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Sherry and Narcotics Paperback – May 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Future Fiction London (May 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982792824
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982792827
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,349,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Told through emails, text messages, and emotionally intimate scenes, the book is a stylistically daring character study. Readers who enjoy dark contemporary fiction will find much to savor in this novel.--Carly Thompson, Library Journal


"Sherry & Narcotics" is a raw, immersive debut. Nina-Marie Gardner is uncannily good at depicting the wantonly self-destructive behavior of a young woman who should know better.
-Howard County Times


"a compelling and a heartrending read...I recommend this book be read when the reader has time to read it start to finish, you won't want to put it down."  --Sandra Shwayder Sanchez, Book Pleasures

Gardner understands how people speak and write. She knows every tic and quaver of an individual voice, and the result is so good it's unnerving, a soul-signature replicated on the page...
--Max Dunbar, 3AM Magazine

This superbly written, gritty story centers around online editor Mary and the gradual train wreck she makes of her life... Sparse, taut prose makes Mary's situation springto life with frightening clarity..." --Sandy Amazeen, Monsters and Critics

From the Inside Flap

Mary is in a very fragile place after the death of her father, distance in her relationship with her mother, and a tenuous sobriety which has long slipped away but for her hiding it from her family. It's under such inauspicious timing, while living in London, that Mary starts up a correspondence with a dreamy poet, but from the very beginning things are far from how they appear.

More About the Author

Nina-Marie Gardner was born in New York City. Her debut novel Sherry & Narcotics comes out in May 2011, and her fiction has been published in 3AM Magazine and the anthologies Bedford Square and 3AM London, New York, Paris. A graduate of Yale University and the creative writing program at the University of London, Royal Holloway, she has lived and traveled extensively abroad. Currently she lives in Brooklyn. Visit her at ninamariegardner.com

Customer Reviews

This is a beautifully honest story well told.
James Brown
And after reading this book, if not before, we definitely know them as exactly that: real people.
Jason McIntyre
It was a very well-written book and I'm happy to have read it.
Kristen Pavka

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jen D on April 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
I was very excited to receive an advanced copy of Sherry and Narcotics, and, as a testament to the quick-paced candor of the book, I will admit I read it in just two days. Nina-Marie Gardner exposes the deep loneliness and desperate insanity of addiction in a way that's totally relatable. I laughed and my heart hurt at the same time. The narrator's voice is sweet, snarky, self-depricating and bumblingly honest. And, while it's easy to read at breakneck speed, the novel rides a razor's edge of danger. That's what gives the book its real strength: Gardner's ability to create for the reader the experience of painful tension between loving the narrator, wanting her to get the comfort, reassurance and relief she seeks and suffering the increasing dread that all will not end well. Plus, it's so nicely written - with simple, beautiful poetry wrung from casual, colloquial speech. The correspondence between the main character, Mary, and her charming, elusive, sleazeball lover feels particularly real and (I hate to admit it) familiar. I loved the book. I would definitely recommend it to a friend. And I will probably go back and read it again myself.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gabrielle Selz on April 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
I read this book at a gallop. Fast passed and intense it traces the compelling story of Mary, an American abroad, who sets off for Manchester to have a doomed affair with a poet named Jake Potter. What follows is an intimate tale of alcoholic intoxication and emotional undoing. A haunting read, Nina M. Gardner's prose is fresh and exact. A must read I strongly recommend this book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Fran M. on April 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This gorgeous, honest book is a must read. Compelling and often heartbreaking, it's also tempered by moments of real hilarity. I finished it in 2 days, and it still stays with me. I know I'll be thinking about Mary for a long time, and I can only hope the author writes a prequel or sequel so I can find out more about her life!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By N. Blackburn on April 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
Have you ever been in a situation where you are seeing a very slow motion "train wreck" and you want to yell out to a person and warn them about the impending "doom"? That is Sherry and Narcotics. Gardner has nailed it. She has methodically set out in writing this book that one just thinks it is the story of a woman living and dating in the UK..Under the surface, you can feel the destruction, both physical and mental, very slowly coming to Mary and the path she is chosing to take in her relationships with drugs/alcohol and men. Very giftedly written...I took this book from 4 stars to 5 based on Gardner's ability to "write beneath the surface." One must pay VERY CLOSE ATTENTION to see the destruction. If one reads it superfically they may miss very important parts of the story. A must read for young women!

A very haunting book...I read 30-40 books a month so it is rare that a book gets in and stays in my mind...this one has def. accomplished that. If this is the debut, I can't wait to see what comes next from this incredibly talented author!

On a very side note: The formatting of this book drove me nuts! This is not the fault of the author though. There were no page numbers and the page layout was weird!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By kc on April 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
Gardner takes some disturbing subjects - alcoholism, sex and drug addiction, isolation - and illustrates a young woman's experiences with them in a uniquely clear, human voice. The protagonist, Mary, is simultaneously savvy, naive, and completely unhinged. And while she struggles from delusion to devastation you'll feel compassionate even as the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Her story is palpable and spellbinding. Impossible to put down and even harder to forget!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. Strickland on April 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
The cover notes call the novel "devastating" and "honest". That's the head of the nail.

This is a novel I read in 2 days...very unusual for me. I tend to read in snatches due to an overly busy life, unfortunately. But this one grabbed me by the short hairs from the first page, shook me hard to wake me up, and then simply would not let go. Some people read to escape reality. This novel plunges you in head first. It is one of the most real books I've ever read.

It's not the for the weak of heart or the closed mind. The book is entirely unvarnished in its truth telling, which is a large part of its beauty. I found myself reaching out to the lead character in my head saying, "Stop! Train wreck just ahead!" But she doesn't, and there is no clichéd happy ending where everything is patched up and the reader feels that all is good with the world in the end. It isn't, sometimes. You will palpably sense this existential reality if you read this book.

Some things are not pleasant to think about. But sometimes it is important to think about them, feel them, understand them at a deeper level. This is one of those times.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jason McIntyre on April 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
You read it and you think, just maybe, everyone will get exactly what they deserve: happiness, love, and the ever-after they all crave. But they are human after all, and they sabotage themselves as only humans can do. The people are scary in their self-denial, they do damage to everything around them, just like you might. Or your neighbours, or your co-workers, or your long lost niece. And, sadly, the dogs in this story can't seem to get away from the very human behaviour either.

What I liked about this book: the fluidity. This IS a narcotic-fueled narrative. You are drawn to it, into it, and by it. You cannot fight the feeling of being propelled down a mine shaft. All around you, explosions, but you keep going deeper. You want to look away, shield your exhausted eyes, your fatigued brain. But you can't. You must see where this is going.

Even if you think the creeping suspicions you've had since page two will come to pass, you must learn more. You need to. Like Mary reaches for another bottle of wine, you lick your finger and turn the page. The truths about relationships, about romantic and sexual obsession and how they intertwine with things like lifestyle and chemical addiction are told so truthfully here. I suspected that I might not be reading true fiction here. Was I? The answer is still blurred to me now.

If not taken from the author's life, then surely taken from mine, from people I've seen on busses and train cars, at parties and such. The characters and situations are so vividly portrayed, I couldn't help but see people I knew in the pages. This is a darkly profound drawing of people -- of real people. And after reading this book, if not before, we definitely know them as exactly that: real people. Foibles and cares and problems, all of it. All too well.
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