Scrappy little nobody

by Anna Kendrick

Paper Book, 2016




New York : Touchstone, 2016.


Biography & Autobiography. Essays. Nonfiction. Humor (Nonfiction.) HTML:The New York Times bestselling collection of humorous autobiographical essays by the Academy Award­�??nominated actress and star of Up in the Air and Pitch Perfect. Even before she made a name for herself on the silver screen starring in films like Pitch Perfect, Up in the Air, Twilight, and Into the Woods, Anna Kendrick was unusually small, weird, and "10 percent defiant." At the ripe age of thirteen, she had already resolved to "keep the crazy inside my head where it belonged. Forever. But here's the thing about crazy: It. Wants. Out." In Scrappy Little Nobody, she invites readers inside her brain, sharing extraordinary and charmingly ordinary stories with candor and winningly wry observations. With her razor-sharp wit, Anna recounts the absurdities she's experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture as only she can�??from her unusual path to the performing arts (Vanilla Ice and baggy neon pants may have played a role) to her double life as a middle-school student who also starred on Broadway to her initial "dating experiments" (including only liking boys who didn't like her back) to reviewing a binder full of butt doubles to her struggle to live like an adult woman instead of a perpetual "man-child." Enter Anna's world and follow her rise from "scrappy little nobody" to somebody who dazzles on the stage, the screen, and now the page�??with an electric, singular voice, at once familiar and surprising, sharp and sweet, funny and serious (well, not tha… (more)


½ (354 ratings; 3.8)

User reviews

LibraryThing member cathishaw
I loved this book. And to be fair, I took forever to finish it, which is not my normal modus operandi when I love a book. Those of you who read my reviews know that I usually devour books I love. But this one I savoured ... like a fine wine.

Okay, straight up, for the last year-and-a-half this has
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been my bathroom book. Not just for sitting on the toilet but also bubble baths and hiding in there when I'm entertaining people I need a break from. I pre-ordered this book and started reading it as soon as it came but immediately recognized it as a collection of wonderful vignettes that I wanted to enjoy slowly. In the toilet. (And I'm SURE I had many guests who saw the book sitting on the counter and helped themselves to some Anna humour).

Anna is hilarious and REAL. She's one of those famous people who you want to meet not to ask for an autograph but to hang out with just to ask her about how weird it is to be famous.

I first saw her in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and for years afterward thought she was sooo cool and I was really proud she was a Canadian actress (yeah, she's not Canadian ... but she's cool enough to be Canadian). And I didn't first see her in Scott Pilgrim ... I kinda forgot she was in Twilight (sorry, Anna). Beyond learning that she is indeed an American actress, I loved hearing about feisty young Anna going for her dreams.

And she includes lots of fun extras in this book. I particularly loved her special afterward for book clubs. And her About the Author page (I also am shorter in real life).

I could go on and on about how much I adored Anna's voice in this book but I'll start to be repetitive. Just go and get it (you know you need a bathroom book). Now I have an empty spot on the vanity in the bathroom ...
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LibraryThing member theWallflower
Very average. The style is like her tweets -- hilarious and offbeat -- but there isn't enough content to write about. She talks about her start as a child theater actor in New York, going to Hollywood, living like all new actresses do, being starstruck by fame, yucky guys she met, and so on. The
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big thing is that she suffered no obstacles on her road to stardom. No ill effects. Amy Poehler spent years struggling in improv, Tina Fey was responsible for bringing SNL out of the lean years of Norm MacDonald and heralded the coming of the SNL Women (Cheri Oteri, Molly Shannon, Ana Gasteyer, etc), and then THE maker for a nine-season TV show. Lindsey Stirling failed America's Got Talent, had an eating disorder, and tours the world without a major label backing. Felicia Day was homeschooled, addicted to WoW, and became an actress after graduating college at 18 as a classical violinist. But nothing bad ever happened to Anna Kendrick (besides the standard new-to-Los-Angeles-living-hand-to-mouth stuff) because she was cute and spunky. And Hollywood loves cute and spunky. She's never been rejected -- she got handpicked for the biggest money-maker of the decade (Twilight) PLUS the most critically-acclaimed (Up In the Air).

