Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man: A Memoir by Bill Clegg

41w1F2RwQqL $23.99, 240 pages, Biography

Publisher’s Website

NY Times

The Independent

A raw memoir detailing a crack addiction that took over Clegg’s body, career and relationships.

Literary agent Bill Clegg writes of his escalating crack cocaine use in his memoir.  A successful entrepreneur in a relationship, Clegg learns the hard way that he cannot casually use drugs.  Holing up in hotels throughout Manhattan, Clegg subsists on crack and vodka while his partner and business friends fight to get him help.  The memoir continues as Clegg attempts to maintain his professional life while using.  The end result is another stint in rehab.

As a fan of memoirs, I enjoy reading stories where the writer has overcome hardships, addictions or struggles.  This memoir of crack addiction turned very ugly very quick.  The writing is very raw with incredible detail of drug binges, sex and a life spiraling out of control.  I found myself rooting for the author less and less as he continued to make careless and reckless decisions.

Appeal Factors: Character-driven, Graphic, Gritty, Disturbing, Fast-Paced

This book appealed to me as I often read memoirs involving addiction in an effort to connect with my patrons who also struggle with addictions.

If you like this book, consider: Tweak by Nic Sheff, The Basketball Diaries by Jim Carroll or Dry: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs, according to Amazon.com (accessed March 3, 2013)

I chose to read this book after checking out Clegg’s follow-up book, Ninety Days, to patrons.

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