Drunks & Monks - it's a great read Here's a review -( better and more effort than I would put in ): A thirty-four year old entertainment lawyer from Los Angeles has a bad week: His wife throws him out in the middle of a rainstorm, his mother gets diagnosed with a deadly cancer, and in grief he abruptly resigns his prestigious job after his biggest success in a major copyright case. What happens to a man used to getting what he wants when the wheels come off his carefully-planned, glamorous life? Does he: (a) Pick up a slug of brown liquor for the first time and visit parts of town where the devil won't go? (b) Engage in hideously destructive behavior, rampaging across Southern California like a tipsy Visigoth? (c) Plumb the depths of his psyche and spirit to find the meaning of life and heal old wounds? (d) Stumble across an ancient religious order and explore the reaches of classical spiritual practice? In his debut literary memoir, Drunks & Monks, author John H. Carmichael answers (e) All of the Above, and much more, as he chronicles a seven year descent into darkness and near death along with a subsequent renewal. This true story is told in a spare, lyrical style. The author's physical, psychological and spiritual survival is aided by many denizens of the great swath of Southern California he describes so well, but none so much as members of a monastery who help heal the author's spirit and teach him timeless truths. The book deals adroitly with matters of concern to many, including the drama of divorce, caring for the gravely ill, recovering from addictions of various sorts, the role of religion and spirituality in modern life and, ultimately, post-traumatic growth.