John Barleycorn or Alcoholic Memoirs

Read by Peter Kelleher

(4.6 stars; 62 reviews)

Jack London died at the age of forty. In this autobiographical work, London describes his life as seen through the eyes of John Barleycorn (alcohol). There is much controversy about the cause of his death just as there is about alcoholism and addiction. London's brutally frank and honest analysis of his own struggles and bouts with alcohol was way before its time and more modern theories of addiction. With remarkable candor and insight, London describes the demons and gods he encountered through both friend and enemy, John Barleycorn. (Summary by Peter Kelleher) (9 hr 43 min)


Chapter 1-3 28:26 Read by Peter Kelleher
Chapter 4 28:20 Read by Peter Kelleher
Chapter 5-6 44:15 Read by Peter Kelleher
Chapter 7-8 25:21 Read by Peter Kelleher
Chapter 9-10 36:04 Read by Peter Kelleher
Chapter 11-12 42:41 Read by Peter Kelleher
Chapter 13-14 34:43 Read by Peter Kelleher
Chapter 15-16 31:26 Read by Peter Kelleher
Chapter 17-18 40:53 Read by Peter Kelleher
Chapter 19-20 31:28 Read by Peter Kelleher
Chapter 21-22 29:54 Read by Peter Kelleher
Chapter 23-25 31:18 Read by Peter Kelleher
Chapter 26-28 29:54 Read by Peter Kelleher
Chapter 29-30 26:46 Read by Peter Kelleher
Chapter 31-32 35:38 Read by Peter Kelleher
Chapter 33-35 24:36 Read by Peter Kelleher
Chapter 36 22:45 Read by Peter Kelleher
Chapter 37 19:20 Read by Peter Kelleher
Chapter 38-39 19:57 Read by Peter Kelleher


The societal brainwashing about alcohol 👏

(5 stars)

Narrator sounds a bit drunk on purpose, slow paced narration befitting a drunk, perfection to me at least, like sitting next to a drunk in a bar who would be better served without philosophy. Brains and/or discipline is no effective shield. As Allen Carr said, lots of CEOs, lots of smart driven men are still slave to the sauce. Heard this one 2 times in full. His voice is so damn real and conveys seedy places. Often used it to fall asleep because since knowing it pretty well so didn't get so interesting that it'd keep me awake. Great for getting me to sleep because of the slower narration. "The accessibility", "The accuired taste". 100% of the start is in concordance with Allen Carr's well-reasoned arguments about the societal brainwashing. Much of it, like the Oyster pirates etc is funny, him almost getting plowed over as a young kid is disturbing as well. But I adore the first chapter ie 1-3 as one. "Dypsomaniac 😂 I'd forgot that hilarious word. Haven't listened to it in maybe 3-4 years.


(4.5 stars)

A whimsical rendering of alcoholism, complete with perpetual denial. The first 34 chapters were quite enjoyable, albeit pathetically in denial. The next two chapters were extremely drsturbing, almost like hearing the DT's come to life. The ending was predictable, a bland denial with avowed continuance. An excellent reading.

A Toast to Jack London & His Best (?) Friend John

(5 stars)

This is totally a great listen! Wow! I didn't know London had such a rich past saturated with good ole memories of hours spent with JB. We live in the very areas (Alameda-Bay Area) where London was an oyster pirate and his descriptions amaze us. Gone are the oyster locations he sailed his boat to but Heinhold's (now called First and Last Chance) is very much still there---and probably has 2-3 regulars drinking whiskey at the tiny bar right now as I write this. Listening to this has been simply wonderful!

(4 stars)

having lived around alcoholism since childhood, I loved this book. so true to life. my only concern being the end. Alcoholism IS a disease but an addiction, not a choice. His drinking is definitely that of an alcoholic. Hence the title, which seems confusing when the denial of addiction at the end is rather worrying. I loved Peter Kellehers narration and will now listen to more that he reads

great app!

(4 stars)

high praise for the Librivox Audiobook App. I could not have listened to this extremely slow delivery without speeding it up x3. With that marvelous feature, the book became a good listen. interesting theme.

Jack London arguing for the Prohibition

(4 stars)

I thought the narrator fit the story quite well. A deep insight into the culture of creating alcoholics within a male dominated society.

A + Jack London

(4 stars)

Very interesting listen. The narrator fit the story. It is not a roisterous adventure novel but a reflective autobiography. Well matched.

John Barleycorn - Jack London

(3 stars)

An interesting theme to use when writing an autobiography. This classic text is read slowly and delibertly.