Tag Archives: Addiction

After Birth, Garnethill Trilogy

Elisa Albert’s After Birth blew me away. So much so that I just wrote the author an email to thank her for getting it right, and immediately after finishing my library copy I preordered the paperback so it can live in my permanent collection. Ari is coming on her son’s one year birthday, but her postpartum depression and inability to heal from her traumatic birth experience has her coming undone. When pregnant Mina, a former rock legend, moves to Ari’s small town up the Hudson,…

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I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can by Barbara Gordon

Synopsis: The classic autobiography of a TV producer recovering from a Valium addiction. Review: I read I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can because it was only 99 cents for Kindle. It has not aged well at all but I couldn’t put it down. It’s so dated but I found her earnestness kind of refreshing. However, the therapy she got was pretty horrifying, especially all the doctors who justified and even defended the behavior of her abusive boyfriend. I never quite understood exactly what was…

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Sherry and Narcotics by Nina-Marie Gardner

Synopsis: A young American woman who can’t stay sober moves to Manchester to live near the internet boyfriend who can only see her on Saturday nights. Review: I feel like I’ve read Sherry and Narcotics a million times, only with different names and in different cities. I’m not saying the book lacks literary merit, only that this particular kind of semi-autobiographical sexy self-destructiveness seems to have a perennial appeal. 10 years ago I read Morvern Callar and thought it was deep; now I just feel…

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Addict at 10 by Derek Steele

Synopsis: How a youthful drug addict turned his life around thanks to the 12 Steps. Review: As memoirs go, Addict at 10 is pretty standard. The child of divorced partiers, Derek Steele gets drunk for the when he’s just 8 years old, and by high school he’s selling ecstasy and cocaine. The second half of the book details his recovery and sober life as a family man and successful business owner. If you like this template, then you’ll probably want to check this one out.…

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The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King (The Dark Tower)

Synopsis: The gunslinger steps into the lives of three different New Yorkers, and must figure out how they fit into his quest before he dies of an infection. Review: The contrast between The Gunslinger and The Drawing of the Three always astonishes me. As King puts it in his introduction, in book 2 of the Dark Tower series the story really takes off. I always spend the first few chapters mourning the elegiac tone of the first book, but soon am swept away by the…

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Sunless by Gerard Donovan

Synopsis: Bereft and aimless, an ex-meth head signs up to test a new drug promising to cure anxiety of all kinds. Review: I picked up Sunless because it promised a Chuck Pahlaniuk-esque satirical romp through all the woes of our modern age, dressed up in off-kilter post-apocalyptic trappings and with an addictive prose style. Instead, I suffered through a lazily written, incoherently plotted, almost aggressively aimless stylistic exercise that I had to force myself to finish reading. Thankfully it’s not very long, so I could…

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Last Night in Paradise by Katie Roiphe

Synopsis: A look at sexual mores in the age of AIDS. Review: I like a good polemic as much as the next person, particularly when it involves people having lots of sex, mostly because I always feel like that’s nice work if you can get it. Last Night in Paradise isn’t hard-hitting investigative journalism as much as it’s an apologia for all the sex that Roiphe and her friends had in the 80s and 90s: “look, we may have slept around but we are always…

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Emperor and Clown by Dave Duncan

Synopsis: Now married to the cursed Sultan Azak, Princess Inos finally heads to the capital city to plead her case in front of the wardens, as stable boy Rap rushes to meet her and embrace his destiny. Review: (Is that like the worst cover you have ever seen? Seriously.) Emperor and Clown is the final installment in Dave Duncan’s A Man of His Word series, and a most satisfying conclusion indeed. The overall story is a rich, satisfying adventure full of political machinations and romance,…

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More, Now, Again by Elizabeth Wurtzel

Synopsis: A memoir about a writer’s descent into Ritalin and cocaine addiction while working on the not-supposed-to-be-about-her follow up to her best-selling first memoir. Review: If I could dare to face my obsession with Elizabeth Wurtzel, author of Prozac Nation, I would still not go into therapy because any cure for Wurtzelmania would ruin my taste for things like “Real World: Reunited” and Lindsay Lohan gossip, and I’m just not ready to give up all of my guilty pleasures. Share on Facebook

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