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Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man: A Memoir by [Clegg, Bill]
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Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man: A Memoir Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A rising publishing industry star trashes his life during a bender in this intense but callow confessional. Clegg, a literary agent with William Morris Endeavor, tells the story of a two-month crack binge in which he smoked away his literary agency partnership, his $70,000 bank account, 40 pounds (he's forever cutting new holes in his belt to cinch it to his wasting frame), and his relationship with his devoted long-suffering boyfriend. There's crazed excess and tawdry sex, but also a sharply etched portrait of the addict's mindset: the veering between paranoia and a compulsive sociability with the random crackheads he picks up to party with; the shrinkage of the planning horizon to the search for the next hit; the bliss of the high (the warmest, most tender caress... then, as it recedes, the coldest hand); the bender's unstoppable acceleration until, like a cartoon character running off a cliff, it has nothing left to sustain it. The author's efforts to impart psychological depth to his addiction—he writes of wan collegiate debauches and a childhood complex about urinating—are less convincing; it's clear that the binge will end when his money runs out. Though richly rendered, Clegg's crack odyssey feels like an epic bout of self-indulgence. (June 14)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

In this chilling debut, Clegg has written a serious and compelling, if somewhat detached, addition to the subgenre of "addiction memoirs." Clegg's tight, elegant prose, earnest tone, and meticulous attention to detail call up a fairy tale world brutally transformed into a monstrous hell. While the New York Times Book Review and the Times considered the book tedious and clichéd, their comments appeared to be directed more toward the genre as a whole, whose repetitive descriptions of substance abuse are "amply familiar to anyone who has ever watched a single episode of Behind the Music on VH-1" (Times). Of course, reviewer David Carr has written his own tale of addiction, The Night of the Gun (***1/2 Nov/Dec 2008). Most critics, however, agreed with the Globe and Mail, which called Clegg's unflinching, intelligent, and grim account "a skillfully conjured, slow-motion train wreck from which it's impossible to look away."

Product details

  • File Size: 695 KB
  • Print Length: 237 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books; 1 edition (May 20, 2010)
  • Publication Date: June 7, 2010
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00351DSKA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #472,806 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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