Last Night I Sang to the Monster by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A heart-wrenching tale of a young man, Zach, who is an alcoholic and finds himself at a rehab facility where he must remember in order to heal. Zach is an 18 year old who has so many skeletons in his closet and he doesn’t really talk too much but you know he has a mother (with depression problems) and a father (who drinks too much) and a brother who is so psychopathic, he is holding the family emotionally hostage. His childhood as he “remembers” it is so dysfunctional that he drinks in order to cope and keep up a façade as a fun guy. Zach almost dies of alcohol poisoning which lands him in a hospital (none of this he remembers) and now at the rehab facility, we are introduced to his therapist, Adam, and Sharkey, a larger than life guy with many demons, and Rafael, a 50 year old man, who has alcohol issues, and it is through these relationships and Zach’s stream of consciousness that we learn about all the “monsters” that are torturing these fragile individuals. It is a tough read, more sad and haunting than I felt comfortable with at times and I thought of putting it down but I was also compelled to read about Zach’s journey. I know this journey is torturous and fraught with self-doubt, loneliness, anger, and helplessness. But it is a journey that many must make and hopefully they will be better, happier, more filled with life.
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