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And I Don't Want to Live This Life: A Mother's Story of Her Daughter's Murder

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For most of us, it was just another horrible headline. But for Deborah Spungen, the mother of Nancy, who was stabbed to death at the Chelsea Hotel, it was both a relief and a tragedy. Here is the incredible story of an infant who never stopped screaming, a toddler who attacked people, a teenager addicted to drugs, violence, and easy sex, a daughter completely out of contro For most of us, it was just another horrible headline. But for Deborah Spungen, the mother of Nancy, who was stabbed to death at the Chelsea Hotel, it was both a relief and a tragedy. Here is the incredible story of an infant who never stopped screaming, a toddler who attacked people, a teenager addicted to drugs, violence, and easy sex, a daughter completely out of control--who almost destroyed her parents' marriage and the happiness of the rest of her family.


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For most of us, it was just another horrible headline. But for Deborah Spungen, the mother of Nancy, who was stabbed to death at the Chelsea Hotel, it was both a relief and a tragedy. Here is the incredible story of an infant who never stopped screaming, a toddler who attacked people, a teenager addicted to drugs, violence, and easy sex, a daughter completely out of contro For most of us, it was just another horrible headline. But for Deborah Spungen, the mother of Nancy, who was stabbed to death at the Chelsea Hotel, it was both a relief and a tragedy. Here is the incredible story of an infant who never stopped screaming, a toddler who attacked people, a teenager addicted to drugs, violence, and easy sex, a daughter completely out of control--who almost destroyed her parents' marriage and the happiness of the rest of her family.

30 review for And I Don't Want to Live This Life: A Mother's Story of Her Daughter's Murder

  1. 5 out of 5

    BAM Endlessly Booked

    "to be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.- e e cummings Just pitiful and heartbreaking "to be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.- e e cummings Just pitiful and heartbreaking

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Shepherd

    Nancy Spungen was the American girlfriend of Sid Vicious, the Sex Pistols’ “guitarist” and “vocalist.” She was murdered in 1978 in a hotel bathroom in New York City. Sid was charged with the crime but he himself died of a drug overdose before his case was ever tried. As near as I can tell, no one, outside of her family and Sid, liked Nancy. She was widely known as “Nauseating Nancy,” a moniker that no doubt broke the heart of her mother Deborah Spungen. Deborah eventually wrote this book, years Nancy Spungen was the American girlfriend of Sid Vicious, the Sex Pistols’ “guitarist” and “vocalist.” She was murdered in 1978 in a hotel bathroom in New York City. Sid was charged with the crime but he himself died of a drug overdose before his case was ever tried. As near as I can tell, no one, outside of her family and Sid, liked Nancy. She was widely known as “Nauseating Nancy,” a moniker that no doubt broke the heart of her mother Deborah Spungen. Deborah eventually wrote this book, years after her daughter’s murder, to help set the record straight and to show the world the side of Nancy that no one else knew. Nancy was Jewish, grew up in Philadelphia, and at 15 was diagnosed with schizophrenia. After being booted out of college, she wound up in London just as the punk rock scene was really taking off. It’s not clear if she was a prostitute or a groupie (or both). At some point she became involved with Sid Vicious. What followed was a lot of drug abuse and domestic violence and antisocial behavior, ending in 1978 when Nancy took a knife to the stomach. I read this when I was in my twenties and thirty years later I can still remember feeling incredibly sorry for Nancy’s mother. Is there any pain greater than losing a child? And then having to see that child demeaned, degraded and ridiculed in the forum of public opinion? This is Deborah sharing a very private part of herself so that we can all see who her daughter really was, the Nancy she knew before mental illness marshaled her into a world of violence and drugs and public disdain.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

