The Lost Weekend | AA Beyond BeliefBased on the novel by Charles Jackson, a work that many in Hollywood had thought unfilmmable because of its relentless grimness, The Lost Weekend was one of the first films to explore the devastating effects of alcoholism. Ray Milland was cast against type as Don Birnam, a writer plagued by depression and self-doubt who, as his alcoholism progresses, slips into a horrifying downward spiral of lying, begging, stealing, and madness. Milland's riveting performance won him an Oscar. Jane Wyman also delivers a powerful performance as his faithful girlfriend, Helen St. James, whose selfless love offers Birnam a hope of redemption.
The Lost Weekend by Charles Jackson (read by Tom O'Bedlam)
The Lost Weekend
T he Lost Weekend —a novel about five disastrous days in the life of alcoholic Don Birnam—was an improbable success when it was published in His narrative method … transmutes medical case history into art. It was a heady, long-deferred triumph for the year-old Jackson, whose only previous literary accomplishments were a handful of published short stories and a despised livelihood as writer of the daily radio serial Sweet River. On the other hand, he was lucky to be alive at all, having lost the better part of his youth to a long bout of tuberculosis followed by almost suicidal alcoholism. Charlie had scarcely had a chance to drop his bags at the Beverly Wilshire before learning he was already something of a legend in Hollywood.
I make that judgement about The Lost Weekend as an alcoholic myself. I read the novel before getting sober and after, and it terrified me on either side of that momentous threshold. One celebrity alcoholic, Herman Mankiewicz who wrote the script for Citizen Kane , is supposed to have attempted suicide after reading The Lost Weekend. The story chronicles a five-day binge in Manhattan. Don Birnam is a talented, but not very talented, writer. He was kicked out of his Ivy League college some years ago, for indiscreet sexual advances towards a fraternity brother. He may, or may not, be gay.
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Look Inside. Feb 12, ISBN It is , and on the East Side of Manhattan, a would-be writer named Don Birnam decides to have a drink. The Lost Weekend moves with unstoppable speed, propelled by a heartbreaking but unflinching truth. It catapulted Charles Jackson to fame, and endures as an acute study of the ravages of alcoholism, as well as an unforgettable parable of the condition of the modern man. Charles Jackson was born in and raised in the township of Arcadia, New York, in the Finger Lakes region, where much of his fiction is set. After a youth marred by tuberculosis and alcoholism, Jackson achieved international fame with… More about Charles Jackson.
It is , and on the East Side of Manhattan, a would-be writer named Don Birnam decides to have a drink. The Lost Weekend moves with unstoppable speed, propelled by a heartbreaking but unflinching truth. It catapulted Charles Jackson to fame, and endures as an acute study of the ravages of alcoholism, as well as an unforgettable parable of the condition of the modern man. In this new edition of Jackson s groundbreaking, autobiographical novel, we meet Don Birnam, a charming, handsome, year-old alcoholic who has just abandoned a fragile three-day sobriety. Don s writing career has been thwarted by his out-of-control binge drinking, and he has alienated everyone in his life save for his long-suffering brother Wick, who lives with him and pays all his bills, and his eternally patient, sometime girlfriend, Helen. During the eponymous five-day bender, Don careens violently around New York City, borrowing and losing money, getting kicked out of bars, and waking with no recollection of the previous day s events.