White Out by Michael Clune

By reads
In addiction memoirs
Jan 26th, 2014

white out review
If you are looking through addiction memoirs and would like to find one about heroin addiction, you can check out

White Out by Michael Clune

Now, whether you will actually like the book or not is a different story.  I say this because the writing style is a bit different and not everyone, including myself, is a fan.  Written in sort of a "stream of consciousness" style, the book tends to jump around quite a bit, lose focus and be repetitive at times.   He does use metaphors for the color white a lot in the book, hence the title.  Aside from that, there is some value here and a good story locked in there.

Then I see a white-topped vial. Wow. I stare at it. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen it. I know I’ve seen it ten thousand times before. I know it only leads to bad things. I know I’ve had it and touched it and used it and shaken the last particles of white from the thin deep bottom one thousand times. But there it is. And it’s the first time I’ve ever seen it. - Michael Clune, White Out

Clune, now an associate professor of English at Case Western Reserve University, has been clean for over a decade.  He talks a lot about the things that he was able to accomplish while under the influence and I can relate to this a great deal, having earned an entire MBA while completely smashed.  At some point, though, it stops working and consequences start piling up.  This is where the recovery story starts and Clune has his own recovery formula that does include 12-Step support.   Overall, this may be a worthwhile read but I think that the book could have been condensed a bit

If you are a heroin addict, suffer from addiction, or are in recovery yourself, you may get a good read out of this book.  If you are not  in any of these classes, however, your probably won't get much out of it unless you are looking at getting into the mind of a heroin addict, and even then you won't want to stay there for nearly 300 pages.  Regardless, if you'd like pick up White Out by Michael Clune, you can grab it here:

White Out: The Secret Life of Heroin White Out: The Secret Life of Heroin
Author: Michael W Clune


How do you describe an addiction in which the drug of choice creates a hole in your memory, a “white out,” so that every time you use it is the first time--new, fascinating, and vivid? Michael W. Clune’s original, edgy yet literary telling of his own story takes us straight inside such an addiction--what he calls the Memory Disease.With black humor and quick, rhythmic prose, Clune’s gripping account of life inside the heroin underground reads like no other, as we enter the mind of the addict and navigate the world therein. Clune whisks us between the streets of Baltimore and the university campus, revealing his dual life while a graduate student teaching literature. We spiral downward with Clune--from nodding off in an abandoned row-house with a one-armed junkie and a murderous Jesus freak to scanning a crowded lecture hall for an enemy with a gun.After experiencing his descent into addiction, we go with him through detox, treatment, and finally into recovery as he returns to his childhood home and to the world of color. It is there that the Memory Disease and his heroin-induced white out begins to fade.



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Addiction Reads is a one-of-a-kind resource for reviews of books on alcoholism and addiction books. We bring you the latest in recovery books, books on opiate addiction, addiction memoirs and much more.

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