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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Whatever you know about addictions, NINETY DAYS will broaden your knowledge and understanding
"That craving, once it begins, is almost impossible to reverse... It's like Bruce Banner as he's turning into the Incredible Hulk. Once his muscles begin to strain against his clothes and his skin goes green, he has no choice but to let the monster spring from him and unleash its inevitable damage."

This is one of the many insights into the disease of addiction...
Published on May 14, 2012 by Bookreporter

versus
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars another fast read but left me with questions
I read this in an afternoon after I read Clegg's first book a few days ago.
While it had more analysis than the first one, I still felt like I wanted
more. I wanted to know WHY? Why was he suicidal? Why is he afraid to be alone?
Why does he feel so damn entitled? (He gets out of rehab in debt and rents
a studio in Chelsea for 2500! huh?) Brooklyn or...
Published on July 10, 2012 by Augusta Wind


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Whatever you know about addictions, NINETY DAYS will broaden your knowledge and understanding, May 14, 2012
By 
Bookreporter (New York, New York) - See all my reviews
"That craving, once it begins, is almost impossible to reverse... It's like Bruce Banner as he's turning into the Incredible Hulk. Once his muscles begin to strain against his clothes and his skin goes green, he has no choice but to let the monster spring from him and unleash its inevitable damage."

This is one of the many insights into the disease of addiction that Bill Clegg reveals to his readers as he describes the arduous journey he took to achieve his first 90 days of sobriety. Anyone not familiar with the phenomenon of substance abuse and its ramifications would find it difficult to understand how a person who has literally lost everything of value could even think of using again. In NINETY DAYS, Clegg candidly shares how and why such a relapse occurs, often more than once, even when the decision to remain sober has been made.

After more than three months in rehab, Clegg returns to New York where he plans to live in his brother's office during non-business hours. The rest of his time will be spent going to Twelve-Step meetings, working with the tools for living that he had been given in treatment, and trying to figure out how to salvage something from the wreckage that had become his life. He quickly learns that those folks he meets in the program, those "counting days," are sincerely eager to help newcomers, and he soon finds himself among sober friends. This is a new experience, the first among many to follow.

Despite acquiring a sponsor, a mentor who will help guide him on his journey, and despite some close friends he makes, the temptation to use is always lurking in the background. Jack, his sponsor, warns him to stay away from people, places and things that might trigger a relapse. These include areas of the city where he used to meet his dealers, streets that led to certain bars, boredom that would allow his mind to meander to those places, and the times of using that he remembers fondly.

Clegg's first relapse occurs when he is only 16 days away from his goal of 90. Anyone who is in recovery will have no problem understanding how an addict makes stupid choices. Those who have never been in recovery will either develop some sympathy or just want to slap the addict silly. In either case, the relapse occurs, followed by more problems and debts being added to the already impossibly high mountain. Then it's back to meetings, feeling like a fool joining the newbies, and once again accepting a 24-hour chip.

Clegg develops his own character as he recounts the stories of others in his new circle of friends, those who have been successful at achieving sobriety and those who, like him, are caught up in the cycle of relapse and recovery. He learns to be more honest with himself and his motives, and finds that things actually do work out better when faced rather than avoided or covered up. Still, he cannot shake a common feeling among those in recovery: that of being an outsider, an alien among people who belong and who know what to do and how to behave appropriately. "I look around from sober face to sober face and wonder again how these people found their way. How will I?"

Whatever you know about addictions, NINETY DAYS will broaden your knowledge and understanding. There are no excuses or minimizing of the problems; Clegg opens himself up as is necessary for long-term recovery. There is only one caveat regarding this book. I would probably not recommend it to anyone in early recovery because those very triggers that caused Clegg to relapse several times may tend to affect them as well.

Reviewed by Maggie Harding
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars another fast read but left me with questions, July 10, 2012
I read this in an afternoon after I read Clegg's first book a few days ago.
While it had more analysis than the first one, I still felt like I wanted
more. I wanted to know WHY? Why was he suicidal? Why is he afraid to be alone?
Why does he feel so damn entitled? (He gets out of rehab in debt and rents
a studio in Chelsea for 2500! huh?) Brooklyn or Queens are not good enough
for him? just like he had to do crack in the ritziest hotels downtown.

Lots of interesting stuff about recovery and the people he meets in the
AA meetings, although I disliked the preachy tone of the last chapter.

I realize an author has to make decisions about what to leave out so
I hope in real life he has gone much deeper than in the book. No
mention of therapy. Was that omitted or is he in analysis?
I wish the author luck and hope he stays clean and sober

Wanted to add I got both books from the library and I recommend
that. Both books are slim volumes you can read in a few hours.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Disappointment *SOME MILD SPOILERS*, April 11, 2012
I absolutely loved Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man--it was harrowing, it threw the reader into each moment, and achieved a sense of coherence even within its chaos. The author didn't include any "writerly" self-awareness in that book, because it wasn't necessary; it was simply the telling of a drug-fueled story as he recalled it.

