After Reading Tom Sandborn’s review in the Vancouver Sun, Judith Maxie send him this email (April 4, 2013)

Tom, I read your review of the above referenced book in last Saturday’s paper and was intrigued and challenged by your written impressions. “Challenged” because I had to wonder if the book was truly worthy of such a lengthy and positive review or if, indeed, you were just enjoying your own talent as a writer and/or trying to fill newspaper space. I decided to seek out the book and judge for myself thinking it a kind of exercise of the moment.

Well, low and behold you were absolutely right on almost every count or point of examination. All The Way Home is a refreshingly great read! Because of the author’s candor and ability to construct entertaining and pithy sentences there was no page that disappointed. One of those less common reads where you find it difficult to stop reading, put the book down and get on with the demands of one’s own life. A great storyteller, David has written a compelling account of his life and work. Work that elucidates a topic few of us are without our own worries about a family member or friend in the cycle of addiction (of some sort).

But the book is a trip in itself; a journey worth taking for a variety of reasons; not the least of which is the sheer enjoyment of being piloted by a voice and spirit of great passion and wit. David Berner seems obviously a born writer. So where are his other publications? Or, at least the next?! I can only add, “bravo” to David and thank you sincerely for sharing him with us.

Judith Maxie

Way More Than Hope May 3, 2013
By Bob Ransford

David Berner is a man who is all about stories. For years, he’s sat there and very ably prompted stories from others: actors, politicians, business tycoons, and a myriad of other characters. He’s told funny little stories about his life experiences, shocking real life tales and everyday anecdotes that make us think about ourselves and the community around us.

I encouraged him a few years ago to tell his own story, with a focus on the truly heroic, ground-breaking work he did for years saving lives and helping drug addicts, drunkards and God’s other lost children.
That story needed to be told because it is a great lesson, an inspiration and a fascinating study of our modern society, with all of its hardships, struggles, realities, triumphs, ironies and hope.

David has not only told the story, he’s told it with brutal honesty, sharp insight, engaging humour and critical self-assessment. David teaches without lecturing. He preaches what he practiced. Moreover, he simply writes well and his prose sings. Reading his book is fun.

The crazy stories about that period of pioneering practice in addiction recovery are now there in one concise tome, evidence that there is hope. We CAN help those who let themselves follow a path that leads nowhere. David has helped hundreds. He proved it is possible and it is worth it.

With a passion that comes from real experience, David continues today to battle those who want to give up on those who need help and can be helped. He’s relentless in his criticism of those who theorize about harm reduction instead of compassionately acting and helping people take control of their lives and stop harming themselves and the rest of us. That’s because he knows what hope is all about.

David’s story is one of hope. Read it. You’ll laugh, learn, cry, cringe and really care.


“Once in a generation an idea so bold, so new bursts forth, shatters our neat categories and changes the way we view an unsolvable problem. David’s book is a galvanizing probe into an uncommon but very effective way of treating drug addictions.

This book is Berner at his best – wise, funny, outrageous, rabbinical, maddeningly offensive, smoldering and profane – yet tender, compassionate and loving.

A watershed book – a must read for any health care professional.”

-Lee Pulos, Ph.D., ABPP
Clinical Psychologist
Author, “The Biology of Empowerment”
“Miracles & Other Realities”
“Beyond Hypnosis”


“David Berner has blessed us with a roller-coaster memoir.

ALL THE WAY HOME is Berner the Bard at his best.

ALL THE WAY HOME is a blood and guts drama revealing how a therapeutic community offered and enabled abstention from addiction. It is laced with humour, irony and profanity. Berner writes the way he speaks – with rambling brilliance, at times uproarious, sometimes marvellously warm or lethal.

And in the process Berner reveals the charlatanry of Vancouver’s supervised injection site: a pitiless revolving door enabling addiction.”

-Justice Wallace Gilby Craig
Judge, Author, Advocate for C


“Be warned: Don’t begin this tome as late sleepy-bye reading before a hot conference at nine the next morning. You will arrive a red-eyed, fur-tongued readaholic. Start for the style and story-telling, stay for the wisdom and insight. Profane, profound, impatient, painful, but ultimately a love story for the drug-users and drink-addicted ex-cons that only a fool about humanity would take risks for, the book is as unsparing about the complex Berner himself as it is about X-Kalay, the group he founded in his early twenties so raw and fresh that “we were making it up as we went along.” His experience-shaped bombsight in the addiction trenches – what’s a little mixed metaphor among friends? – unerringly targets the blundering and costly nostrums of the fashionistas in the media, academe, conventional counselling, and frightened politics.

This is no fawning blurb: I’ve always cast a cynical eye on any book described as “a real page-turner.” Berner’s written one.”

-Trevor Lautens, columnist, Business in Vancouver


All the Way Home is as strong and persuasive a case for the non-harm-reduction approach as I have ever seen. Whether or not you agree with him on the contentious harm-reduction issue, you will be challenged, entertained, moved and enraged by this remarkable book. Everyone who cares about those who are suffering the hells of addiction or about public policy should go out and get this book, as should anyone who values sentences that are well written, pungent and charged with conviction, passion and wit.

This book is highly recommended.”

-Tom Sandborn, columnist, The Vancouver Sun


All the Way Home is a startlingly candid memoir of a maverick in the world of addiction treatment. David Berner, well known for his unorthodox yet highly effective methods, grabs his reader’s attention with a style so crisp and punchy, it pops. His well honed wordsmithing and thoughtful insights are the mark of a master therapist who has been awake and listening intently. Berner navigates the contours and complexities of the addicted mind with home truths precisely drawn.”

-Jessica Malkin, M.A., M.S.W.