‘Drink, Smoke, Pass Out’ by Judith Lucy


2014, 256 p.

After finally finishing the harrowing The Discomfort of Evening, I needed something to laugh at. I knew that I had Judith Lucy’s book on my shelves, so I dug it out. I had read her Lucy Family Alphabet, which I enjoyed. I expected that this book would be in the same vein, but it took me into more of the same destructive behaviour (albeit in a more adult and benign form) that confronted me so much in Rijneveld’s book. Perhaps it was probably not the best choice of comedy writing after all. 

Judith Lucy has been mining her life for comedy gold for years. She speaks with a rather affected, yet Aussie, drawl which is both annoying and highly distinctive. Her focus is almost entirely on her own life. However, being ten (well, thirteen) years younger than I am, I quite enjoy watching her going through lifestyle changes that I’ve already experienced, and I now champion her as a middle-aged female comedian. The first third of this book is a subversion of the Eat, Pray, Love phenomenon which fortunately passed me by, and she certainly did drink, smoke and pass out, become too involved with the wrong men, and end up needy and full of fragile bravado.

Fortunately Judith Lucy does eventually move on from the alcohol, bongs and unconsciousness. Starting off as a tale of a dissolute life, it ends up as an exploration of spirituality. In this regard, it’s almost like the companion book to her television program Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey. I’m not averse to a bit of spiritual tourism myself, but I can imagine that some readers would be rather put off by the change in direction.

So, it was not quite the refuge from The Discomfort of Evening that I thought it would be, given that both books deal in different ways with physical self-harming and religion. But give me Judith Lucy any day.

My rating: 7.5

Sourced from: my own bookshelves

aww2020I have included this on the Australian Women Writers Challenge.


3 responses to “‘Drink, Smoke, Pass Out’ by Judith Lucy

  1. I haven’t read her books but I adore Judith Lucy. I expect I will read her books in the future.

  2. Pingback: History Memoir and Biography Round Up: August 2020 | Australian Women Writers Challenge Blog

  3. Pingback: Australian Women Writers Challenge 2020 – wrap up | The Resident Judge of Port Phillip

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