Author: Tony Rubino
Publish Date: October 2020
Publisher: Toplight Books
Catalog ID: ISBN: 978-1476683843
Author website: https://tony-rubino.pixels.com/
Guest Review by Gene Bild
The High Points of Sobriety: A Comical Guide to Addiction Recovery by Tony Rubino (comic strip creator of Daddy’s Home) could be classified as an illustrated book, though I’d call it a paperback-sized coffee table book, a collection of mostly one-sentence “inspirational” sobriety gags, on the order of “when you sober up you won’t [insert shocking bon mot] anymore.” Each page is headed with the bolded phrase “Reasons to Stay Sober” possibly because any poor soul stumbling onto this book will need constant reminding of why they are wasting their time with it.
Here’s a few of Mr. Rubino’s reasons to stay sober: “You won’t get a phone call telling you to come out with your hands up”, “It won’t be a tragedy when someone throws away your half-finished beer”, and “You might hear your wake-up alarm.” Har.
OK, I didn’t much like this book. The uninteresting art is rendered in a faux-fifties style, meant to be ironic, but its actual function is to serve as filler and stretch out a book which is short on both ideas and execution.
The writing is generally uninspired, although the introduction was interesting, especially where Rubino traces his alcoholism back to a childhood experience with homemade red wine and seven-up. In the introduction he states that he’s learned “Addiction is not funny. Recovering addicts, on the other hand, are hilarious.” Unfortunately, the book does not live up to this promise. The introduction gives the impression that Rubino could write a much better book if he stuck to relating his experiences and feelings, rather than delivering little one-sentence quips.
Retired high school math teacher, Gene Bild has been a comic fan for most of his life. He has published pieces in The Italian-American Review and The First Literary Review East, and lives contentedly in Chicago with his wife and two cats.