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Look at artist Daniel Zakroczemski's eerie illustrations on the cover and Page 7, and you might think the story we asked him to illustrate was some sort of horror tale.

Read the article that goes with those illustrations, and you could get the idea that a story so bizarre must be the product of a mind like Stephen King's.

In fact, a horror story is just what it is. But it isn't fiction. The writer is not Stephen King but someone named Tim Kantor, and the horror is the story of his life.

Kantor is an alcoholic. Today's cover story is his account of the delirium tremens he experienced as he was trying to get over one of his bouts with too much booze. I first read it a few weeks ago in the Miami Herald's magazine, and it astonished me. I couldn't believe what I was reading. I had doubts about whether it could possibly be true. I couldn't wait to see what happened next.

Most of us are probably able to tell about a bad episode or two we've experienced in our lives thanks to alcohol, the kind of experience we laugh about afterward. And, of course, we've all seen countless articles over the years on the problems alcohol can cause.

But this is different. It quotes no "experts." It contains no pompous official warnings of any sort about the dangers of drinking. Kantor has written an extraordinary story -- the kind that can only be written when the writer lives it and then decides to bare his soul.

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