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Permanent Midnight A Memoir by Jerry Stahl

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In addiction memoirs
Apr 20th, 2014
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permanent midnight review
An excellent addiction memoir dealing with a plethora of drugs, including heroin, that I highly recommend is

Permanent Midnight A Memoir by Jerry Stahl - Addiction Memoir

While this isn't a sunny book, it's real and it's very interesting.  Stahl is a writer by trade so it's not a hack job like some of the other books that we review here.  He started out writing for porn magazines and quickly graduated to prime time television shows that paid him enough to nurture his growing habit.   There is a lot of chronicles of use, ridiculous situations that we tend to get ourselves in, and self-injury.  This is par for the course for even the most well-to-do drug addicts as decorum and self-care take a back seat to the ravages of addiction.

“I did drugs because there was another world, and I wanted to live in it. Because I preferred this Other World to the one I happened to inhabit. Because I could exist in imaginary circumstances with greater ease that I could in real ones.”  - Jerry Stahl

Stahl talks about his childhood, his marriage and his failed relationships and is able to do all of this and still make the reader laugh, which is a feat.   Each of the Chapters even has a humorous title, such as "Mondo Porno", "TV I.V." and "Huggies and Heroin".   He talks about his last detox coinciding with the LA riots and then going to rehab in Arizona, which he is kicked out of for not following the rules.   There is plenty of redemption and recovery here to satisfy.  One thing I didn't know was that this book was made into a movie, with Ben Stiller playing the leading role. I have a hard time picturing this so may have to check it out.

Permanent Midnight by Jerry Stahl tops the list of many people's top addiction memoir books and I liked it as well.  I recommend anyone interested in addiction or recovery give it a read:

Permanent Midnight: A Memoir Permanent Midnight: A Memoir
Author: Jerry Stahl
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“An extraordinary accomplishment. . . . A remarkable book that will be of great value to people who feel isolated, alienated and overwhelmed by the circumstances of their lives.”—Hubert Selby, Jr., author of Last Exit to Brooklyn“[Stahl] is a better-than-Burroughs virtuoso.”—Thomas Mallon, The New Yorker“Original, appalling, indelible picture of a man trying to swim and drown at the same time. Stahl has nerve, heart, a language of his own and a ghastly, riotous humor.”—Tobias Wolff, author of This Boy’s Life“Permanent Midnight is one of the most harrowing and toughest accounts ever written in this century about what it means to be a junkie in America, making Burroughs look dated and Kerouac appear as the nose-thumbing adolescent he was.”—BooklistA searing confessional infused with the darkest humor, Permanent Midnight chronicles the opiated abyss of a Hollywood screenwriter and his formidable climb into sobriety.Made into a major motion picture starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, Permanent Midnight is revered by critics and an ever-growing cult of devoted readers as one of the most compelling contemporary memoirs.Jerry Stahl was born in Pittsburgh. He is author of the novels Perv: A Love Story, Plainclothes Naked and I, Fatty, the paperback edition of which will appear in 2005. He currently lives in Los Angeles.

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