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Drugs: A Novel Paperback – May 22, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press (May 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609804015
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609804015
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.4 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,745,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“J. R. Helton really speaks to me—starkly honest, darkly funny, acutely observant,
and captures the tragic absurdity of human life. . . . [H]e’s right up there with the
best of them.” —Robert Crumb
 
“Helton . . . writes with passion, clarity, and fairness.”
—Harvey Pekar, author of American Splendor
 
“Just when you think there’s nothing to new to say about drugs, Drugs marches out
whole new ways to fuck up your brain, your life, and basically anyone insane or
unlucky enough to cross your path. This is a truly riveting, mind-altering read,
not to be missed.”
—Jerry Stahl, author of Permanent Midnight

“Appearances can be deceiving—JR Helton’s wonderful book is not so much about “Drugs” as it is about growing up in America as viewed through the prism of our national past-time. Funny and poignant, Helton has delivered a book that would make Mark Twain proud—it’s hilarious, true and subversive—a perfect piece of modern American writing.”—Tony O'Neill author of Down and Out on Murder Mile and Sick City

“For three days straight, I did Drugs. The straightforward matter-of-fact prose — reminiscent of William S. Burroughs’ classic memoir Junky — latched onto my brain and wouldn’t let go until the final page.”
Broken Pencil 

About the Author

J.R. Helton has been writing for thirty years. He has published a number of short stories, as well as the memoirs Below the Line and Man and Beast. A French collection of his work,  Au Texas Tu Serais Deja Mort, was published in March 2011 by 13e Note Editions in Paris. He lives in Texas.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By LGR on May 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
You might be motivated, like I was, to pick up Drugs out of morbid curiosity (after all, this is the story of a well-educated, professional man, Jake, who has used just about every drug out there). And there is ample voyeuristic entertainment to be had in reading his story--the drugs, the women, the wince-inducing misadventure--so much, in fact, that I had the book finished in under 48 hours. Out of wildly divergent experiences spanning decades of one man's life in South Texas, Helton manages to create a cohesive, engaging story.

But Drugs isn't just brain candy; it resonates on a deeper level. And not in the way many might think. This fictionalized memoir is not a sappy, apologetic story of recovery from addiction. In fact, as we read Jake's refreshingly honest account of drug use (some trips are actually kind of awesome), we find we are also reading a biting critique of American attitudes toward drugs and drug users--and of the insidious effects of this country's War on Drugs. In his terse, unaffected prose, Helton offers an alternative proposition: that people should have the right to control their own consciousness.

Drugs entertains and enlightens. I highly recommend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stacy on June 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
it really is so much more! The reviewer in front of me says it better than I could, but I can say you won't be disappointed! I loved this book. It is very funny and offers a lot to think about. I, too, read it quickly (2 sittings!) and didn't want it to end. I liked it so much that when I was done, I looked up the author online and read through all his short stories that I could find. I look forward to reading his other books and hope he writes many more. I love to give books as gifts and this is definitely at the top of my list. Also, the cover is amazing!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Phil on July 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
I was immediately transported into the writer's world from the get go. I had a hard time putting the the book down as I went with Jake on his journey through the various Texas locals, situations, and odd characters he meets on the way. I hope that Mr Helton has a new book soon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By neighbor on June 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
J.R. Helton has written another story where he pulls the reader into his passenger seat for a darkly thrilling ride through yet another part of his life. Strangly, I came out the other side a little more disenchanted and a little more enlightened. I highly recommend this book, both for the story as well as the story telling.
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