How to Tamed Our Monster

Last Night I Sang to the Monster - Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Title: Last Night I Sang To The Monster

Author: Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press

Publication Date: Sep 1st 2009

Page Numbers: 239 pages



Zach is eighteen. He is bright and articulate. He's also an alcoholic and in rehab instead of high school, but he doesn't remember how he got there. He's not sure he wants to remember. Something bad must have happened. Something really, really bad. Remembering sucks and being alive - well, what's up with that?


I have it in my head that when we're born, God writes things down on our hearts. See, on some people's hearts he writes Happy and on some people's hearts he writes Sad and on some people's hearts he writes Crazy on some people's hearts he writes Genius and on some people's hearts he writes Angry and on some people's hearts he writes Winner and on some people's hearts he writes Loser. It's all like a game to him. Him.God. And it's all pretty much random. He takes out his pen and starts writing on our blank hearts. When it came to my turn, he wrote Sad. I don't like God very much. Apparently he doesn't like me very much either.


What I Thought

I found myself empty after read this book, the same effect as A.S King's Everybody Sees the Ants did to me. Even though the subject of pains were different, I thought they had the same hard life.

Why also many of us fucked up?

Zachariah Johnson Gonzales's life never be easy. His dad was an alcoholic, his mom depressed and his brother was a drug addict. Zach had a great dream, got A's in high school and went to the college. But what he found was he roomed at Cabin 9 bed 3 under "alcoholic" label. He knew something wrong with him, there was a monster inside himself. Zach met people like Mr. Garcia (his high-school teacher), Adam (his therapist) and Rafael (his fifty-three years old roommate). Those people helped him to find the sobriety for himself. Those people helped him to sang to the monster.

I'm thinking that maybe God gives us monsters for a reason.

Living is supposed to be more than a survival

Teenage addiction to alcohol and drugs probably the biggest problem in the world right now (I have no statistic data for that, it only based on lots of news about that). Family problem triggered it all. Yes, this is just my thought. But this book told me about that and it's a well written. 

Zach told Adam in one of his therapy session that one reason that made him became an alcoholic because of her mother has agoraphobia, so does his aunt - his mother's sister. Zach had a theory it because of their mother attempted suicide.

(show spoiler)

And the thing that made hooked on this book was the curiosity about what exactly happened to Zach. I know that I don't know anything about teen alcoholic and the repeated words almost killing me (with word "cry" five times in one page from 70 in total and 35 times of "tear" in the whole book). This is a total drama, I must say. Like watching a noir midnight drama movie on local TV, with no back sounds and long silence. I won't say it bad, not at all. But it need lot of patience. The ending predictable but in a good way. I love the ending :)


"You're crying", I said
"It happens sometimes", he said
"Do we hurt you?"
"No. You moved me, Zach"

Opening Lines

Some people have dogs. Not me. I have a therapist. His name is Adam.

I'd rather have a dog.