I had a hard time deciding how many stars to give this one. Two means it doesn't make it to my desert island (where I don't bring anything I wouldn't read again, but no limit on the number I can bring), but three feels like too much. It's got great humor, but she's too young for even a memoir. You got to have SOMETHING interesting in your life, something with CONFLICT, before you should consider committing pen to paper (or fingers to keys). I would love to see a book by her about something other than herself (like Aziz Ansari did for Modern Romance). But in this one, the stakes are no bigger than unwashed hair.
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LibraryThing member Kiddboyblue
Not since Mindy Kaling have I wanted to be best friends with a celebrity more.
Anna Kendrick seems to have remained very down to earth despite her huge rise to fame, and her first memoir, is not surprisingly very charming and not in the least self centered. If anything, it's self depricating, which
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I find insanely endearing. I have found, as I read more and more celebrity memoirs that they tend to fall on a spectrum of "I'm way better than you are, here let me tell you about all my famous friends and all the amazing things I get to do because I'm so famous," on one end, and "I'm basically just a normal human being who has the same fears and insecurities as you, only I'm a movie star and I get to go to award shows." on the other end. Kendrick's is the latter.
She allows herself to be vulnerable in a way that other celebrities don't seem to be able to, and/or don't want to. It comes across in a way that makes me feel she is un-concerned with being perfect, and more concerned with remaining a normal person despite her celebrity status. She openly talks about insecurities, annoyances, embarrassing stories, etc. in a way that makes it clear, being a celebrity does not mean she doesn't still deal with many of the same day to day crap we all deal with.
I never found the memoir insanely funny, but rather found it extremely witty and smartly funny. It never felt like she was trying to get a laugh, but rather felt like she was just writing as herself, and herself is just a wise ass that happens to be very funny.
There was a lot of heart, humor, truth, and charm to her writing. It was a refreshing read, and overall a good memoir.
I have always been a huge fan of hers, since I first saw her in "Camp," and this book was not a let down. Just a great addition to the reasons why I love her.
My favorite line in the book, one in which I think captures her personality so well, was: "Oh man. Is my Wikipedia page going to say "author" now? That's gonna make me look like such a dick."
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LibraryThing member Othemts
Anna Kendrick is a talented actor, singer, dancer, and writer who also happens to be funny and very attractive, so it's reassuring to read her memoir where she shares her insecurity and feelings that she is a misfit. On the other hand one my wonder why someone who is a talented actor, singer,
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dancer, and writer who also happens to be funny and very attractive has anything to complain about. Luckily, Kendrick's memoir is full of humor and perspective on her life story. She tells of being a child actor on Broadway commuting from Maine to New York for auditions and living in a tar-stained Los Angeles apartment with several roommates even as her fame grew, but she'd still not seen the financial reward. There's a lot of insight on her relationship to boys and men and how she's grown to assert herself. And then there's her hilarious takes on celebrity life such as the ridiculous things a woman has to go through for photoshoots and red carpet occasions. It's a different type of celebrity memoir, funny, honest, and beneath the surface, a little bit sad, but ultimately persistent.
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LibraryThing member varwenea
I admit that I was drawn to the book because of its title, and I admit I like her silly movies too. (What can I say?) Scrappily survived my youth, definitely little size-wise, and feeling like a nobody on most days, I was curious to her version of a SLN.

I wasn’t expecting any epic revelations,
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but I was pleasantly surprised by how much can be said about her 30-ish years of life. Written with humor, honesty, and a healthy amount of self-depreciation (and profanity), Kendrick’s story reveals the struggles of trying to get into showbiz and expectations of being a celebrity. As a self-proclaimed “apple polisher” (i.e. goody two shoes), Kendrick nonetheless experimented with underage drinking and sampled every type of drugs possible, typically under the tutelage of her older brother, who originated her scrappy, little nobody title since youth.

For a memoir to be appreciated by the reader, it needs to be relatable and believable, and frankly, entertaining. This hit all three for me, a bit of surprise on the ‘relatable’ part. Kendrick had a passage about being ‘nice’, the opposite of which is ‘difficult’ in her industry. She is in a men’s world as am I, and I found her thoughts meaningful. “Nicety percent of the people I’ve worked with who are disruptive or lazy or unskilled or addicts or likely to throw a tantrum are men. Ninety percent of the ones who get called ‘difficult’ are women.” … “I gave up on being Nice. I started putting more value on other qualities instead: passion, bravery, intelligence, practicality, humor, patience, fairness, sensitivity.” In my world, women who choose to do things their own way are more likely to be punished, and more often than not, the women’s approach is simply one that the men choose to not appreciate, and it irritates the shit out of me that it is ‘wrong’ or in Kendrick’s case, ‘difficult’. Fuck ‘nice’!

