’m definitely going to read it now – thanks for review. Lucy is always insightful and hilarious but I was leery of possible yoga-evangelism, as well.

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    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Oct 25, 2012 @ 14:17:43

      You are welcome – I couldn’t stand Eat Pray Love but I trusted Judith to have a different and irreverent take on things

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  2. Michael @ Literary Exploration
    Oct 25, 2012 @ 13:30:24

    sounds like an interesting book, I remember enjoying the show, so might need to check this one out

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    Reply

    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Oct 25, 2012 @ 14:19:55

      I’m watching the episodes on You Tube, I think its much more interesting to learn what Judith went through to get that point though.

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      Reply

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