The Book of Drugs: A Memoir by Mike Doughty

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As in most books I've read about addicts, Mike Doughty's doesn't really wallow for long in how awful it must be but his is the only one I've ever read in which the author says: "If heroin still made me feel like I did the first time, and kept making me that way forever -- kept working -- I might've quite happily accepted a desolate, marginal life and death."  Although sobriety is surely the better choice, he's seems to have traded desolate and marginal for bitterness and self loathing. He never refers to his former bandmates in Soul Coughing by their names, only as the "drummer",  the "sampler"  and the "bass player", which dehumanizes him and not them. He tells numerous stories in which he is bullied and manipulated into doing things he doesn't want, including divvying up the publishing rights to the band's works, even though he presents himself as the musical auteur to their tradesmen.  This makes it sound like an unrelenting screed against the band and it's not.  It's actually an interesting read filled with stories about his vacations to places I'd never go, humiliating sexual interludes and Jeff Buckley. Check Our Catalog

© 2011 Thomas Crane Public Library

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