    Loved this book I first read it when I was 14, being a Pistols fan, & Nancy Spungeon I was fascinated with her life. Wow! Her poor suffering mother writes a really harrowing touching well written book about a child who was clearly born 'disturbed' came out of the womb screaming & biting & never stopped. Then wandered NYC stripping whoring & following cool bands in a time I wish still existed. I know many people who came in contact with nancy they all say the same thing, she was the most awful an Loved this book I first read it when I was 14, being a Pistols fan, & Nancy Spungeon I was fascinated with her life. Wow! Her poor suffering mother writes a really harrowing touching well written book about a child who was clearly born 'disturbed' came out of the womb screaming & biting & never stopped. Then wandered NYC stripping whoring & following cool bands in a time I wish still existed. I know many people who came in contact with nancy they all say the same thing, she was the most awful annoying bitch ever. There is a fab video of her & sid & stiv bators & girlfriend on a cable chat show, being interviewed 3 weeks before her death. Her & sid are not high they are on Methadone & she comes across as extremely bright well spoken, & alive. People do say how intelligent she was. I also lived in rm 100, 10 yrs after the death of nancy in the Hotel Chelsea, they had left the blood stained bed, that Nancy bled out on, I slept on it for 1 yr ( clearly strung out myself cause it didn't faze me) Anyone interested in psychology/ the Sex Pistols/ & NY punk history will enjoy this.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    I found the book to be uneven and self-justifying rather than an honest and clear depiction of Nancy and her mother. I didn't like it at all because the more I read, the more it took on a very self-centered viewpoint with very little compassion or understanding of Nancy as a person. I would hope that if my daughter died, and I chose to write a book about it, I would reflect more on the loss of a very unique and special (if troubled) woman without filling the pages with self-gratifying explanatio I found the book to be uneven and self-justifying rather than an honest and clear depiction of Nancy and her mother. I didn't like it at all because the more I read, the more it took on a very self-centered viewpoint with very little compassion or understanding of Nancy as a person. I would hope that if my daughter died, and I chose to write a book about it, I would reflect more on the loss of a very unique and special (if troubled) woman without filling the pages with self-gratifying explanations and excuses regarding her death.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. While the first half of the book was an interesting read, overall I did not enjoy this book. The author comes off and very whiny and attention-seeking. While she talks about her daughter never taking the blame for her actions but passing it on to others, I don't think she realizes that she does the same thing throughout the book. Spungen's affair is her husband's fault, Nancy's behavior is the doctor's fault, Spungen and her husband's inability to control Nancy is the psychologist's fault, and a While the first half of the book was an interesting read, overall I did not enjoy this book. The author comes off and very whiny and attention-seeking. While she talks about her daughter never taking the blame for her actions but passing it on to others, I don't think she realizes that she does the same thing throughout the book. Spungen's affair is her husband's fault, Nancy's behavior is the doctor's fault, Spungen and her husband's inability to control Nancy is the psychologist's fault, and all the problems in their house is Nancy's fault - even after Nancy's death. Spungen seems to look down on her daughter for her acting out and attention-seeking behavior, and then does things like leaving a noose hung in the garage, hoping that her husband (or one of her living children!) will see it and help her, even though she was seeing a counselor and had spoken to the counselor about her suicidal thoughts. Throughout the book, although especially in the first half, she describes allowing Nancy to set the tone of the house and do whatever she wants to do whenever she wants to do it - including the story of telling Suzy to give Nancy the pen that Suzy in currently using because Nancy wants it, then telling Suzy to not be a troublemaker - and then she blames Nancy for the fact of their household moving around her. It isn't fair to set a child up that way. She fully lost me when she was talking about her fears that her deceased daughter was a prostitute in New York for a while. I can't image a loving mother who simply wants to show people that her daughter wasn't the druggie slut that the world thought she was (phrasing very similar to what Spungen herself uses in the book) would include that, as it was a needless addition, and hearsay at that. This book read as a long essay about how unfair and sad Spungen's life was because she was cursed with a horrible child, and as a mother I simply couldn't stomach it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Josephine

