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Rolling Away: My Agony with Ecstasy Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 3, 2005

3.9 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, May 3, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Aspiring actress Smith dabbled in recreational drug use after moving to New York City from smalltown Pennsylvania. Sadly, the recent high school graduate quickly went from being a casual user to an addict. Smith's descriptions of "rolling" on ecstasy are appropriately disjointed and haunting. She deftly conveys an ecstasy user's sense of euphoria, especially the bubbling happiness that spreads like a wave through an "E"-fueled dance floor. But in tackling recovery, she falters. Although Smith's experience in treatment was difficult, and her description of it lends some insight into her subsequent triumph, she lingers too long in very well-trod territory. Once Smith is out of the hospital, though, the book regains its footing as Smith details her appearance in an MTV special about ecstasy use, and the difficulty of dealing with her somewhat emotionally unhealthy family. Smith has written a fervent cautionary tale; even when revealing the drug's joyful moments, her tone is one of warning and regret. As a member of the advisory board of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Smith tours and lectures about ecstasy, and it's likely that this work will find wide readership. The book's greatest strength is its alarming passages about coming down from a high and about the emptiness of living for the next pill-popping moment. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Fresh out of high school, Smith arrived at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City with big plans and dreams. She longed to be an actress, but she fell in with a bad crowd and found herself experimenting with ecstasy, cocaine, and acid. A bad acid trip isn't enough to scare her off from the lifestyle, and after graduating she gets involved with Mason, a charismatic and handsome drug dealer who quickly draws Lynn into his aimless, ecstasy-filled existence. The constant drug use finally leads to a breakdown, and Lynn's concerned mother brings her to a hospital and checks Lynn into a rehab program back in her hometown of Danville, Pennsylvania. Smith manages to complete the program only to come home to more challenges (her father is an alcoholic) and unexpected opportunities (MTV wants to do a story on her struggle with addiction). Smith's memoir is a must-read for anyone who views drugs as glamorous--her descriptions of bad trips are very vivid and frightening, and the effort she made to turn her life around is admirable. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743490436
  • ASIN: B000H2NDFA
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,980,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Sorry, Lynn, but being a party girl for five months doesn't make you a recovering addict. The story just isn't that uncommon: Spoiled girl has parents mortgage their home so that she can go to an acting school in New York. Girl is bored and has delusions of grandeur, & is easily taken in by other, more spoiled, rich kids who do recreational drugs to pass the time. (All on daddies dime.) Spoiled girl gets through her "school," is disapointed when she doesn't get auditions for acting jobs, and has to get a job in the real world, waiting tables. Instead of pounding the pavement or trying for auditions, Lynn decides to party hardy and up the drug use. It sounds like 5 months of fun to me! Partying all night - sleeping all day. She mostly had a ball, there was no rock bottom here. She never suffered financially or ended up on the street, all she did was have a semi-breakdown, which caused her to call mommy to come get her and put her in a hospital, which they probably had no insurance for. After Lynn gets out of the hospital, she hangs around moms house for several months, getting a MTV special for writing a 5 minute email, and within a few months - is so bored that she has another "relapse," which makes no sense, except she is just looking for more attention.

Low and behold - Lynn becomes a public speaker - telling hardened criminals how tough it is being an addict. Hello? Does she think her 5 months partying in New York can compare to being raised in the projects while mom's on crack? Has she ever gone without food? And then she goes on Oprah and other talk shows - and writes a book? Congratulations Lynn! Looks like you got the attention you wanted! And for five months on the party circuit!

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Format: Hardcover
The most offensive and superficial set of flaws in this offensiviely superficial memoir is the typos. Smith (and her editors, sadly) don't know the difference between "affect" and "effect," sometimes using both randomly as the same part of speech in the same sentence; "gauge" is spelled phonetically; a majority of sentences are commas splices. All this and more gives the book a breathless, high-school quality that is perfectly supported by the author's hysterical fear-based revelations: to take pills is bad. The reason I'm not okay is because my mommy married an alcoholic. The world is mean to me.

It's not her fault, (since, as she says repeatedly, her mom wouldn't give her more money, work a third job to support her, rewind her own life to before her marriage, etc.) but Smith rolls enormous self-indulgence and a real biochemical tendency toward schizophrenia into a cautionary tale that completely ignores the psychotherapeutic effects of empathogens like Ecstasy and instead, wraps it up into a fear of all pharmaceuticals including prescribed anti-psychotic and anti-depressant meds.

She's a poster girl for something, but it's not avoidance of drug experimentation based on knowledge, or freedom from drug abuse based on a healthy mind in a healthy body. She's a perfect product of the post-9/11 generation that can only think in black and white terms, and that uses fear and ignorance to bolster narrow-minded conservative agendas. Good for her that she's working for the government now.
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Format: Paperback
Smith's book is well-written and I have great empathy for what she experienced, and for the anti-illegal drug message she promotes. I am concerned, however, with the message she sends in the last chapter when she decides to live "pill free" by throwing away her anti-depressant medications. It's dangerous to equate illegal drugs like ecstacy, which we know are unregulated and can contain any number of harmful ingredients including rat poison, with anti-depressants, as she seems to do in her book. Anti-depressants have saved lives and helped people live better lives. Maybe Smith truly did not need to be on psychiatric medication, but I hope younger readers will not come away believing that anyone who needs such medication is weak. Mental illness is a real medical condition, not something that can be willed away.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of my favorite books. She is open, honest and doesnt hold back. Some reviewers claim shes not an addict she doesnt know but its not about that. its about trying something and before you know it your caught up in this world of self indulgence. she was lucky. she stopped. this book will intrigue anyone who has tried ecstasy, or has wanted to try ecstasy.
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Format: Paperback
Rolling away is a brilliant book. It tells the honest truth about what some people concider to be a harmless pill. For some, once you try ecstasy your hooked; it's hard to break free and Lynn does an excellent job in describing and explaining the horrors that she went through trying to get herself clean. You can go on any website or even google the effects of ecstasy but nothing is better than hearing, well reading in this case, something that actually happened to someone.

Lynn shares her whole life story. She explains how easy it is to get hooked, how it feels to be addicted to something and how hard it can be to get your life back. She tells about the show she was on that MTV aired called, True Life: I'm on ecstasy, and explains about the brain scan that her doctor had done on her and the results are scary but so true.

This book is for anyone that has ever done ecstasy, knowns anyone that has ever done E, or just for anyone that wants a great true story to read.
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