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anderlawlor

anderlawlor

Currently reading

Madame Bovary
Gustave Flaubert, Lydia Davis
Siddhartha
Hermann Hesse, Hilda Rosner
Civil Disobedience and Other Essays (Collected Essays)
Henry David Thoreau
The Children Star
Joan Slonczewski
Manstealing for Fat Girls
Michelle Embree
Undersong: Chosen Poems Old and New
Audre Lorde
Radio Crackling, Radio Gone
Lisa Olstein
Radiant Days
Elizabeth Hand
Mythmakers and Lawbreakers: Anarchist Writers on Fiction
Margaret Killjoy, Kim Stanley Robinson
Footnotes in Gaza
Joe Sacco

Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man: A Memoir

Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man: A Memoir - Bill Clegg Well I don't really like memoirs, but I've read a number of them and this one is no different. Like many of the addiction memoirs written since the early 90s, it's written in the present tense, with nonlinear chapters switching between first and third person. The writing is clear and compelling enough but not particularly deep or critical. The title says it all: it's a portrait of an addict, not of an addict's recovery. It's a sort of depressing picaresque, reminding me of one of the problems that can come with episodic narrative: repetition without change or insight. The author doesn't get sober until the last few pages of the book, and I genuinely wonder about the 200 pages of drugalogue before that. Is it narratively necessary to see so many scenes of the author using? There's very little character development, ultimately, so I don't care at the end that the author is maybe getting clean for real this time. I guess I kept reading it because I'm still curious about people with unlimited wealth and privilege. Why am I still curious about this? I wish I wasn't. I blame capitalism.