Back to the book, another relatable theme was the imposter syndrome. Despite having been nominated for a Tony at the age of twelve, and an Oscar for “Up in the Air”, that not-belonging feeling never quite goes away. The fear of not having a next job and the fear of not becoming that self-possessed woman lingers. Despite whatever bravado façade, most women I know in the workplace still feel out-of-place on most days.

Well, read about her youthful adventures into New York to audition for Broadway roles, being slut-shamed in her dating life, her first paparazzi encounter after the Oscar nomination, and the barely surviving IKEA lifestyle through her days of Twilight (steady paycheck) and “Up in the Air” (Indie movies don’t pay much). It’s a lifestyle that most of us would not know otherwise.
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LibraryThing member dcoward
A rather thin memoir. Some of her Hollywood stories are amusing, but for the most part, this was a bit boring.
LibraryThing member melissarochelle
Read from November 15 to 20, 2016

I feel the only way to truly appreciate this book is to listen to Anna Kendrick read it to you. How else will you get all the right inflections and hear the snark in all the right place? She reads it well.

There were chapters that reminded me of my friend April. I
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swear, Anna said it the exact same way April would say it. Other chapters were filled with topics I'm fairly certain I discussed with Shannon in high school or have discussed since.

Basically, if Anna ever feels like she wants to leave her house and make a new friend, I might be able to fit her into my very full social calendar.

Great listen!
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LibraryThing member MinDea
I was pretty excited to get this book. I feel like Anna Kendrick is a down to Earth, funny person. I find her movies hit or miss, but generally like her.

I find this book at times funny (actually would laugh out loud) but at other times found it a little rambling. I think if I had found it under
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Memoirs instead of Humor my expectations may have been a little different.

Overall this was OK, but not sure I would really recommend it...but not sure.....
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LibraryThing member ASKelmore
I will see any film if Anna Kendrick is involved. I’ve watched Pitch Perfect at least monthly since it was released on blu-ray (and three times in theaters before that); I watch videos online of her appearances on late night TV when I’m in a shit mood and need a boost. So obviously, I
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pre-ordered the shit out of this book.

It did not disappoint. Unfortunately, it came out a week after the election, so it is possible that it didn’t get the attention it deserved, since we are all (rightfully) freaking the fuck out about actual neo-Nazis in the White House. But if you need a mental health break from calling and writing your representatives, or marching in support of Black Lives Matter or protesting the DAPL, I would like to recommend this to you.

Her essays are laid out in (mostly) chronological order; some are quite intimate, but none delve into the uncomfortable. But the best part is that they all sound exactly like her – or at least the her we see in the media. I don’t know Ms. Kendrick, so theoretically this could all be an elaborately maintained ruse, but more than likely this is just an example of a clever, self-deprecating, strong but at times insecure woman living her life. Yes, she might have a job that is slightly more glamorous from the outside than, say, literally every other job, but she manages to make the challenges she faces as a well-known actress as relatable as her days with no money and no car trying to make it in Los Angeles.

I think the fact that she is incredibly self-aware helps. She doesn’t sell herself short in unbelievable ways, she doesn’t fish for pity or accolades, she is just sharing some stories that readers will find endearing or entertaining (and usually both).

Near the end of the book, she mentions writing a tell-all when she is 70 and done with her career. Again, I’d like to pre-order that one now, because if I’m alive then, I’m going to read that one, and I have no doubt it will be delicious.
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LibraryThing member alanteder
This was sometimes an interesting view behind the scenes of the Broadway musical and Hollywood film industry helped along by Kendrick not taking herself very seriously. It felt padded by the end though with chapters about a boat cruise to a Pirate-themed weekend and a whole chapter on imaginary
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party events, none of which seemed at all interesting.
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LibraryThing member 1greenprof
Fair warning to all - I never would have picked up this book, but one of my daughters gave it to me as a Christmas gag gift and a running joke between us regarding the 'cups' girl.

I read it fast, and was expecting yet again another book by a self-absorbed, famous, millennial.

I found myself
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surprised as she was very self-effacing and mostly humble as she recounted her story. The book was fairly well-written, and in many places fun!

I leave the book with respect for Ms. Kendrick, and see her in a whole other light. She seems very, very 'normal,' and a decent human being...bravo. She shows her warts and all...just don't call her nice (read it and you'll understand).

