ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.



January 2024



A Portrait of the Piss Artist as a Young Man by Tadhg Hickey

Written by , Posted in Reviews

Three Stars

Best for:
Those looking for inspiration from sober alcoholics / people with substance use issues.

In a nutshell:
Comedian Hickey shares what his life was like growing up in Cork, Ireland, with a mother who was mentally unwell.

Worth quoting:

Why I chose it:
I follow Hickey on TikTok and didn’t realise he has a book. The book is … different from what I expected.

I was hoping to squeeze this in as my last review for 2023 but alas, I just missed out.

This book feels like an honest portrayal of what Hickey went through as a child with a mother who has ill mental health, and how he eventually found he was drinking and misusing substances to the point that it was impacting his ability to be there for his daughter. He talks about what he needed to get sober the first time, about relapsing, and about what he needs to stay sober. He also shares some insight into his career and his family life now that he is living a sober life. I’m not someone who has faced struggles with alcohol or substance use, but I found his portrayal to be interested, told with humor (obviously – he is a comedian) but also with insight and reflection.

Near the very end he spends some time talking about his activism, which is how I came across him – his TikTok sketches highlighting the current situation in Gaza. Those who have been following what is going on in Palestine may have noticed that Irish politicians have been very vocal in their support of Palestine, as have many Irish artists. Hickey is no different in that respect, and is using the platform he has to speak up. Obviously the take of someone who isn’t currently living there is not the priority at the moment, but I do appreciate that he is willing to be vocal about his opinions.

What’s next for this book:
Archive it (audio book)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.