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20 Of The Junkiest Books About Drugs You’ll Ever Read

29 January 2014 No Comment

More books everyone should read before they go to that great rehab in the sky.

Low Down: Junk, Jazz, and Other Fairy Tales from Childhood by A.J. Albany

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If anyone has the perfect pedigree for a killer dope memoir, it’s Amy Jo Albany. Her mother Sheila was Allen Ginsberg’s last hetero affair, and her dope-fiend father, Joe, played piano behind Charlie Parker. As a little girl, Amy Jo was a regular at dives and clubs many adults might have thought twice about stepping into. She and her dad lived at St. Francis Hotel, a Hollywood flophouse frequented by junkies, prostitutes, porn dogs, washed-up show-biz losers and the odd one-eyed dwarf. Much has been written about the Hollywood that made movies in the '60s and '70s. What Low Down lays bare is anti-glamorous Hollywood, the infernal wasteland none but the doomed have to negotiate. Joe Albany might have been a jazz giant, but he mainlined his way to the status of brilliant footnote. Still, he raised young AJ as a single father, and it’s the compelling portrait Daddy the Dope Fiend and the little girl he called his “ace-one-boon-white-coon” that makes this book the little masterpiece it is.

Via amazon.com

Inifinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

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Infinite Jest is such a monster of a book, the pages devoted to inebriants of every flavor — and the people who love them — constitute a spectacularly weird and deep drug book of their own. In his loving depiction of Don Gately and the denizens of Ennet House, the rehab where much of Jest’s action plays out, Wallace gives us some of the most scarily accurate, screamingly funny, and deeply felt portrayals of users and their innermost beings ever written. Here it is: the greatest American writer on the great American subject — addiction.

Via hachettebookgroup.com

Another Day in Paradise by Eddie Little

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Eddie Little was a real-life ex-dope fiend, ex-con, and bullet-scarred badass who turned the stories of his hard-fought life into a coming-of-age-on-smack crime classic. The young hero and his girlfriend attach themselves to an older thief and his wife, and the foursome careen on a dope-soaked cross-country spree of thieving, violence, and living the old-school gangster high life. Along the way, the kid learns the ropes: how to crack a safe, set up phony checking accounts, and keep himself on heroin. Another Day enjoyed a spectacular first-book success that culminated with Larry Clark directing James Woods and Melanie Griffith in the movie version. Five years after the book came out, the author died in a motel room, at 48.

Via jhbooks.com

Speed by William Burroughs Jr.

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His dad was a tough act to follow — but happily, Bill Jr. managed to find a drug he could call his own. He turned his experience mainlining meth into a novel that manages to be loopy, hellish, hysterical, and almost preternaturally evocative of a meth-heads state of mind — sometimes all at the same time. Either eschewing commas for free-flowing speed riff or downshifting into a kind of pulp staccato, young Burroughs mines his overstimulated brain for one remarkably twisted sentence and situation after another. Including this gem, when he and his road dog are staying in the house of some straights, whom Bill Jr. notices are looking at him funny: “They wondered in stage whispers what was on my mind. I said, ‘Carnivorous albino badgers, the size of a boxcar.’”

Via ecx.images-amazon.com

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