Sunday, March 15, 2009

Quick Book Reviews

I just recently finished reading Beautiful Boy by David Sheff, and Tweak by his son Nic Sheff. They tell the story of Nic's addiction to alcohol and drugs, including crack, heroin, and meth, from each of their perspectives. I really enjoyed them both, although David and Nic have very different writing styles. Beautiful Boy tells his father's side of the story: how he struggled parenting Nic, how torn and hurt he was over Nic's addiction, how he was tormented with the unknown when Nic would disappear for weeks on end. It also has some pretty scientific information about addiction, and what drugs physiologically do to your brain and body. Tweak fills in the gaps with Nic describing where he was and what he was doing when he was away from home for long periods of time. It chronicals his descent into heavier and heavier drug use, his struggles with recovery and relapse, recovery and relapse. It is hard to read at times, and you will feel hopeful and hopeless about his chances of lasting recovery. You will cheer for him, and cry for him and want to shake him for the things he puts himself and his family through. He is brutally open and honest, and it is a fascinating, although not exceptionally well-written, read. Thankfully I don't have any personal or family experience with drug addiction, but I still found these two books very moving and informative. I highly recommend them, if only for the sake of better understanding addiction and how it can affect every aspect of the lives of the addict and everyone around him.


EC said...

Thanks for the doggy advice of adopting one that's already in a foster home. I totally agree. And one that's at least 2 years old. What were we thinking about even considering a puppy?! Definite lapse of reasonable judgment. You have my utmost admiration for taking on so many dogs! I hope we can handle ONE! Haha

I'm definitely going to put these books on my must read list. I saw the Oprah segment (about a year ago?) when the dad and son were on the show. It was heartbreaking just to watch, so I imagine even more details are in the books. I didn't know the son wrote a book. The dad talked about his book on the show. Good to know they're both worth reading.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the book reviews! I am going to have to add these to my ever growing list.

Carolina John said...

sounds really interesting. i've had a little battle with addiction myself (smoking) so it hits close.