Kamis, 13 Januari 2011

Gritty and great! Junkie Love

wotches man Junkie Love Joe Clifford

Junkie Love Joe Clifford

There's a lot I want to compliment the author regarding this book, but I don't know where to start. It's one of those books that leaves you mulling over what you just read as the ending seems to arrive too soon. As a reader, you want to stick around; you want to see where the author goes from here. He's bared so much of his soul to you, sparing none of the visceral, gritty details, that you feel a kinship - a friendship formed. In a way, I felt like Dr. Stevens at the end of this book (he's a character near the latter parts), watching from a distance the journey of a heroin addict as he struggles and fights his way to sobriety.

As a memoir, this is an undoubtedly amazing one. The prose is solid, and there's an inherent beauty to it too. It's like watching a single, solitary snowflake glide down from the sky up close as some sort of devastating mushroom cloud erupts in the background. Beauty in a dark world teeming with disease and shady characters.

The author, as I mentioned, spares no details. He's upfront and honest. He tells us the things we're itching to know, and he tells us the things we'd shy away from - the hard, cold realities of what addiction can do to an individual. We get both the fantasy and the sludge at the bottom of the gutter. It's this combination of beautiful prose and blunt honesty that reels the readers in. We trek through this muck, sometimes unwillingly, with him, hoping (praying) that there's a lit torch at the end of this dark voyage, that everything will be okay.

This book really resonates with the reader on a deeply personal level. That said, I feel this is a must read, and it'll stick with you. I know I won't forget it.

Get your Junkie Love Joe Clifford Now!

8 komentar:

  1. This is a fantastic book. I wouldn't exactly call it fun, but the writing is excellent, never cliched, and unlike so many addict/recovery memoirs, it does not glorify the lifestyle in the least. No cock-rock war stories. Clifford explains why he started down the road, how innocent it seemed at the time, and then describes his experiences and thoughts as it's happening. It's frightening, realistic, but never preachy. If you have a friend or relative who's slipping into the lifestyle, you should buy them this book. They'll sympathize with the younger narrator, while hopefully learning the lessons about 10 years lost from the older narrator. Highly recommended.

    BalasHapus
  2. Clifford Castillo20 November 2010 03.32

    Joe's story of ricocheting across America in the throes of heroin addiction is a feat of storytelling woven together with beautiful prose. I've read some of Joe's other stuff and nothing comes close to this personal tale. It's a true writer's voice unleashed and uninhibited.
    The heartfelt shame and unabashed selfishness of drug addition make the tale stand apart from other books of this kind. It's listed under fiction, but make no mistake, it's a memoir of the highest order. His story is one that will make you cringe with embarrassment and laugh out loud. To have survived this story is one thing; to have crafted it into a book this fine is a literary achievement.

    BalasHapus
  3. Junkie Love is a symphony of the human condition. It is an inspiration not only for those that have abused substances, but for all people that have had seemingly insurmountable difficulties in their lives, which is everyone. It triggers a cornucopia of emotion, sometimes simultaneously. At times I felt dread and anxiety for the characters, which of course made me want to read more. I could now coin the phrase "comically tragic drama", this book is all of that. Certainly a must read.

    BalasHapus
  4. There's a lot I want to compliment the author regarding this book, but I don't know where to start. It's one of those books that leaves you mulling over what you just read as the ending seems to arrive too soon. As a reader, you want to stick around; you want to see where the author goes from here. He's bared so much of his soul to you, sparing none of the visceral, gritty details, that you feel a kinship - a friendship formed. In a way, I felt like Dr. Stevens at the end of this book (he's a character near the latter parts), watching from a distance the journey of a heroin addict as he struggles and fights his way to sobriety.

    As a memoir, this is an undoubtedly amazing one. The prose is solid, and there's an inherent beauty to it too. It's like watching a single, solitary snowflake glide down from the sky up close as some sort of devastating mushroom cloud erupts in the background. Beauty in a dark world teeming with disease and shady characters.

    The author, as I mentioned, spares no details. He's upfront and honest. He tells us the things we're itching to know, and he tells us the things we'd shy away from - the hard, cold realities of what addiction can do to an individual. We get both the fantasy and the sludge at the bottom of the gutter. It's this combination of beautiful prose and blunt honesty that reels the readers in. We trek through this muck, sometimes unwillingly, with him, hoping (praying) that there's a lit torch at the end of this dark voyage, that everything will be okay.

    This book really resonates with the reader on a deeply personal level. That said, I feel this is a must read, and it'll stick with you. I know I won't forget it.

    BalasHapus
  5. Alfreda Strickland16 Oktober 2013 15.32

    Junkie Love, Joe Clifford's second novel (his third book if you include his great short-story collection Choice Cuts) is as raw and candid a story as you'll ever experience. It is a gritty literary memoir that reads like the fiction of a James M. Cain or Jim Thompson and will take you on a visceral trip down the darkest alleys of drug addiction. Poignant, horrific, and at times uproariously funny, Junkie Love is not only a journey through hell and back but also a story of redemption and hope, one that you will think about long after you finished the book.

    BalasHapus
  6. This semi-autobiographical novel by a former drug addict who has turned his life around is a searing account of one man's dissent into the gutter, and subsequent battle for recovery, ultimately successful.

    I had thought that such a story might be depressing, but not so. Much of the action takes place in San Francisco and I enjoyed the authenticity of the locations in that city.

    Only about 200 pages, the book is hard to put down. I found it easy to empathize with both the protagonist and Amy, the girlfriend with whom he has lost touch in recent years.

    Only the squimish should avoid this book: for everyone else, I strongly recommend it.

    BalasHapus
  7. Junkie Love by Joe Clifford is the chronicle of the descent into a heroin-fueled life. Of yearning and searching. Of pain and numbing. A chronicle of life.
    It is a life that many of us are unable to fathom, so far removed from our workaday existences, that it seems utterly incredible.
    A young man follows his rock and roll dreams to California, he works a boring job, and he parties with all the gusto of an energetic 21 year old. And he begins his descent into the world of meth, and eventually heroin, which cost him everything. The day-to-day survival is ugly, at best. Something that most people would not be able to handle. Living in run-down apartments filled with mice and filth, bearing the undeniable outward signs of drug abuse, living only for the next fix. And breaking his mother's heart through it all.
    There is absolutely nothing neat or pretty about this story. It is as real as it gets. And it is impossible not to become emotionally invested. You want to get away from the people, the filth, the crime, you want to take this young man and force some sense into his head. You want to make him realize what he's doing to himself and his family. You want him to be okay. Even though you know that this young man is the author of the book, that he is alive and well, you worry that he won't make it. His story is so impossible.
    Clifford uses an impressive blend of poetic metaphor and description that is so repulsively real, it's itchy. The writing is superb, and brings every scene to life in a very uncomfortably vivid way.
    Before I had read half of the book, I was absolutely convinced that it should be required reading for everyone on the planet. After finishing it, my conviction remains unwavering. Junkie Love is the most raw, powerful story I have read in recent memory. Not a fantastic escape, not a diversion, it is an honest and brutal look into the life and mind of a junkie. Five stars aren't enough.

    BalasHapus