    This book broke my heart. I read it nearly 25 years ago, yet I can recite parts of the story. It documents the incredible pain, sadness and heartbreak that the Spungen family endured throughout Nancy's turbulent and tragic life, even continuing after her death. The public only saw the fabricated image of Nancy Spungen that was created by sleazy tabloid reporters. Yes, Nancy was a disturbed heroin addict, but she was also sensitive and could not find peace and happiness in life. She found somethi This book broke my heart. I read it nearly 25 years ago, yet I can recite parts of the story. It documents the incredible pain, sadness and heartbreak that the Spungen family endured throughout Nancy's turbulent and tragic life, even continuing after her death. The public only saw the fabricated image of Nancy Spungen that was created by sleazy tabloid reporters. Yes, Nancy was a disturbed heroin addict, but she was also sensitive and could not find peace and happiness in life. She found something in her relationship with Sid Vicious who also sought something missing in his life. He and Nancy were drawn together. Every facet of Nancy's life from beginning to end is laid painfully bare and nothing is held back. She even revealed the contents of some of her doctors’ psychiatric diagnosis’, something she only learned after her death. I recommend this book very highly and praise Deborah Spungen for her remarkable strength, courage and love.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Deborah Spungen is the mother of Nancy Spungen, girlfriend of Sex Pistols' Sid Vicious. She was slain by Sid in the Chelsea Hotel in 1979. This book details Nancy's life from cradle to grave. It is a heartbreaking book by a grieving mother who loved her daughter and wanted nothing more but help her. This is the story of a little girl who screamed all day and all night when she was a baby. She chronicles the myriad of emotional problems Nancy had growing up. Nancy was a destructive force on her f Deborah Spungen is the mother of Nancy Spungen, girlfriend of Sex Pistols' Sid Vicious. She was slain by Sid in the Chelsea Hotel in 1979. This book details Nancy's life from cradle to grave. It is a heartbreaking book by a grieving mother who loved her daughter and wanted nothing more but help her. This is the story of a little girl who screamed all day and all night when she was a baby. She chronicles the myriad of emotional problems Nancy had growing up. Nancy was a destructive force on her family and nearly tore them apart. Nancy's family tried to get her help so many times and had the doors slammed in their faces. They sent her to a slew of doctors and facilities to attempt to help their daughter. You feel the desperation of the family and their complete feelings of helplessness. As Nancy become more destructive to her family they are faced with an impossible choice, to let her continue to live at home or let her take her chances living on her own. By the time they have to make this decision, Nancy has become almost impossible to live with, she is violent, she manipulates her siblings, she was doing drugs, smoking and drinking. I often think of the Spungen family and wonder if they were ever able to heal. Don't bother reading this book if you are looking for a sensationalistic piece of tabloid tripe. This mother's story is poignant and touching.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This book was amazing, because it lets people know more about Nancy Spungen, humanizing her instead of just viewing her as a minor, murdered character in the history of punk rock. I don't usually get teary eyed over books but reading the struggles that Nancy's parents faced from the time she was a child, ending with the way the police treated them when they went to claim her body had me bawling. I also think this is a must-read for anyone who is raising a learning-disabled child, perhaps if help This book was amazing, because it lets people know more about Nancy Spungen, humanizing her instead of just viewing her as a minor, murdered character in the history of punk rock. I don't usually get teary eyed over books but reading the struggles that Nancy's parents faced from the time she was a child, ending with the way the police treated them when they went to claim her body had me bawling. I also think this is a must-read for anyone who is raising a learning-disabled child, perhaps if help were available for learning & behavioral disabilities back then, Nancy's fate would have been different.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ellie

    It was riveting. I can't remember even noticing the prose but the story of a mother struggling to come to terms with the loss of her always troubled but charismatic and beloved child is vivid even years after finishing it. The end is not an end; there is no real end to this kind of grief. It was riveting. I can't remember even noticing the prose but the story of a mother struggling to come to terms with the loss of her always troubled but charismatic and beloved child is vivid even years after finishing it. The end is not an end; there is no real end to this kind of grief.

  10. 5 out of 5

    PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

    Deborah Spungeon chronicles the troubled life of her daughter Nancy, who was murdered by punk rocker Sid Viscious. Losing oxygen at birth began Nancy’s lifelong problems including behavioral, psychiatric, social and with drugs. Pediatricians and child psychiatrists first said Deborah overreacted and exaggerated the issues, until witnessing her Nancy’s outbursts themselves. When she was finally diagnosed with schizophrenia, doctors failed to inform the Spungeons. Instead the hospital released Nan Deborah Spungeon chronicles the troubled life of her daughter Nancy, who was murdered by punk rocker Sid Viscious. Losing oxygen at birth began Nancy’s lifelong problems including behavioral, psychiatric, social and with drugs. Pediatricians and child psychiatrists first said Deborah overreacted and exaggerated the issues, until witnessing her Nancy’s outbursts themselves. When she was finally diagnosed with schizophrenia, doctors failed to inform the Spungeons. Instead the hospital released Nancy, claiming inadequate insurance to address her needs. Wearing my child psychologist hat, I can see how doctors might thing the Spungeons exaggerated Nancy’s behavior. Parents aren’t experts in developmentally appropriate behavior for children of certain ages. Tantrums can seem extreme. Think horses not zebras. Plus, during the 1960s, psychiatry hadn’t advanced to understand biological predispositions and DNA anomalies. Blaming the parents, usually the mother, was standard practice and belief. Everything doctors suggested was standard practice, but would never have worked on a child like Nancy who as she grew, was manipulative enough to act compliant toward doctors and later laugh to her parents how she fooled them. I felt most empathy for Nancy’s younger siblings, whom she mistreated and turned on to drugs at a young age. They suffered as Nancy ran the house with her aberrant behavior. Parenting didn’t work, she was too young for treatment facilities and boarding schools were cost prohibitive until funding came through. AND I DON’T WANT TO LIVE THIS LIFE is compulsively readable, thanks to Deborah Spungeon’s honest writing. Her empathy for Nancy, while not excusing the behavior wasn’t enough to make me feel sorry for Nancy, my heart ached for Suzy and David and their parents. Their capacity for love and forgiveness astounded me. I first read AND I DON’T WANT TO LIVE THIS LIFE when it came out in the 1990 and I enjoyed it just as much today.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Adriane Devries

