From Publishers Weekly
In its first pages, this disturbing memoir sees upper middle-class New Jersey 18-year-old Salant plopped in a California drug recovery center by his parents, where he attempts "kicking heroin among strangers" some 3,000 miles from home. Before long, Salant has ditched the recovery center and embarked on a chaotic, crime-riddled year addicted to crystal meth and the whopping sex life that's part of its allure. Supported by both his well-meaning parents and by selling drugs, Salant deals with a cast of dysfunctional junkies at turns caring, comical and highly unsettling. Though he never addresses the big picture-the so-called epidemic of meth use in America-there's plenty of gory details about life as a drug addict, from a dealer shooting meth into her neck while her daughter watches TV in the next room, to an uncomfortable, drug-fueled threesome with a violent paranoiac. The tale of Salant's recovery, however, is remarkably abrupt; Savant explains he "didn't decide to turn my life around. I just stopped trying so hard to ruin it." Savant's story is a depressing, at times disgusting, and largely demoralizing tale; as such, it offers an unrelentingly bleak account of one man's encounter with America's crystal meth culture, for readers who have the stomach for it.
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"If prose were a mind-altering substance, James Salant would be your neighbourhood pusher. Lord knows, the man will make an addict of you" -- Koren Zailckas, author of SMASHED: GROWING UP A DRUNK GIRL "Normally I hate to tell anyone what to do, or what to think, or read. But I honestly believe every parent should read this book. And every teenager on the verge of a drug trip should read it. And everyone else, too. It's that good, that important" -- Dava Sobel, author of LONGITUDE "Leaving Dirty Jersey is a harrowing, pitiful account of one guy's demise into full scale addiction and insanity ... Up there with Jim Carroll's The Basketball Diaries for drug rites of passage books" Blowback Magazine "Like watching a car crash, the gruesome details - drug deals gone wrong, violence and seedy motels - make the book compulsive reading" Big Issue "Completely addictive ... brilliant" Word Magazine
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