Enjoy the easy read, and support a 'Hollywood-type' who has earned my respect.
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LibraryThing member mt256
Scrappy Little Nobody is a collection of essays by Anna Kendrick. The topics range from early childhood recollections, life as a penniless actor, and Hollywood stardom. I'm usually not big on celebrity memoirs, but I thought I'd give this one a shot since I enjoyed some of her movies. I think the
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first movie I saw her in was Twilight. However, the movie that made me a fan was Pitch Perfect. I didn't really know much about Kendrick's life before listening to this audiobook. I had no idea she was a child actor or that she performed on Broadway. She even won a Tony. As you can tell, I was totally in the dark as far as Anna Kendrick was concerned.

Kendrick is the narrator of her book and she does a superb job. It has a casual tone that makes you feel like it's just the two of you in a conversation. Scrappy Little Nobody has the same edgy snarkiness that Kendrick's characters often portray in movies. I often wondered if it's her actual personality or if she's giving the people what they want--so to speak. But despite my misgivings, the audiobook was interesting and entertaining. It does feel as if she's being mostly honest with her readers. She doesn't gloss over the bumpy road to stardom or make it sound easy.

Scrappy Little Nobody is must for Anna Kendrick fans who want to get to know her better.
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LibraryThing member BingeReader87
Just like with Felicia Day's book, I found this book incredibly helpful for dealing with anxiety. Before this book, I was guilty of thinking of Anna Kendrick as a bit of a nobody, only getting various supporting roles, being the friend of a friend or the quirky girl. I realized, through this, that
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I relate to her anxiety issues and her humor.

I don't want to give too much away, so I'll just say, definitely read this book, or better yet, listen to the audiobook. The audiobook gives you so much more of her personality and wit. Fair warning, there is a fair amount of sexual content in it, so be prepared for that.
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LibraryThing member jhullie
Well who would have thought it...the girl can write! I loved this book, it was so funny, I mean laugh out loud and scare the people nearby kind of funny. It felt like listening to Anna talking just to me, and boy, are we great friends. I'm off to watch Pitch Perfect with a new appreciation for the
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riff-off scene.
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LibraryThing member justacatandabook
Anna Kendrick has been acting (and singing) since childhood, and her autobiography chronicles her growth as an actress and person, as told in little snippets and essays. Grouped in assorted themes, we hear from various stages of Anna's life, spanning her childhood to present day, and learn how
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Anna, a tiny scrappy kid, became a famous, Oscar-nominated actress. The book touches on her fame, as well as her personal thoughts and feelings.

I've always enjoyed Kendrick and have seen several of her films (and heard her sing about a million times, thanks to my young children and the popularity of the film, Trolls) but didn't know a lot about her early career. Her autobiography does a good job of filling in some of the gaps of Anna's childhood career (working on Broadway at twelve - who knew?!), but isn't told in any chronological order, so we don't get a sense of any real span of her career from Point A to B. Most of the book is told in short little bits. Many of them are quite funny stories, and there are some truly laugh out loud moments. In many cases, Kendrick is a very relatable person, who seems like the type of friend you'd like to hang out with. At other points, she seemed a bit whiny, and for me, the book spent too much time with her protesting about some of the travails of being in the celebrity industry. I can only take so much "woe is me" from famous people who write books about their lives.

The book is on more solid ground when we're reading about Anna's early life, where you gain a true admiration for her talent, and with her silly and snarky stories about her misanthropic personality (misanthropes unite!). Still, the jumping back and forth in time makes it hard to get a true trace on the arc of her life at times, and beyond some of the complaining and expounding on the travails of award shows, press junkets, and the like, there wasn't as much about her post-fame life as I was interested in.

If you like Kendrick's films, or her twitter feed, you'll probably enjoy the book and its organization, even if you find yourself wishing for a little more at the end. She's led an interesting life so far, and I'm sure another autobiography down the road would be quite intriguing.
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LibraryThing member KeriLynneD
I love Anna Kendrick and her book doesn't disappoint! She speaks on boys, childhood, becoming an adult, working in movies, being famous and fashion. She's a little bit odd but I think that's what makes her fun! She's very real and has no problem being truthful about everything! She knows she has
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flaws, she accepts them and continues to be herself no matter what happens! Her book is written as if she is talking to an old friend! I hope she writes another!
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LibraryThing member KatKealy
Very entertaining - especially if you love movies and Broadway. I had forgotten about some of her accomplishments and it was really interesting to read about the process.
LibraryThing member Briars_Reviews
Going into this book, I didn't think I was going to like it. Honestly, the intro had me humming and ha-ing about whether I would actually enjoy the book. But, once I got into the actual biography and got to peek inside Anna's life as an actress, I really enjoyed it! The last few chapters didn't sit
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well with me, but I did finish the book.