Ninety Days, however, suffers from a complete and utter lack of self-awareness even after the author is well into recovery, and the book fails as a result. The author is self-pitying throughout (dramatically dropping to the ground, throwing lamps, screaming into the wind), but any awareness of his self-pity registers only through others' observations, not his own self-realization or growth. In "Portrait," he was somewhat annoyingly woe-is-me, but that was acceptable because he was getting high the entire time so there was almost no breathing room for analysis of his character. Now, even during his moments of clarity/not using (not to mention that he should have achieved some growth during the 5 years between hitting his "90 days" and finishing the book), he is just a cry-baby about everything that HE caused. For example, he's upset that Asa doesn't show up to his 1-year meeting, yet he fails to have any self-awareness to understand that it's because he seduced Asa and then dropped him when he met Elliot (with whom he started a relationship even though everyone, sponsors included, told him not to--a choice that he "[doesn't] regret," even with the writerly distance, which further shows his lack of awareness). If he had any real revelations, or any genuine discussion of himself (aside from the basic recitation of the events), the reader would be drawn in. What we're left with, instead, is a remarkably self-pitying (even to this day), remarkably unaware, narrator...one who, at the end, tries to convince the reader that HIS path to sobriety is the way to go, even as he states, in the last pages, that he's essentially a slave to co-dependency for the rest of his life. The author hasn't learned much since the first book, no matter how many repetitive descriptions of meetings and relapses he includes. And the writing style is so all-over-the-map that it makes one wonder if he had an editor; he switches tenses for no discernible reason and jumps back and forth in time within a given sentence so frequently that some of the passages don't make any sense, even after repeated readings. He employed a similar style in "Portrait," but, as with the lack of awareness in that book, it complemented the content of that book. Here, it just reads as sloppiness.

Overall, a huge, insufferable (even at 191 pages in what appears to be 20-point font) disappointment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gave Me Hope, April 23, 2012
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As a family member of someone struggling with addiction, I have been at a loss to understand why they cannot "just say no." This book provides insight into that very point. The author describes with great clarity how quickly a craving can turn into an absolute obsession, from which, at that moment, there is no turning back, and no saying "no." His recounting of his relapses and emphasis on the importance of honesty in recovery is driven home, especially in the epilogue. The fact that he and others are able to work up the courage to try again gives me hope that my loved one will one day be able to do the same.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Escaping Addiction, June 24, 2012
Description:

Ninety Days is the true story of Bill Clegg's recovery - crack addicted to clean and sober. This memoir is the follow-up to his first book , Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man, and begins where it left off - after seventy-three days of rehab.

Review:

A raw and highly emotional look into the life of a once prominent businessman and his strenuous journey to sobriety, Ninety days is an intense, yet simply-written, look into recovery from addiction. It feels like I am reading Clegg's journal, and the entries have a lot of impact. His writing style is honest and full of poignant prose, his ordeal a glimpse into a torment of the human condition. The interactions and dialogue are well-written, but the sections about his relapse(s) are some of the most engrossing. I am very moved by his story, however, I feel like Ninety Days should be read after Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man, because it feels sort of incomplete alone. Recommended for those who have struggled with their own addictive behaviors and/or readers interested in the drug rehabilitation process; also appropriate for older teens.

Rating: Bounty's Out (3/5)

*** I received this book from the author (Little, Brown and Company) in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Road to Recovery Does Not Get You There, May 5, 2012
Ninety Days - it really doesn't seem like so long a time. But for those who struggle with addictions one type or another, it can seem like an eternity. The author has gone to great efforts to help the reader to understand the mix of success and failure faced by many addicts as they seek to find sobriety in their lives.

As the book ends, the journey is not over. One does not recover - but must forever remain in recovery if the addict is to find the serenity that each of us needs. At first, it may come a day or two at a time, then in weeks, and finally months. And the book tells of a journey to reach 90 days, it is a book of starts and restarts as the author battles relapses.

As I read, I moved from caring for the author and his struggles, to name calling, to just plain anger - how could this guy be so stupid? The addict is not stupid - he is sick. And like any chronic illness, there is likely no cure, only strategies that one needs to learn to move through each day. Strategies that must be continued for a lifetime.

Drugs, alcohol, sex, relationships, and family, are themes that are addressed in the course of the Bill Clegg's trip to sobriety. For those who follow my reviews, be aware that this book is not particularly Christian - it gives a very real and a very raw look at the struggle of one addict to reach some form of sobriety. Having said that, the book is recommended for those who are walking alongside an addict in recovery - whatever their faith.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read Ninety Days in less than one., October 2, 2012
By 
tracy rubino (denver, CO United States) - See all my reviews
I cried and cried as I read the final pages of this book that wouldn't let me put it down until I reached them. Not because it was sad, but because it was that good. Maybe somewhat sad, but only because of the wounds it kissed. This book touched me deeply, spoke to the very core of my being, affected me on a deeper level. I will be thinking about its impact for days. It was captivating, and more than than: real. For anyone that has either struggled with addiction (the whole planet!) or has been affected by someone who has, this vivid memoir paints a painfully beautiful picture of what it's like. Not only what it's like to attempt to break free of the tangled insidious web that addiction is, but also what is necessary to really recover from it's lure. Ninety Days........ one of the more important books I've read because as its message will stay with me, even though I read it in less than a day.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you are new to recovery be careful, April 22, 2012
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I like this well written book. It might be better suited for those who are helping or watching someone go through recovery. The details and the descriptions of his several relapses are too vivid and real for me and may risk triggering relapse on the readers who are trying to achieve sobriety. If you can handle that, it is worth your time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, March 25, 2014
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This review is from: Ninety Days: A Memoir of Recovery (Kindle Edition)
Another great book by Clegg. Well worth the read especially for friends of Bill. Very fast read and engrossing read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One man's review, August 20, 2013
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As a recovering alcoholic/addict, I was immediately impressed. I was taken by the realness of his words. So powerful was his prose I felt I was close to relapsing! This, after six plus years of sobriety! I felt every high (pun intended), every low and every painful encounter with a family member or acquaintance. A must read for anyone who or has ever known an alcoholic.
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Ninety Days: A Memoir of Recovery
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