    What mother doesn’t want their teenage daughter to get entangled in hard core drugs and the famous punk rock scene of the late 1970s? This one: Deborah Spungen, mother of the infamous Nancy, whose only claim to fame was and still is her two-year relationship with and subsequent alleged murder by British punker Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols. And I Don’t Want to Live This Life is Deborah’s account of Nancy’s deeply troubled life, from a traumatic birth experience to her prophetic death before the What mother doesn’t want their teenage daughter to get entangled in hard core drugs and the famous punk rock scene of the late 1970s? This one: Deborah Spungen, mother of the infamous Nancy, whose only claim to fame was and still is her two-year relationship with and subsequent alleged murder by British punker Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols. And I Don’t Want to Live This Life is Deborah’s account of Nancy’s deeply troubled life, from a traumatic birth experience to her prophetic death before the age of twenty-one. As of its writing in 1983, the best the psychological profession could account for Nancy’s outrageous personality and behavior was schizophrenia, but I imagine if she had lived today she would receive a diagnosis either in the autism spectrum, reactive attachment issues, or perhaps oppositional defiant disorder. The popular diagnoses change, but the legend of Sid and Nancy lives on…even today, thirty years after their tragic deaths, fans emulate them both and even have facebook pages in their honor. This account of a family’s perspective on mental illness, fame, tragedy and reluctant healing is one of the most compelling books I’ve read in a long time. As an adult who once loved punk, it was a reflection on my own turbulent teenage years of angst and self-discovery. This novel reminds me of the deceptive glamour of the punk movement in its heyday, so compelling, so thrilling, yet so often destructive.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Chuck O'Connor

    This is a book about murder, specifically, the murder of Nancy Spungen at the hands of Sid Vicious, but it is also about the small murders that Nancy encountered from her mental illness, and the insufficient medical system in place in her time to deal with her disease. It is a moving story told by Nancy's mother, and while the narrative can become mechanical sometimes, Deborah Spungen's courageous insight regarding the trauma of a parental caregiver to a mentally ill child, and a survivor of fam This is a book about murder, specifically, the murder of Nancy Spungen at the hands of Sid Vicious, but it is also about the small murders that Nancy encountered from her mental illness, and the insufficient medical system in place in her time to deal with her disease. It is a moving story told by Nancy's mother, and while the narrative can become mechanical sometimes, Deborah Spungen's courageous insight regarding the trauma of a parental caregiver to a mentally ill child, and a survivor of family murder (in the literal and symbolic sense) are powerful and fresh. Near the end of the book during the resolution of Deborah's journey she admits that she wasn't, "afraid to feel compassion," any more. This is a powerful moment in the book because it added counterpoint to the preceding tragedy by focusing a cause on the hurt Nancy lived found in her teachers, doctors, peers and society's lack of compassionate equipment to diagnose and treat her psychic pain. The book made me mindful of appreciating the small beautiful things in my life. My bed, food in the fridge, the love of my wife, and the joy of my son.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Serena

    Easily one of the most hauntingly beautiful books I've ever read. The Sex Pistols were the first band I was ever really obsessed with and like most of their fans, I hated Nancy. From everything said about her by the remaining band members to people who hung out with The Pistols, I considered her to be the punk Yoko Ono. This book was written by her mother. It begins with Nancy's childhood and weaves a tragic tale of a misunderstood girl. It recounts her illness, her drug abuse, a family confused Easily one of the most hauntingly beautiful books I've ever read. The Sex Pistols were the first band I was ever really obsessed with and like most of their fans, I hated Nancy. From everything said about her by the remaining band members to people who hung out with The Pistols, I considered her to be the punk Yoko Ono. This book was written by her mother. It begins with Nancy's childhood and weaves a tragic tale of a misunderstood girl. It recounts her illness, her drug abuse, a family confused and frightened by her, and her relationship with Sid. Nancy was a very intelligent girl and despite reports otherwise, she loved Sid. My favorite part of the book was the poem written by Sid after her death: You were my little baby girl, And I shared all your fears. Such joy to hold you in my arms and kiss away your tears. But now you're gone, there's only pain and nothing I can do. And I don't want to live this life, If I can't live for you. To my beautiful baby girl. Our love will never die...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Violet

