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Hero of the Underground: A Memoir Hardcover – July 8, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (July 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031237576X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312375768
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #398,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Peter, a star at the University of Nebraska's storied football program in the late 1990s and a first-round NFL draft pick, details his short, frenzied life as a drug user and veteran of the treatment center circuit. It started with painkillers in college, which turned into a full-blown addiction as he battled an array of injuries that ended his career by his late 20s. With plenty of money and time available, Peter's partying escapades eventually led him to freebasing cocaine and turning his upscale New York City apartment into arguably the world's most expensive heroin retreat, complete with a live-in junkie stripper girlfriend. Avoiding self-help urgings and self-congratulations, Peter (who is now clean) and O'Neill have crafted an unflinching look at the dark side of a life devoted to pleasure. Peter's recollection of his college glory days is a little overbearing, but the book's power lies in his honesty in detailing the depths of his despair from seeking the next high. (July)
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Review

Hero of the Underground gives us a portrait of red-blooded jock as monster dope fiend. It’s a savage, unsparing, eye-popping ride through the dark soul of big money, endless drugs, American manhood, and our national past time---self-destruction. Ex-Cornhusker Jason Peter writes like a soulful badass, and we’re lucky he lived to tell the tale. Had Hunter Thompson been a football player instead of a fan, this is the book he’d have written. Flat-out, mash-your-face-in-the-dirt amazing.” --Jerry Stahl, author of Permanent Midnight

"Bruising... more harrowing than usual. Peter’s narrative relentlessly focuses on the brutalizing facts, and it is free from the macho posturing and self-congratulatory navel-gazing common in recovery memoirs. Nightmarishly honest." --Kirkus Reviews

"Wow, I am not sure how to express how unsettling this wound up being, for me.  The book is a sledgehammer.  When I think about the book, I feel this sort of hollow whistling in my chest.  Jesus."  --Nancy Rommelmann, New York Times bestselling author of The Real Real World

“I enjoyed the hell out of this book, sped through it like a crack fiend.  There will be a lot of interest in this part of the world because of his Cornhusker ties.  Nebraska is God’s country, but God, as Peter says, is Tom Osborne.” --Poe Ballantine, author of Things I Like About America and God Clobbers Us All

 


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Customer Reviews

Thank you Jason for sharing your story.
BETH CURLEY
Jason Peter wrote this book like he played football...all out, all the time.
Jon
Finished the book in one day and had a very hard time putting it down.
P. bowen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Have you ever been addicted to drugs? Have you ever known anyone addicted to drugs? Have you ever been involved in an intervention?

The first twenty pages of this biography of former Nebraska Cornhusker All-American -- three-time-member -- of an NCAA football champion -- a first round NFL draft choice -- and a short lived NFL player... Jason Peter... is so "mind-crazed"... drowned in paranoia... non-stop... "Pulse-pounding"... "Heart-throttling"... and so... absolutely embedded... in complete mental and physical "INSANITY"... that if the reader has not been personally involved in a similar situation... you will believe wholeheartedly that it was all contrived by the author.

Jason comes from a loving family with an older and younger brother, all of whom excelled in football. His older brother not only played at the University of Nebraska also, but had a successful NFL career. Younger brother Damian was destined to be better than both of his brothers. In fact, then Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz, while on national TV after recruiting Damian to play for the Fighting Irish said: "Damian Peter was maybe the best offensive lineman that Notre Dame had ever recruited." Damian then had a fluke accident diving into a swimming pool at a friend's house. Damian was critically injured, and was paralyzed, until a wonder "test" drug gave him his physical movement back. This led to the absolute, most pointed comments in the entire book, other than the wanton, depraved, decadent, debauched, degenerate, destructive, drug use, that asphyxiates ninety-five percent of the entire story. The entire time that Damian was in intensive care and recovery... and even when he came back to school to watch helplessly from the sideline...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BJ on September 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book!

I'd personally never even heard of Jason Peter, but the backstory sounded amazing and I love the NFL, so after reading several reviews I decided to give it a try.

Jason Peter is a prime example of how the NFL spits you out when your no longer worthy of playing, this book in no way puts down the NFL, it just once again brings to light just how harsh the system is, one of my favorite lines in the book best describes it,

"When you put on your team colors, you are no longer a person--you are a cog in a machine. That is how a team operates, and that is what wins games. People are discarded in this game when their usefulness is at an end."

JP's career was in jeopardy because of injuries, then he got hooked on pain killers, the pain killers led to cocaine, the cocaine to meth and crack

his journey thru drugs/rehab is insane, he was an unemployed millionaire with a raging drug problem

good, good stuff!!!!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jon on August 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Rarely do I pick up a book that refuses to be put down. Hero of the Underground is this kind of book. If page one doesn't suck you in, you might want to check your pulse. From the beginning, this book takes you on the ultimate roller coaster ride, touching the highest of highs (figuratively and literally) and the lowest of lows (literally). I'm struggling to find the appropriate words to describe this book, but only because it is so powerful. Raw, unabashed, in your face, pedal to the metal, and inspiring all come to mind. The bottom line is that any Husker football fan, any pro football fan, any sports fan in general, or any current/recovering drug addict and their family/friends should read this book. I bought the book on a Thursday after work and had it finished the following night. I'm telling you...this book is so well written that it's impossible to put down for more than a short time (i.e. to sleep). Jason Peter wrote this book like he played football...all out, all the time. No holds barred. I read a lot of books and it's the best I've read this year...easy!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's a compelling read and a window into the world of drug addiction and rehabilitation. Jason Peter lived for the high of playing football and the roaring fans. In order to do this he had to have pain medications to just get up every morning. When several injuries curtailed his career he spiraled down into the world of drugs, cocaine and eventually heroin. I am not a great fan of football, but his descriptions of the very wealthy indulging in illicit drugs was revealing and shocking to me. As he points out, we think of drug addicts as those falling down into the gutters of life, but they were the well-off and moneyed people who willingly went down this road of destruction.
Also his description of drug rehabilitation centers was insightful.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Elliot Cowan on August 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Firstly, it's worth mentioning that not only do I have no interest in sport, but I specifically have no interest in American football (I'm a sluggish Australian cartoonist, not a sporting type at all).
Despite this I found Hero of The Underground utterly compelling.
I read the whole thing in one sitting - I couldn't put it down.
It's honest without being cloying.
It's shocking without being sensational.
Jason Peter's story reads like a man planning a train wreck and then climbing on board for the ride.
I couldn't recommend this enough.
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