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Genius and Heroin

Genius and Heroin Cover

Genius and Heroin

The Illustrated Catalogue of Creativity, Obsession, and Reckless Abandon Through the Ages

By Michael Largo

Harper Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780061466410, 343pp.

Publication Date: October 7, 2008


What is the price of brilliance?

Why are so many creative geniuses also ruinously self-destructive? From Caravaggio to Jackson Pollack, from Arthur Rimbaud to Jack Kerouac, from Charlie Parker to Janis Joplin, to Kurt Cobain, and on and on, authors and artists throughout history have binged, pill-popped, injected, or poisoned themselves for their art. Fully illustrated and addictively readable, Genius and Heroin is the indispensable reference to the untidy lives of our greatest artists and thinkers, entertainingly chronicling how the notoriously creative lived and died--whether their ultimate downfalls were the result of opiates, alcohol, pot, absinthe, or the slow-motion suicide of obsession.

Praise For Genius and Heroin

“Chockablock with faces, figures, and facts Michael Largo’s Genius and Heroin makes for mad good reading on the divinely inspired, hopelessly self-destructive class. Poe, Piaf, Warhol anyone?”

“Meticulous, fascinating, and often intriguingly bizarre . . . I am full of admiration for his achievement--just the ideal book for bathroom reading.”
-Simon Winchester, author of The Professor and the Madman