    The main thing I took away is the knowledge that although the Spungen family had a pool, they were not rich. Got that? NOT RICH! No matter what the press said! Regular old American family! Also, the fact that the author, Nancy's beleaguered mother, had "no time for the luxury of tears." I hear that! I'm slightly bitter about this book because after I read it, my mother confiscated it, issuing the accusation that I wanted to be "just like Nancy Spungen." Oh, please! I look terrible as a blond. The main thing I took away is the knowledge that although the Spungen family had a pool, they were not rich. Got that? NOT RICH! No matter what the press said! Regular old American family! Also, the fact that the author, Nancy's beleaguered mother, had "no time for the luxury of tears." I hear that! I'm slightly bitter about this book because after I read it, my mother confiscated it, issuing the accusation that I wanted to be "just like Nancy Spungen." Oh, please! I look terrible as a blond.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bunnyhugger

    Nancy was most famous for her relationship with Sid Vicious (the Sex Pistols' bass player), who stabbed her to death in the Chelsea Hotel in 1978 (he died of an overdose before the case came to trial.) "And I Don't Want To Live This Life" is the story of Nancy's life as written by her mother and it is truly a harrowing one. Deprived of oxygen after a difficult birth, her life continued with non-stop screaming (as an infant) and uncontrollable episodes of rage and violence that placed an unimagin Nancy was most famous for her relationship with Sid Vicious (the Sex Pistols' bass player), who stabbed her to death in the Chelsea Hotel in 1978 (he died of an overdose before the case came to trial.) "And I Don't Want To Live This Life" is the story of Nancy's life as written by her mother and it is truly a harrowing one. Deprived of oxygen after a difficult birth, her life continued with non-stop screaming (as an infant) and uncontrollable episodes of rage and violence that placed an unimaginable toll on her family. It's a story of the agony of mental illness and now I can't help wondering if modern-day psychiatric medicine and knowledge would have made a difference (before the heroine addiction). By the time the end came I felt some relief for her - at least her suffering was over. Very sad and disturbing. I read this a long time ago at an impressionable age and it has haunted me since. I was living in Japan at the time and was finding English-language books hard to come by. I stumbled upon this quite randomly in a bargain bin in a Tokyo store piled high with paperbacks - exclusively with this title. I don't think it was even a book store. Surreal in a way.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Terra

    This was one of the hardest books to read - as a mother and as a woman. It was heart wrenching to read the very private side of a very public story. I applaud Debbie for writing this book and sharing her story and "her Nancy" with the world. This was a book club pick that I would probably never have picked up otherwise but am sure glad I did. I made so many highlights and notes while I read in anticipation of what will certainly be a fabulous discussion at book club this coming week. This was one of the hardest books to read - as a mother and as a woman. It was heart wrenching to read the very private side of a very public story. I applaud Debbie for writing this book and sharing her story and "her Nancy" with the world. This was a book club pick that I would probably never have picked up otherwise but am sure glad I did. I made so many highlights and notes while I read in anticipation of what will certainly be a fabulous discussion at book club this coming week.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    Courtney Love was not the first Borderline personalitied junkie to attempt to usurp the underground! The handwringing in this book is stellar; no wonder the child was so crazy. GREAT BEACH READ and cautionary tale for those of you with teenage girls!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    And I don't want to live this life I was real unhappy with the way this started out..... I felt the mother was very selfish, whiney, and crying for attention I honestly feel if they (her parents felt she was disturbed.... They would have got her help... Put her in a home... Not keep putting her in bringing her out... (view spoiler)[ They knew she was manipulative (hide spoiler)] ) She put Nancy 1st! Above all...she even admits she looks over her other 2 children and husband to keep Nancy happy. And I don't want to live this life I was real unhappy with the way this started out..... I felt the mother was very selfish, whiney, and crying for attention I honestly feel if they (her parents felt she was disturbed.... They would have got her help... Put her in a home... Not keep putting her in bringing her out... (view spoiler)[ They knew she was manipulative (hide spoiler)] ) She put Nancy 1st! Above all...she even admits she looks over her other 2 children and husband to keep Nancy happy. I WOULD BE DAMNED A 7 YEAR OLD WOULD RUN MY HOME!!!! for a mother to do that is just WRONG! I think the family was in a horrible position yes, but deal with it... A band-aid on a severed hand does nothing. I just think they could have done more for her. Se was a child with something very wrong. BEGGING FOR HELP that no one steeped to the plate. (Just sad) I had always had a bad idea on her...(like most people thought she was the "Punk Yoko Ono" just a obnoxious "Punk-Rock Princess" she was a baby that was looking for an outlet...) she was a pretty girl.. She could have found help and turned it all around... Who knows... Maybe this is the best for the poor girl. She was living to die.. I can't bad mouth a Mother to much... She did her best.. Her and her family tried to do the right thing. They didn't have the diagnosis until after her death, they buried her in her Prom dress, they did try to do what they thought was right. And for that I can be civil on. About The Murder.... I do believe that a drug dealer or someone else killed her. I do not think Sid killed her. ( "Love Kills" is a romantic idea.... But I don't think it's true in this case. ) As toxic as the relationship was I do think that they "loved" each other in there own way... I know both were terrible with relationships (view spoiler)[ Nancy confused sex with love. And could never hold on to relationships, all her Punk-Rock "Friends" no one stood by her in death... At her funeral at lest... Sad really.. To think this young, pretty, intelligent, young lady had no one but her family in the end... And they even admit to hating her at the end of her life... (hide spoiler)] I thought wow his mother who was all the boy had knew how much she meant to her boy... (view spoiler)[ when she asked to bury her boy next to his BELOVED NANCY!! **away from his home. She was going to try to keep him with what he loved. And for Mrs. Spungen to hang up.... RUDE !!! But... It was a decent read... I do love Real life, famous happenings, it's a great type of book. I will be reading more like this.. I love to read anyway.. So this is a good one to add to the list... (hide spoiler)]

