By J. R. Helton
(Seven Stories Press, Paperback, 9781609804015, 251pp.)
Publication Date: May 22, 2012
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As Robert Crumb, who illustrated the book jacket, says,
"J. R. Helton really speaks to me--starkly honest, darkly funny, acutely observant, and captures the tragic absurdity of human life. . . . H]e's right up there with the best of them."
This fictionalized memoir is told in masterfully wry, Spartan prose with no apologies for a drug-user's lifestyle, and instead looks back on it with clever insight and an appreciation for everything felt and observed. With self-awareness and conviction, Helton avoids the sensationalist commentary so common to drug memoirs and instead favors the honest details, the effects of each drug on his body and on his soul. The result is a sincerely told tale of adventure, debauchery, and absurdity.