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The Book of Drugs: A Memoir Paperback – January 10, 2012

3.9 out of 5 stars 80 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Review

Library Journal, December 2011
“[A] soul-baring memoir…Much more than a musician's autobiography, this is a tale about the resurgence of the human spirit; Doughty captures a little bit of all of us in his journey. Recommended.”
 
Jambands.com, 12/16/11
“Not only an open look by Doughty at his past addiction problems, but a smart, funny, and honest view of the late 80s/early 90s NY music scene, Doughty’s years with the band Soul Coughing, and what it was like to reach the other side of a very dark place. Don’t for a moment think that Mike Doughty has written your typical I-got-clean-and-now-I’m-above-all-that sort of book."
 
Relix, January/February 2012
“Love stories to drugs that [Doughty] had to quit. Suddenly, the fine points of ‘The Huffer and the Cutter,’ about love between damaged people, takes on an even deeper meaning.”
 
Booklist, 12/28/11


Tucson Citizen, 1/23/12
“Brutally honest, stark, cringe-worthy, and unexpectedly witty…This is not your typical rocker-hits-the-skids memoir but one that pulls no punches, and is so candid and brutally honest, it almost sucks the oxygen out of the room…I hope there will be a sequel to this book. It is that satisfying.”
 
The Rogovy Report, 1/30/12
“A funny, haunted tale in which no one—bandmates, producers, fans, A&R reps, fellow musicians such as Jeff Buckley and Redman, and least of all Doughty himself—is spared.”
 
Rolling Stone, 2/16/12
“Doughty is a funny, unsparing writer, and if he often comes across as a prick (like most everyone else here), he’s a deeply self-aware one; his eventual salvation – qualified, full of doubts – feels as real and lived as they come.”
 
MTVHive.com, 1/30/12


Dan’s Hamptons
“[A] candid, hilarious, self-lacerating memoir.”
 
Southampton Press, 5/3/12
“[A] haunting and darkly comical memoir.”
 
Columbus Alive, 5/9/12
The Book of Drugs presents [Doughty’s] story in the stark honesty and dark humor that have always marked his songs…An immersing read.”
 
The Other Paper, 5/10/12
“Full of highly entertaining, squirm-inducing stories.”
 
This Week Community News, 5/10/12
“A chronicle of Doughty’s journey through making music for a living and all that came/comes with it.”
 
Durham Herald Sun, 5/10/12
“Offers a wonderfully biting critique of the music business in the 1990s.”
 
ArtVoice.com, 5/11/12
“ [A] bold look at drug addiction and the damage it can cause.”
 


“Rather than being depressing and feeling voyeuristic, Doughty’s tale of eventual recovery and peace actually abounds with moments of humorous, wry, self-deprecating writing, and a sound analysis of the phenomenon of addiction. If you liked the band, like his subsequent solo work, or just like the idea of a rock star getting clean, give this quick read a try.”
 
TheDailySwarm.com, 3/22/12
“One of the best rock books of the year—and one of the most trenchant, revealing memoirs in recent memory, period, regardless of genre…Damn good and affecting…In an era of endless confessional tomes by rock stars outlining every bump of Peruvian marching powder that ever graced their nasal cavity, Doughty’s stands out because of both the heart he brings to it, and writing craft…Doughty’s prose has the same wry, self-deprecating, slightly surrealist tilt as his songs; even if you’ve never been a fan of his music, you’ll find a lot to laugh and cry about.”
 
Diffuser.fm, 3/24/12
“[A] pull-no-punches memoir…A wild ride…[It] really lives up to its name in terms of tales of substance abuse.”
 


“Much like his music, The Book of Drugs is intimate, witty and driven by Doughty’s masterful sense of storytelling.”
 
Reference and Research Books News, April 2012
“[Doughty] describes his neurotic former bandmates and his own outrageous behavior with self-deprecating humor and brutal honesty.”
 
Georgia Straight (Canada), 4/4/12
“There’s a fascinating story tucked away amid the one-night stands and near-overdoses.”
 
LAist.com, 4/10
“[Doughty] pulls no punches in his book, telling candid tales.”
 
Pitch, 4/4
“Readers will be hard-pressed to find a more sensational—or entertaining—glimpse into the world of dysfunctional band dynamics…Brisk, finely chiseled language.”
 
Portland Mercury, 4/6
“[A] spectacular new memoir…A whirlwind, flash-fiction-style account of [Doughty’s] life…A painful, funny, acidic memoir.”
 
New York Times, 4/20/12
“His unreserved autobiography…[is] a vibrant surprise.”
 


“It seems almost unfair that a talented singer/songwriter like Doughty should also turn out to be a good writer, but there you have it. The Book of Drugs is informative but not confessional, rock-snarky but tempered with a round of amends. It is also whip-smart and bitterly funny.” 

Salon.com, 1/26/12
“The unspoken rule of rock ‘n’ roll memoirs—especially ones about drug-addled players who get clean—is that the author tends to mend fences rather than sling mud. Mike Doughty: not so much. In The Book of Drugs, the former Soul Coughing frontman writes with a lacerating candor about his family, his narcotic and sexual excesses, the idiocy of the music industry, and, most of all, his former band mates.”

Penthouse, February 2012
“Doughty strips away the glamour many people associate with the rock-star life, and his sharp writing reinvigorates even the most overdone clichés about recovery.”
 
The Daily, 1/22/12
“Being a Soul Coughing fan, or a fan of Doughty's solo career, isn't required to enjoy reading The Book of Drugs...The warts-and-all approach of The Book of Drugs works.”
 
New York Post, 1/29/12
"[A] riveting new memoir."
 


“Full of weird and spastic drug stories, and desperately trying to stay off drug stories, and the glimpses of grace that come between those events. Doughty is a compelling writer, even when he rackety-rambles…The bones in a chair scenes of utter addiction are as throttling as any you’ve read…The eviscerating honesty, sometimes very charming self-deprecation, and attention to personal and musical cultural detail makes Book of Drugs an awesome read, more than once.”
 
Curled Up with a Good Book, 3/10/12
“Doughty is a fine writer…[The Book of Drugs] take[s] you inside the head of a creative mind, and that's worth reading about.”
 
Norridge Harwood Heights News, 3/13/12
“Doughty doesn’t pull any punches in the book.”
 
KDHX.org, 3/12/12
“Doughty’s humble voice and one foot forever in the indie underground makes this book more “Cash” by Johnny Cash than “Life” by Keith Richards…[Doughty] writes as memory occurs to everyone, and his tone is loose and familiar enough to feel like a conversation…His humor is wry and self-deprecating.”
 
BoingBoing.net, 3/22/12

See all Editorial Reviews

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; 3rd Printing edition (January 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306818779
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306818776
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.6 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 80 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #363,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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