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bren

    "It's good to see people opening their eyes to this syndrome that has no name. You tend to close them until it happens to your child. There is no such thing as a child who is not worth saving.” ― Deborah Spungen, And I Don't Want to Live This Life: A Mother's Story of Her Daughter's Murder I read this, my mom read this, man, everyone read this. I do not think you have to be a punk rock fan or even know much about Nancy to read this. This is in her mother's words and what a writer Deborah Spungen i "It's good to see people opening their eyes to this syndrome that has no name. You tend to close them until it happens to your child. There is no such thing as a child who is not worth saving.” ― Deborah Spungen, And I Don't Want to Live This Life: A Mother's Story of Her Daughter's Murder I read this, my mom read this, man, everyone read this. I do not think you have to be a punk rock fan or even know much about Nancy to read this. This is in her mother's words and what a writer Deborah Spungen is. To say I was into this book is putting it mildly. I really cannot do a long review until I reread though I can rememb er whole paragraphs from this book. I took away a strong sense of sorrow for a girl that, at that time, very few people could understand. It makes me think of, whether, had she been born today, when personality issues and disorders are so much more understood whether things would have been different. This book will make you angry. Angry at the school system, the world of psychiatry, at pretty much everyone except her family. Nancy was let down by so many people. My parents both work in the field of Psychology and know this story and my mom, as mentioned read the book. I really so wish that Nancy had received the help she needed THEN. I also hate the caricatures and rushes to judgement that have been made. I grew to love the whole Spungen family in this book. Incredible writing. Very much recommended.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    let me just say first that Nancy's mom should definatly get the award for best mother because after reading this book and all the stuff she had to go through since day one I do not see how she did it without having a freaking heart attack. This book scared the shit out of me being a mother myself, it's hard to read what another mother had to go through. I do however think this is the best book I have read in years it kept me interested and I could not put it down. I laugh because I know so many let me just say first that Nancy's mom should definatly get the award for best mother because after reading this book and all the stuff she had to go through since day one I do not see how she did it without having a freaking heart attack. This book scared the shit out of me being a mother myself, it's hard to read what another mother had to go through. I do however think this is the best book I have read in years it kept me interested and I could not put it down. I laugh because I know so many kids around here that completly worship Sid and Nancy after reading this book they should worship Deborah Spungen.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary Allix

