I have read quite a few books about addictions and have found each of them to fascinating for different reasons. However, Bill Clegg’s memoir is by far the clearest and most intriguing of all of the books of this genre that I have encountered.
Clegg’s account of his spiral into the abyss of crack cocaine is so vivid, told with such clarity, so intense that it is difficult to describe. I read the book in a state of awe. Although, not sure if “read” is the right verb … It was more like “gulping down”, imbibing, drowning. Clegg’s writing is a pleasure to read. The book is well structured and flows easily back and forth through time as Clegg tries to explain his fall from grace and the challenge of trying to convince himself that everything was ok, that he was not – as he calls it – “a junkie”.
There are numerous references to mirrors, inferences to what we choose to see and what we choose to ignore. The underlying idea is pretense, fakery, poor attempts at illusion and finally, desperation.
There are some stellar moments in this book, moments which take the readers’ breath away. There are also some shocking transgressions. But, even these become points of empathy for readers who find themselves inevitably relating, on some level, to Clegg’s battle with drugs, with himself.
This book is definitely one of my top books of the year. A must read for everyone.
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