“Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man” is a mesmerizing bummer. Reading it is like letting the needle down on a Nick Drake album.

It’s the story of how Bill Clegg lost it all — his clients, his apartment, his loyal boyfriend, his sanity — one crack hit at a time. It’s a story that ranges over several years but finds its dramatic center of gravity during one especially dark two-month binge, during which Mr. Clegg manages to fritter away some $70,000 on crack and Ketel One vodka and on the elegant hotel rooms he often shares with greasy characters, including male hookers. He picks up a cabdriver by asking, “Do you party?”

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Clegg on that first taste of crack: “It is the warmest, most tender caress he has ever felt and then, as it recedes, the coldest hand.

“It’s a remarkable achievement when a writer can evoke the most desperate episodes of addiction with the unflinching honesty required to make such a memoir worth reading, yet somehow manage to completely transcend sleaze, sordidness, and vapid self-justification. Bill Clegg’s story of a man-largely locked in hotel rooms, engaged in a desperate, heart-wrenching battle with himself–is destined to become a cult classic of writing on drug addiction.” [Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting]

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, take the first step towards recovery by downloading the free Addicaid app for iPhone Android and join the recovery community today.

Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man A Memoir Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man bill clegg

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