    This is the book that inspired a lot of my own writing. I've lost my original copy and haven't read it for years, so not sure how I would respond to it now. But at the time it blew me away. It is the story of an ordinary womamn - an ordinary American family - who had to deal with something extraordinary and impossibly heartbreaking in their lives. Nancy Spungen (who went on to be girlfriend of Sid Viscious and was murdered) was, her mother says, "Born angry". Nobody ever discovered why she turne This is the book that inspired a lot of my own writing. I've lost my original copy and haven't read it for years, so not sure how I would respond to it now. But at the time it blew me away. It is the story of an ordinary womamn - an ordinary American family - who had to deal with something extraordinary and impossibly heartbreaking in their lives. Nancy Spungen (who went on to be girlfriend of Sid Viscious and was murdered) was, her mother says, "Born angry". Nobody ever discovered why she turned out the way she did. After I read this I knew that I want to write about extraordinary things happening to ordinary people, rather than trying to create larger than life characters for my fiction.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Erssie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Enjoyed the earlier parts, did not get on so well with the ending. For example, why dye her hair after she has died? Isn't that an insult to the choices she made? This book paints a bad picture of punks and the Sex Pistols when in fact, it was mainly Nancy's problems that influenced Sid Vicious to be the way he was. Nancy started using drugs when she was very young and in many ways her death was inevitable. Also, I found some parts that made me question the rest of the book. For example, repeated Enjoyed the earlier parts, did not get on so well with the ending. For example, why dye her hair after she has died? Isn't that an insult to the choices she made? This book paints a bad picture of punks and the Sex Pistols when in fact, it was mainly Nancy's problems that influenced Sid Vicious to be the way he was. Nancy started using drugs when she was very young and in many ways her death was inevitable. Also, I found some parts that made me question the rest of the book. For example, repeatedly referring to Johnny Lyman (I assume she meant John Lydon)and this made me wary of other parts of her research as this is a really basic bit of research with error.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kaethe Douglas

    If you wonder what it's like to have an out-of-control child, and then what's it is like to have her become a famous murder victim, this is the book for you. I feel great pity for Ms. Spungen, but I can't help but think that the end of her daughter's life throws the rest of it into the worst possible light. Had she and Sid survived another decade, settled down, and raised some kids, that rebellious youth would feel very different. RIP Nancy. If you wonder what it's like to have an out-of-control child, and then what's it is like to have her become a famous murder victim, this is the book for you. I feel great pity for Ms. Spungen, but I can't help but think that the end of her daughter's life throws the rest of it into the worst possible light. Had she and Sid survived another decade, settled down, and raised some kids, that rebellious youth would feel very different. RIP Nancy.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ally Stefanides

    I rated this book so high for personal reasons. Nancy sounds like me in so many ways and I believe she may have had Borderline Personality Disorder as well. Mrs. Spungen tried to be as unbiased as she could be as a mother while giving as much detail about the tragic life of her daughter and one of punk's most visible icons, however undeserved that title may be. I rated this book so high for personal reasons. Nancy sounds like me in so many ways and I believe she may have had Borderline Personality Disorder as well. Mrs. Spungen tried to be as unbiased as she could be as a mother while giving as much detail about the tragic life of her daughter and one of punk's most visible icons, however undeserved that title may be.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kristin Myrtle

    this is one of the most harrowing, hard to read books i know of. nancy spungen was troubled from her very birth. this is written by her mom and it is truly, truly heartbreaking.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany Bates

    Getting back to this one now after getting distracted with some other reads.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lynx

    A lot has been said about the Nancy Spungen over the years, and honestly it's quite shocking to see how negative the media has painted Nancy who at heart was a troubled, very young woman. Nancy's mother Deborah does a fantastic job of telling Nancy's story, the good, bad and ugly. I discussed Nancy, this book and her relationship with Sex Pistol Sid Vicious on my podcast Muses. To learn more check out MusesPod or listen where ever you check out your podcasts. A lot has been said about the Nancy Spungen over the years, and honestly it's quite shocking to see how negative the media has painted Nancy who at heart was a troubled, very young woman. Nancy's mother Deborah does a fantastic job of telling Nancy's story, the good, bad and ugly. I discussed Nancy, this book and her relationship with Sex Pistol Sid Vicious on my podcast Muses. To learn more check out MusesPod or listen where ever you check out your podcasts.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Renika Jacobs

