Title: Some Are Sicker Than Others by Andrew Seaward
Publisher: Flophouse Books
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction
Length: 390 pages
Book Rating: B+
Review Copy Obtained from
After his fiancé, Vicky, is killed in a hit-and-run car accident, Monty Miller, a young, codependent alcoholic, embarks on a suicidal mission to drink himself to death. But his family intervenes and has him committed to Sanctuary, a rehabilitation facility high in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. There he meets Dave Bell, a former all-American track star turned crack-addicted high school volleyball coach, and the driver responsible for Vicky’s death.
Can Monty forgive Dave for his unspeakable atrocity and finally find the courage to forgive himself? Or will he follow his addiction to its inevitable conclusion, using self-pity and blame as excuses to give up on life?
Based on the author’s own personal experience with substance abuse and addictive relationships, SOME ARE SICKER THAN OTHERS transcends the clichés of the typical recovery story by the ‘incomprehensible demoralization’ of addiction and the thin, blurred line between codependence and true love.
Some Are Sicker Than Others is a raw and gritty but incredibly powerful novel about addiction and recovery. Andrew Seaward provides readers with an unvarnished account of the downward spiral of Monty Miller and Dave Bell as they struggle with substance abuse and the long road to recovery.
Although sometimes difficult to read, Some Are Sicker Than Others is a compelling and informative novel. The details are meticulous and necessary for the reader to gain a complete understanding of addiction, withdrawal and the terrible consequences this disease has on not only the addict, but friends and family. The actions and thought processes of the main characters are sometimes incomprehensible yet they provide fascinating insight their motivations and justifications for their behavior.
In some ways, Monty and Dave are polar opposites. Monty is an alcoholic who is intelligent, seemingly self-aware and more than willing to take responsibility for his actions. But he cannot shed his guilt over the impact his drinking has had on his family and he cannot forgive himself for the mistakes he has made. As the story progresses, I quickly came to understand that Monty will use any excuse to rationalize his stubborn resistance to overcome his addiction to alcohol.
Dave is in complete denial that he is addicted to crack. He accepts no responsibility for how his behavior affects him and blames everyone around him for his mistakes. He has the typical addict’s attitude that he can quit using whenever he wants. While in recovery, he is quite manipulative of one of the other patients, and he completely disregards how detrimental he is in terms of her recovery.
With so much anguish and heartache, it would seem like Some Are Sicker Than Others would be a depressing novel but that is simply not the case. I was utterly captivated by the drama unfolding and no matter how despicable some of the characters were on occasion, I could not help but hope they would find redemption and conquer their addictions. I gained a deeper understanding of the anatomy of addiction and how much courage and strength an addict needs to find and maintain their sobriety.
Some Are Sicker Than Others is realistic and harsh but a completely worthwhile read. Monty and Dave are well-developed characters that are easy to love and to hate as they attempt to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. If you think you know how their story is going to end, you are probably wrong. I know that I certainly was. I hope that Andrew Seaward has plans to revisit Monty and Dave in the future. I would love to see what comes next for these two broken men.
Andrew Seaward is the author of Some Are Sicker Than Others. Although he makes his living as a chemical engineer in the Oil & Gas industry, his true passion is telling great stories through both acting and writing. He is a contributing member of the Professional Artists Workshop in Hollywood, CA and the Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver, CO. He has written and acted in several independent productions including the poignant short film, DROWNING, which won the Award of Merit at the 2010 Indie Fest.