A little less than ten years ago, I read Jack Kerouac’s On the Road: The Unwritten Scroll. His writing style was a whirlwind — a vivid torrent of sights, sounds, and smells mixed with a heavy dose of drunkenness and human weakness.  At the time, I was pretty much a drunk myself, fresh out of the Marine Corps, literally on the road in Europe, and hadn’t been in a state of sanctifying grace since I had willfully left the Church in my late teens.  Yet even in a state far from God, I thought Jack Kerouac’s book ended with a horrible hollowness — with Jack on the way to yet another party, staring out the back of his taxi at the remains of his once vibrant friend who stood as a waif: empty, dark and without hope.  It always seemed to me to be a rather bitter ending to such a rambunctious and rollicking tale; yet, as with the prodigal son, a true tale of man without God.

So, recently, when I picked up Drunks and Monks by John Carmichael, I immediately was swept away by his story.  Not only was his story interesting, but his style reminded me of Jack Kerouac’s — vivid and vibrant, rapid and almost uncontrolled, and utterly enthralling to read.  The stark difference, however, is where Jack Kerouac’s book ends — with a hopeless waif of a man left in the dim and dusty streets redolent of humanity’s fallen nature —the story of Drunks and Monks begins.

John Carmichael’s tale is a lived journey from darkness to light – a journey that many of us can relate to in general, if not in specifics.  A man, not unlike St. Augustine, who searched for fulfillment in everything but God and who’s heart could not rest until it rested in the Love of Our Eternal Lord.  A man standing in the pouring rain who found the safety and warmth of the only Ark of Salvation – the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church – and was thereby freed from the chains of sin and addiction through God’s Mercy poured forth in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

His tale is a powerful and much needed one for a culture which has lost its sense of sin.  It is a skillfully written book — easy and enjoyable, yet with profound depth.  Drunks and Monks speaks the Truth of Jesus Christ to a culture that only listens to personal experience. I highly recommend reading it today and sharing it with your friends, family, and acquaintances.  Get your copy today!