    A mother whining instead of mothering. I admit that I have no idea what it's like to lose a child and I honestly do not envy that feeling. By the grace of God my children are both alive and well adults with college degrees. But it was not easy to get there and it was a long rough haul. I was a single Mom at 17 with 2 kids. My son also had a "traumatic birth" like the one Deborah describes Nancy as having. I have undiagnosed placenta previa, which mean that the placenta was in the wrong position a A mother whining instead of mothering. I admit that I have no idea what it's like to lose a child and I honestly do not envy that feeling. By the grace of God my children are both alive and well adults with college degrees. But it was not easy to get there and it was a long rough haul. I was a single Mom at 17 with 2 kids. My son also had a "traumatic birth" like the one Deborah describes Nancy as having. I have undiagnosed placenta previa, which mean that the placenta was in the wrong position and was covering the exit from my uterus and my son's way out of me. And even though I'd never missed a doctor's air ultrasound visit nobody caught this danger before I went into labor. So when my son was making his "exit" the placenta ruptured and to keep him from drowning in fluid I had to have an emergency c-section or so I'm told because no one said a word to me they just began frantically rolling me away and putting me under. So one woke me after it was over to sign a form for permission to give me a blood transfusion at one point ( I still don't know why) and they kept me sedated for 5 days. I did not lay eyes on my son for 5 days! Crucial mother child bonding time. When I did see him he was only 5 pound and 6 ounces and had a big IV sticking out of his head and the only reason I was given for it was he a traumatic birth and almost died. I think they figured I wouldn't understand why.. Anyway by the time I got him home he had done nothing but cry for 2 weeks in the hospital and did more crying at home. I was 15. Still in school. And 2 young to be a parent, let alone a parent to this child. He drove me crazy. He cried for 6 months straight. Even on the sedative that the doctor's prescribed for him. When he finally stopped crying he started moving. Non-stop in everything. He was a terror. In preschool he ran around with a pair of scissors until I got a frantic call from the school to come disarm him. He fought all the time, he bit and kicked teachers and he was verbally abusive. He threw tantrums for no apparent reason and was mean and mad if you said hello sometimes. He wanted his way and as he got older he wanted to run my house. You know what I did? I said no. From the beginning I was not having it and I made sure that he understood that by any means necessary that I was in charge not him. And of course just disciplining him once did not work. It was a constant battle of wills and I was determined to win. I did not whine or cry or stutter. When he got louder I got louder. When he got mean I got meaner. When he wanted to be the boss of my house I made sure that he understood that you have to pay the cost to be the boss and as far as I knew he wasn't chipping in on the rent. I'm not saying that I had any idea how to parent because I obviously didn't. I hadn't the faintest clue. But what I did know was that this was my child so it was my responsibility to make sure he grew into a respectful law abiding contributor to society. Whenever anyone asks me how I ended up with 2 great kids I say prayer and butt kicking. This author and her husband let this child run wild and curse and fight and speak to them as if they were the help. She sacrificed her other children for Nancy. She sacrificed her married for Nancy. So when Nancy was finally gone Deborah went into withdrawals because Nancy's drug was heroin and Deborah's drug was Nancy. She was so codependent and so much an enabler that she had nothing once her drug was gone. I know that she wrote this book so that we would understand her daughter and her family better. What she should have finally done for once was listen to her other daughter because this book does not make me sympathise or empathize with them at all. All I see is a woman whining and afraid to discipline a child until the problem go too big for them over and over and over. I see parents who sacrificed two kids happiness and well being for one child who was selfish and undeserving. Being a middle child I have always thought that you should put your money on the winning horse, especially when you know the odds. These parents knew the odds all to well but for some insane reason they kept backing the wrong horse. And almost went belly up doing it. Smh

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Hasanat

    When I saw this book in my college library I decided to give it a try especially when I found out that the story was aboutNancy Spungen, girlfriend of Sex Pistols' guitarist Sid Vicious This story is one of the saddest stories I have ever read. It is about a mother and her child. The story is amazing, really well written, and shockingly unexpected. At times I thought the writer exaggerated some scenes, but those scenes resonated powerfully. Her writing is very honest as well (about her personal li When I saw this book in my college library I decided to give it a try especially when I found out that the story was aboutNancy Spungen, girlfriend of Sex Pistols' guitarist Sid Vicious This story is one of the saddest stories I have ever read. It is about a mother and her child. The story is amazing, really well written, and shockingly unexpected. At times I thought the writer exaggerated some scenes, but those scenes resonated powerfully. Her writing is very honest as well (about her personal life). The ending is very touching and will make you incrdibly vulnerable. I couldn't stop crying towards the end, and this was the first book that I actually cried while reading. Thank you Deborah Spungen. And I love Sid and Nancy.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Nauseating Nancy, of Sid and Nancy fame, was actually schizophrenic. I think this book does a really good job of explaining multiple things in a very honest and compassionate way. Mental health services for young people with psychosis (especially at the time Nancy was in the system, but in some cases today as well) can be woefully inadequate to help patients and their families contend with the heartbreak and frustration they face on a daily basis. Nancy Spungen was "nauseating" because she was s Nauseating Nancy, of Sid and Nancy fame, was actually schizophrenic. I think this book does a really good job of explaining multiple things in a very honest and compassionate way. Mental health services for young people with psychosis (especially at the time Nancy was in the system, but in some cases today as well) can be woefully inadequate to help patients and their families contend with the heartbreak and frustration they face on a daily basis. Nancy Spungen was "nauseating" because she was sick. It can be a hard book to read, especially when one considers the quality of life that may have been possible for this very bright young woman and her family if she'd had access to informed therapy and medications available today.

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