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With the storytelling skill he brought to Jaws, the humor he instilled in Q Clearance and a flavor reminiscent of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Peter Benchley has created a powerful novel on a subject of interest to millions.
Scott Preston, Connecticut-born, Yale-educated, is not an alcoholic. He may need two double vodkas to face his day as a distinguished New York book editor, but his drinking is not a problem. Preston's wife and boss disagree. Upon threat of divorce and unemployment, Preston enters the Banner Clinic, a celebrated New Mexico drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, founded by charismatic Western movie idol Stone Banner, himself a recovering alcoholic and drug abuser. Surrounded by a group of counselors and co-patients unlike anyting from his past, Preston refuses to believe he belongs with this bunch of rummies---for example, a black ex-hooker whose brutal manner and tough insights about people are tempered by love; a salesman in a bunny costume; a street-tough muscle man; one of the world's most legendary (and explosive) female film stars; an enormous Mafioso under orders form the mob to clean up his act...or die; a lovely heiress with a woman's sensuality and the innocence of a child.
But when the movie star sustains a fatal "accident" and the heiress disappears, the plot thickens, along with the friendships, as Preston learns that something is rotten at the Banner Clinic, and that no one can make it alone.
Written with empathy, suspense and refreshing wit, Rummies moves Peter Benchley to the forefront of American novelists.