blueberry patch. (jaylynnalise) wrote in bookish,
blueberry patch.
jaylynnalise
bookish

Review: Beautiful Boy by David Sheff

Beautiful Boy Summary: (from Amazon.com) A bright, capable teenager, Nic began trying mind- and mood-altering substances when he was 17. In months, use became abuse, then abuse became addiction. By the time Sheff knew of his son's condition, Nic was strung out on meth, the highly potent stimulant. While his son struggles to get clean, his second wife and two younger children are pulled helplessly into the drama. Sheff, as the parent of an addict, cycles through denial and acceptance and resistance. The author was already a journalist of considerable standing when this painful story began to unfold, and his impulse for detail serves him personally as well as professionally: there are hard, solid facts about meth and the kinds of havoc it wreaks on individuals, families and communities both urban and rural. His journey is long and harrowing, but Sheff does not spare himself or anyone else from keen professional scrutiny any more than he was himself spared the pains—and joys—of watching a loved one struggling with addiction and recovery. Real recovery creates—and can itself be—its own reward; this is an honest, hopeful book, coming at a propitious moment in the meth epidemic.

My Rating: 5/5

Review: I happened to find this book at my local library while searching for photography books; I'd heard good things about it and decided it was worth checking out, just to sample it a bit when I had time. I finished it the next afternoon.

This is a compelling, honest, and intense account of a father's experiences as his bright, charming young son falls into a brutal addiction to methamphetamine. What drew me into the story was the way Mr. Sheff told it: rather than throwing the reader into the story after the battle with Nic's addiction had already begun, he starts with his son's birth. He tells stories of his son's creativity and personality as he grows up, until, when Nic is twelve, he finds a bag of marijuana in his backpack. The account of Nic's decade of drug abuse--the change in personality, the opportunities he throws away, the failed attempts at rehab, the times he nearly dies--are heartwrenching and real. I was angered and frustrated and devastated as I read. I saw the uncertainty of hope in such a bleak situation; I began to understand the devastation such an addiction causes. Above it all, I was incredibly moved by the endurance of a father's love despite the deceit and treachery born of the addiction. This is my most highly recommended book of the year, at the very least.

Cautions: Obviously, this book does contain a lot of reference to drug use, as well as some strong language. YA or older.

Next Read: Tweak by Nic Sheff
Tags: review, xxx author last name: r-z
Subscribe

  • Terminus, by Peter Clines

    A sequel to 14, in which the Great Old Ones arrive to eat the world. Kavach Press, 2020, 333 pages Murdoch’s past has finally come…

  • Burr, by Gore Vidal

    Aaron Burr in his own words... kind of. Random House, 1973, 430 pages Here is an extraordinary portrait of one of the most complicated -…

  • Aria: The Masterpiece, Volume 2

    Aria: The Masterpiece, Volume 2 by Kozue Amano Further life on the wet Mars, now known as Aqua. Akari helps a lost visitor, learns about the…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 4 comments