by Nic Sheff
Memoir of a crystal meth addict. The author's father, David Sheff, wrote Beautiful Boy, telling his story of Nic's addiction.
Nic Sheff has a family history of addiction, so from day one he had one huge strike against him.
And then this...
“When I was eleven my family went snowboarding up in Tahoe, and a friend and I snuck into the liquor cabinet after dinner. We poured a little bit from each bottle into a glass, filling it almost three-quarters of the way with the different-colored, sweet-smelling liquid. I was curious to know what it felt like to get good and proper drunk. The taste was awful. My friend drank a little bit and stopped, unable to take anymore. The thing was, I couldn't stop.
I drank some and then I just had to drink more until the whole glass was drained empty. I'm not sure why. Something was driving me that I couldn't identify and still don't comprehend.”
Nic's addictive cravings began at age 11, became more evident throughout high school and spiraled out of control in his early 20's. If it wasn't drugs or alcohol - during the short periods he was in rehab and sober - then it was love and relationships. Sometimes both.
This book reminded me of A Million Little Pieces. Not the narrative style but the equally horrific, honestly relayed content, and graphic detail. Nic's description of engaging in homosexual acts and the drug use itself was more than I was prepared for. Still, I couldn't put it down. I felt like I was watching a movie, wanting to close my eyes at certain parts but also wanting to know what happens.
I wanted to wrap my arms around the kid and take him home and "fix" him. Of course there's no fixing an addict until they hit bottom and want to help themselves. It's sad to see exactly how low "bottom" is, though, and Nic leaves out no detail of his "bottom." Wow. I don't really know what else to say. It's heartbreaking, really.
I googled Nic Sheff, and from what I could tell he has relapsed several times since writing the book. What a talented, talented writer. Such a shame.
CNN Health.com article last April about his relapse
I read Beautiful Boy when it was published in 2008. I wish I would have read the two back to back; I think it would have had more of an impact, but still it was powerful.
Do I Recommend?
Yes, but only if you could handle graphic details of drug use and sex. And if you can, read both Beautiful Boy and Tweak. It was fascinating to read the different points of view.