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More, Now, Again: A Memoir of Addiction Paperback – January 7, 2003

3.6 out of 5 stars 157 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In her second book, Bitch, a discourse on self-destructive women, Wurtzel (Prozac Nation) admits to writing the manuscript while on drugs and then checking herself into rehab. In this memoir, she expands that admission to its extreme, minutely detailing life as a Ritalin addict and then as a rehab patient. But with its long stretches of descriptions about glass coffee-tables, tweezed leg hairs, missed phone calls and junkie buddies, this new book would have been more aptly titled "Prosaic Nation." Not only does Wurtzel tread on well-covered terrain about getting clean, she manages to add little or no insight either to her own habit or to the landscape of addiction in general. She's never figured out how to be a grown-up and do the little things like scrubbing a tub, she writes, "and remembering to eat and shampoo my hair. It's the basics: I can write a whole book, but I cannot handle the basics." Yet she fills this work with nothing but mere basics, like which cereals she eats, how she feels about television and how tough she finds life on a book tour. Even in rehab, that reliable bastion of craziness, the scenes are ordinary, washed out by Wurtzel's seeming lack of emotion. Indeed, throughout the book the author describes crying or worrying, but never seems to feel anything, so that when she has a surge of gung-ho self-esteem at the book's end, complete with a spiritual awakening, it rings false, a too hasty wrapup. Hardcore Wurtzel fans may find much to enjoy here, but the book's lack of depth and originality will check all but the most devoted. (Jan. 17)Forecast: The toned-down and boring jacket (compared with those of Wurtzel's previous books) and her lackluster writing won't do much for sales. More, Now, Again has scant chances of reaching new readers it just doesn't have the depth and insight of other works on addiction.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-An excellent, harrowing, horrifying book that YAs will identify with and remember. It's also one of the first lengthy accounts of prescription-drug abuse (for a time, Wurtzel crushed and snorted Ritalin every five minutes, which is increasingly popular among teens). More is thoroughly unglamorous ("I was not a cool drug addict") and often frankly disgusting; on speed, for example, the author began tweezing her legs and couldn't stop until she nearly hit bone; her legs became an infected mess of open sores. The last third of the book-on rehab, relapse, and recovery-is not as strong, but the preface and first chapter alone make More, Now, Again an important acquisition for a YA collection. Whatever her advantages (white, middle-class, Harvard grad, author of the best-selling Prozac Nation[Riverhead, 1995]), Wurtzel is not a "poor little rich girl" begging readers' pity or forgiveness. If anything, she courts their revulsion, while dragging them repeatedly (as she did her friends, doctors, and family) into the hellish world of addiction-deception, blood, desperation, vomit and all-more skillfully and memorably than anyone else.
Emily Lloyd, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (January 7, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743223314
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743223317
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #503,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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What prompted me to write a review for this book was how much I love it, and how many bad reviews its gotten. People say Wurtzel is selfish, narcissistic, self-centered, and completely focused only on herself and her own life. YES folks, it's a memoir about HER life and HER drug addiction. What people don't understand is that depression and addiction are two VERY self-centering things. Depression is, in its nature, the inability to get out of onesself in order to exist in the world. I am, like Wurtzel, an only child. I was also an addict and I also suffered from depression. I think you need to really understand what it is like to endure these things before you can truly comprehend that she is not a bratty woman, still looking for her mommy and daddy's affections -- as critics will have you believe -- she was suffering, and she bleeds her heart open to you, the reader, in ALL her books. She spares nothing, she embarasses herself, humiliates herself, she is not saying I am Elizabeth Wurtzel and I have no flaws, I am perfect. She is saying, I am Elizabeth Wurtzel and THESE are my flaws, THESE are my imperfections, perhaps you can learn from them. It's a MEMOIR folks, it's ALL gonna be about HER life and HER gripes, and HER suffering. That's not narcissism. That's honesty.
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It's funny, but every Elizabeth Wurtzel review I've read (including reviews on Prozac Nation the film) is one extreme or the other. The people who trash her work always whine about the same things: it's self-absorbed, she's a brat, omg my friend's-brother's-nephew's-playmate's-mother's-hairdresser went through like WAY WORSE STUFF THAN HER!!!111

Look, folks, this a writer whose first novel was her memoirs about depression. Depressed people and addicts are not pleasant to be around. They're frustrating, demanding, unreliable, irritating and they make you want to scream at them to make them "normal". That seems to be the biggest problem that people have with her books - she doesn't sugarcoat anything and she doesn't try to make depression or addiction look glamourous. If this doesn't sound like something that will interest you, don't even bother reading it, because I can guarantee that you'll hate it.
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Wurtzel's second memoir is account of her fall into Ritalin addiction (crushing and snorting the pills) and then cocaine addiction, all while writing her bestseller Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women. She isolated herself in Florida, obsessively writing and re-writing drafts of her book. She freely admitted her addition and planned to get clean "as soon as the book was done." She convinced friends and family to look the other way as she used drug in front of them. At one low point before her first stint in rehab, she was essentially living at the NY Doubleday offices, disheveled, attempting to edit her book, and having cocaine delivered to the lobby by courier service. It was amazing what a large scale she got codependency to work for her.

Wurtzel enters rehab, lives in a halfway house, relapses, and tries alternate forms of treatment on the long road to sobriety. At one point, she finally gets a therapist who pushes her beyond her eloquent speech and word play. Wurtzel has to come to terms with her "terminal uniqueness," which a lot of addicts suffer. Wurtzel really *is* special, talented, and respected worldwide, but when it comes to her addiction, she's no different from anyone else. She also learns that there are no reasons why an addict uses, that addicts use because they are addicts, and any reason for using can be invented. She plays games, comparing heroin and cocaine and deciding her cocaine addiction is "better" because it is of the mind, not of the body like heroin. She comforts herself because you can't OD on Ritalin and cocaine like you can on other drugs.

After Prozac Nation and over the years, many readers have commented that Wurtzel is a whiny narrator. She is indeed.
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Firstly, I do have to agree that Elizabeth Wurtzel comes off as very self absorbed, and in Prozac Nation, almost whiny. However, I can't help but feel thats the nature of the beast.
Mental Illness often creates an enormity of self absorbion, I speak from experience. From what I've read of my own issues, and from reading her books, I do wonder if she has depression on its own, or has a personality disorder on top of things. Narcisistic PD, or Borderline PD? I'm no expert, but there were bits in More, Now, Again that suggest symptoms of either.
Drug abuse can also create a great deal of self obsession; junkie logic is a law unto itself, and as a junkie, you do become a me me me more drugs person.
I found Prozac Nation interesting, as it showed the full ugliness of depression, and how it affects those around you. Yes it was whiny, but thats what depressives can be like.
As for More, Now, Again... It made me realise I had a problem with drugs, and I had to go do something about it. And it, like Prozac Nation, was whiny and self absorbed, but yet again I know many junkies, and that is what they're like.
I think that although there is whinging and whining, and self absorbion throughout BOTH her "memoirs", I (and I'm not an optimist) believe that she is writing the ugly truth, without sugar coating. Depressives and drug users are notorious for being self absorbed, and she is no exception. I like the fact she gets into the nitty gritty, and doesn't hide the worst of her behaviour from the reader.
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