A Biographical Novel based on the Key Moments in the Life of the Alcoholics Anonymous Founder, Bill Wilson, and a Probing of his Mysterious 11-year Depression

After Bill W, AA founder’s supreme achievement in creating Alcoholics Anonymous, why would he have suffered a serious depression that lasted more than a decade?

By attempting to throw light on this question of Bill W and AA, Paul Hourihan involves the reader in many other themes of vital relevance to everyone―not to those in recovery alone.

This in-depth psychological study of Bill Wilson, AA founder, is  generally based on the facts of his life, but not restricted to the literal truththe prerogative of the novel. A number of biographical events in Bill W’s history have been passed over in favor of an intensive, original recreation of its key moments, from childhood to early middle age, when the power of the depression was first felt.

Chiefly a work of the imagination as this is, it is able to probe more deeply into the hidden life of its subject than non-fiction can do. According to the author, Bill W’s depression may have been his salvation, and saved him from a worse fate.

The story of AA and Bill W’s own struggles, within and outside the movement, are seen throughout from his standpoint alone.

Written in the glowing, masterful style that is Paul Hourihan’s hallmark, Bill W., A Strange Salvation will introduce new readers to Bill Wilson, one of the seminal voices of our age, and provide a fresh look for those already familiar with his story.

Bill W. A Strange Salvation

by Paul Hourihan


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Readers’ Comments and Reviews

I liked the way that that Dr. Hourihan educated me on Bill W’s life, career and challenges with alcoholism and depression in an intriguing novel format. It read like a novel that I didn’t want to put down. Because I know so many people who are battling with depression, alcoholism, or both, the book helped me to better understand myself and those around me. The book challenges the reader in a very subtle way to assess his or her own mental and spiritual health and to try to determine what Truth means to us so that we can live  meaningful Truth-filled lives. I found the teachings and characters to be authentic and truly enlightening.

– Bob Gregoire, Professional Trainer and Coaching Consultant (Retired)

This book asks gut-wrenching, soul-searching questions that reach deep into the psyche of readers, both those who have experienced alcoholism and those that have not. The questions are universally relevant and inspire readers to search for their own truths….

A profound, in-depth study of the subject in an easy to read novel format, this book is enlightening.

– Shirley Roe, Allbooks Reviews

This book is definitely an important contribution to those seeking to unravel and understand the many conundrums that Bill Wilson went through in putting together what some have called “one of the most important reform movements of the 20th century.” …

In the end, however, this book wasn’t so much about Bill W.’s strange salvation, as it was about what his story and depression actually represents. Hourihan, in a masterly and brilliant manner, described exactly what most every seeker of mystical union is up against and must transcend before arriving at their most cherished of goals—having the experience of Divine Union, also known to some as “Self-Realization,” and to others as “God Consciousness.” Dr. Paul Hourihan’s manner of writing this book proved to be an exceptional undertaking with a remarkable result.

 James Lewis Marshall