Jack Marx: terrific writer

Curtesy of a piece in Crikey today I discovered a terrific writer.

I guess it won’t be news to many Troppodillians but in the course of making some ‘what is the world coming to’ comments about the media (to which I can only respond ‘what indeed, and what did you expect?’) she linked to Marx’s excellent piece about his alcoholism and his demonic portrait of AA. It’s probably a better piece of writing – because it’s so good – but the more engrossing piece many might have seen before. I hadn’t. A thoroughly engrossing and very candid portrait of his own seduction and ultimate betrayal by – and counter-betrayal of the very spooky Russell Crowe.

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15 years ago

Thanks for this Nicholas, this is the first critique I’ve read of AA, Jack certainly has a good point about their evangelical zeal. AA and NA work well for some, but the final comment in his article is reavealing. I’ve been to one AA meeting, I went in support of someone, and remember sitting through the most harrowing story by a speaker who was pretty clearly beside herself. We sat their like stunned mullets until the woman finished and took her seat. “What hapens now?” I whispered, “Will she be alright?” “Oh we have coffee afterwards and someone will talk to her then”. The lack of anybody there who was wise enough, or educated enough to be able to counsel this woman troubled me greatly and as Jack says it is usually the most zealous in AA who put themselves forward as ‘sponsors’. I tried to work out why AA worked amost miraculously when their only tangible panacea was foremostly the attendance of many meetings and I think it has to do with people gathering in a sincere attempt to improve and change their lives, a small and concentrated critical mass of people who for a brief moment in time are would-do-if-they-could-do-betters, who for the length of time the meeting takes, attract by the nature of their intentions, a spiritual community of helpful higher order beings.

15 years ago

The piece he wrote about Russell is a total hackjob. He sounds like bitter lover scorned. I doubt it’s the whole truth. I wouldn’t give him much credibility after reading this reviews for his books:




check those links it’s worth a read to keep a balance perspective.

15 years ago

Just a kurtesy call: who’s she?

Chris Lloyd
Chris Lloyd
15 years ago

AA is a truly grass roots organisation with no central structure so it is pretty hard to criticise it, because it is not clear what “it”


[…] never subscribed to my colleague Nicholas Gruen’s high opinion of SMH journo and “blogger” Jack Marx.