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Bill Clegg (read online) Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man A Memoir – TXT and Kindle

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Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man A Memoir

review Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man A Memoir Ñ eBook or Kindle ePUB Ry nearly his lifeWhat is it that leads an exceptional young mind want to disappear Clegg makes stunningly clear the attraction of the drug that had him in its thrall capturing in scene after scene the drama tension and paranoiac nightmare of a secret life and the exhilarating bliss that came again and again This book was pretty engaging There is a train wrecky appeal and Clegg is pretty good with phrase I especially liked it when he described a woman s accent as trickyI would have liked it better if he had really reflected on the way his raceclass kept him out of jail While I was really fascinated by the idea that there are secret crack addicts everywhere Clegg could have been omre reflective about the fact that addicts who can t check into Manhattan hotels to get high and order vodka for room service who stumble home to buildings that don t have doormen these folks go to jail forever or dieMaybe it s not fair to judge him for not having a social justice agenga but I found myself wanting to shake him particularly when he is so high and disheveled that he can t check into a hotel I think it s the W so he goes to SoHo to buy a new cashmere sweaterThe writing is strongest and most self aware when Clegg recounts some really painful moments from his childhood He employs a risky device of talking about his child self in third person but he pulls it off Earthfall (Homecoming, really A Daddy for Christmas reflected on the way his Banned in Britain raceclass kept him out of jail While I was Hour of the Beast really fascinated by the idea that there are secret crack addicts everywhere Clegg could have been omre Dictionary Of Dreams reflective about the fact that addicts who can t check into Manhattan hotels to get high and order vodka for The Love of a Latino room service who stumble home to buildings that don t have doormen these folks go to jail forever or dieMaybe it s not fair to judge him for not having a social justice agenga but I found myself wanting to shake him particularly when he is so high and disheveled that he can t check into a hotel I think it s the W so he goes to SoHo to buy a new cashmere sweaterThe writing is strongest and most self aware when Clegg Other Days, Other Eyes recounts some Deception Island really painful moments from his childhood He employs a The Family risky device of talking about his child self in third person but he pulls it off

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review Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man A Memoir Ñ eBook or Kindle ePUB Until it was eclipsed almost entirely by doom He also explores the shape of addiction how its pattern not its cause can be traced to the past Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man is an utterly compelling narrative lyrical irresistible harsh honest and beautifully written from which you simply cannot look aw I admit that I am a sucker for stories about addiction You could even say I am addicted to them groan But now I know what I want for my last meal and it is a nice chunk of crack Really it sounds like something that everyone should experience once in a lifetime but can t for obvious reasons To paraphrase the poet it sounds like all we know of heaven and all we need to know of hell Bill Clegg is a literary agent in NYC and he was living the dream He appears on his book jacket as model handsome At the time of the memoir he was living with his partner Noah a seemingly flawless mate in an incredible apartment given to them by Noah s wealthy grandmother He and a friend had just started their own literary agency and he has a large group of friends and family and clients I won t give away the whole story because it is rather suspenseful writing even though you are practically told from the start that the house of cards is all going to fallWhat makes it such compelling reading even when you know where it is headed are the details missing airplane flights check in for the flight and then take a cab back to an airport hotel to smoke some crack planning to get back in time to catch the flight the paranoia of thinking that every taxi cab driver is working for the DEA meandering down a street with exclusive shops to find a leather shop which can make extra holes in his belt before his pants fall down the ease with which these repeated drug transactions are made The latter is particularly fascinating He made calls sometimes once or twice a night to get drugs and then would run out to find an ATM wherever he was so that he could take out 300 at a time to pay for the drugs at each installment My only uibble is with the style of the modern day memoir used here Why do we have to jump back and forth in time so much He is five then college current day drug days then back to six then drug days Because I read so uickly at each transition I had to ask myself who are these guys with him his grade school friends or his crack companions It is dizzying

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review Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man A Memoir Ñ eBook or Kindle ePUB Bill Clegg had a thriving business as a literary agent a supportive partner trusting colleagues and loving friends when he walked away from his world and embarked on a two month crack binge He had been released from rehab nine months earlier and his relapse would cost him his home his money his career and ve Bill Clegg had it all a glamorous prestigious job as a literary agent a handsome and caring indie filmmaker boyfriend a gorgeous Manhattan apartment a glittering social life J Crew catalogue model good looksBut he risked throwing it all away along with tens of thousands of dollars because of his addiction to crack cocaine a downward spiral he chronicles with frank honesty in the harrowing hard to put down memoir Portrait Of An Addict As A Young ManClegg interweaves tales of his scoring drugs he had several regular dealers but would also often simply get into a cab and ask Do you party with seuences from his childhood As a boy he suffered from a mysterious condition that prevented him from urinating normally this caused a rift between him and his father and provided a well of guilt shame and secrecy that followed him foreverAt 12 he stole a bottle of whiskey from his dad s liuor cabinet and drank it with a friend in the woods at 15 he began taking crystal meth regularly He graduated to pot smoking it daily before being introduced to crack in his mid 20s by a man nearly three times his age who also seduces him Here is part of Clegg s description of that first crack high He draws slowly as he sees the white substance bubble and pop in the flame A pearly smoke makes its way down the stem and he draws harder to bring it toward him Fitz tells him to go gently and he does Soon his lungs are full and he holds it the way he would hold pot smoke He exhales and is immediately coughing The taste is like medicine or cleaning fluid but also a little sweet like limes The smoke billows out into the living room past Fitz like a great unfurling dragon As he watches the cloud spread and curl he feels the high at first as a flutter then a roar A surge of new energy pounds through every inch of him and there is a moment of perfect oblivion where he is aware of nothing and everything A kind of peace breaks out behind his eyes It spreads down from his temples into his chest to his hands and everywhere It storms through him kinetic sexual euphoric like a magnificent hurricane raging at the speed of light It is the warmest most tender caress he has ever felt and then as it recedes the coldest hand He misses the feeling even before it s left him and not only does he want he needs it Amazing right Clegg certainly knows how to describe things There are scenes detailing such bad decisions that I felt like crying out for him to stop as I was reading them His paranoia is so extreme that he believes DEA agents and police are after him in collaboration with taxi drivers These suspicions are never proven or disprovenWhat s most satisfying is that Clegg never makes facile conclusions about why he s hooked on drugs He discusses feeling like an imposter he details his mother s bout with cancer and his parents separation But he is too smart to provide a direct link between these things and his need for self immolationEarlier this year Clegg published a seuel to Portrait called Ninety Days about his eventual recovery I want to read it He s such a perceptive writer and I m looking forward to discovering what he s learned But I think I ll wait until I ve fully recovered from the intensity of his remarkable first bookUPDATE I should have mentioned before that Clegg s then boyfriend Ira Sachs made a fictional film about this period in their lives from his point of view It s called Keep The Lights On and it s definitely worth checking out before or after reading this I reviewed the film upon release here