Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews Between the Lines

Memories of lunar caustic

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 27 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2533
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

As every doctor knows, it is one thing to dry out an alcoholic and quite another to get him to stop drinking afterwards. Maybe it isn’t even the doctor’s role to do so: after all, are they their patients’ keepers?

In any case, some alcoholics have so destroyed their lives, and for so long, that they might as well go on. What will they do if they give up drinking? Malcolm Lowry (1909-57), author of Under the Volcano, seemed not to fall into this lamentable category. Strikingly good looking, he was only 47 when he died, a talented and famous author, and might have written many more books.

On …

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