I enjoyed Anna's sense of humour and a peek inside the entertainment industry. Reading that she's an introvert that's just in a very extroverted career was also very interesting. There is a lot of depth into this book about being an actor, and of course the odd swear word because it's Anna Kendrick. She's honest about her career and makes sure the reader sees both the good and the bad about being an actor in Hollywood.

Overall, this was nice read.

Three out of five stars.
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LibraryThing member itchyfeetreader
I am usually suspicious of memoirs written by celebrities in their early years as there is just not enough material. However, I really enjoyed the first half of this book where Anna reflects on her family life, her experiences as a child actor and the dichotomy of that with schooling in an average
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town in Maine. The second half post her move to LA was of less interest to me but there the ‘humorous essays’ of the marketing blurb came to the forefront. I found the writing to be a good mix of sincere, including some interesting observations on women in Hollywood, and yet also reasonably self depreciating. An easy enjoyable listen.
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LibraryThing member mcelhra
I like Anna Kendrick but I don’t consider myself a huge fan. I chose to listen to her book because she has a reputation for being funny on Twitter and I thought it would be funny. Parts of it were funny but it was full of self-deprecating humor that rang false. She paints herself as a helpless
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idiot stumbling through life but a person can’t make it to where she is in the entertainment industry if they are as dumb as she makes herself out to be. Weirdly, she comes off as decidedly smug at the same time. Most of her attempts at sarcasm or irony fall flat. Unfortunately, there isn’t any celebrity dirt to make up for all of that! George Clooney is so nice, Tina Fey is so nice, and so on.

I listened to the audiobook of Scrappy Little Nobody and Anna reads it herself. Perhaps that amplified her personality and I would have liked the book more in print. What I learned from this book is that sometimes it’s harder to be funny in an essay format than in 280 characters.
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LibraryThing member juniestars
We'd be friends

Having read this and seen quite a few of the movies Anna is in, I imagine in real life she's most like her character in Pitch Perfect. This was an easy read. Fun to hear her inner thinking's. She's just as sarcastic and crass as I imagined she's be.
LibraryThing member Sarah220
I listened to the audio book which was recorded by the author. Anna Kendrick brought her energy and comedic delivery in full force to the recording studio. She's adorable, funny, and a bit cray-cray but incredibly fun to listen to. Wrote a review of a book I loved? Check.
LibraryThing member CarrieWuj
2.5 I'm not a celebrity follower and this wouldn't be my usual fare. However, my son's theatre org was promoting a book signing/meet-and-greet (which we couldn't attend) so I was curious. Definitely not for kids! Let's start there. Though Kendrick was a child star, this memoir is more life-spanning
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and falls into tell-all, some of which I really didn't need to know. (e.g. sex life) That slight diversion aside, the rest of the book is pretty astute and definitely self-deprecating. I appreciate her versatility as an actress, especially her singing talent, but it was interesting to find at the bottom of it all, she considers herself a pretty normal person, true to her Maine mainstream upbringing and despite industry success, still honestly insecure and appreciative. She doesn't seem to take things for granted, and knows her success was part luck, timing, hard work, and family support. Good recipe. That part is good for kids to know!
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LibraryThing member KeriLynneD
I love Anna Kendrick and her book doesn't disappoint! She speaks on boys, childhood, becoming an adult, working in movies, being famous and fashion. She's a little bit odd but I think that's what makes her fun! She's very real and has no problem being truthful about everything! She knows she has
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flaws, she accepts them and continues to be herself no matter what happens! Her book is written as if she is talking to an old friend! I hope she writes another!
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LibraryThing member villemezbrown
A humorous read with a nice chatty tone.

It did remind me of that viral PSA on social media where you see the young woman having fun in five or six different pictures, but then you're supposed to catch on that she is holding an alcoholic beverage in each one and may have a drinking problem.


Original publication date


Physical description

xxiii, 275 p.; 23 cm


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