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Drugs: A Novel

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A modern homage to William S. Burrough’s classic Junky, the new novel Drugs is the sparse, beautifully unassuming account of one man’s life of drug use. 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 t A modern homage to William S. Burrough’s classic Junky, the new novel Drugs is the sparse, beautifully unassuming account of one man’s life of drug use. 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.


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A modern homage to William S. Burrough’s classic Junky, the new novel Drugs is the sparse, beautifully unassuming account of one man’s life of drug use. 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 t A modern homage to William S. Burrough’s classic Junky, the new novel Drugs is the sparse, beautifully unassuming account of one man’s life of drug use. 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.

30 review for Drugs: A Novel

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dave Lastik

    this was a very graphic book on drugs and sex with a tiny bit of philosophy added in. there were a whole lot of I've been there and remember that. made me realize again that I was happy that is not my life again but good to recollect some of my own old feelings and memories. the book gave me that little nudge of hey remember when? very honest book and well written book in the mind of the still functional mind of an addict. this was a very graphic book on drugs and sex with a tiny bit of philosophy added in. there were a whole lot of I've been there and remember that. made me realize again that I was happy that is not my life again but good to recollect some of my own old feelings and memories. the book gave me that little nudge of hey remember when? very honest book and well written book in the mind of the still functional mind of an addict.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    I heard the author being interviewed on the radio and the book sounded interesting. If you'd like to read about someone's life through the lens of all the drugs he ever took - then this is the book for you. I heard the author being interviewed on the radio and the book sounded interesting. If you'd like to read about someone's life through the lens of all the drugs he ever took - then this is the book for you.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    this is one of those books where you think "hey this sounds like the exact opposite of me, it'll open my mind and give me a new perspective on something I don't know much about" Well go figure I absolutely hated it. Especially the part with the dog. this is one of those books where you think "hey this sounds like the exact opposite of me, it'll open my mind and give me a new perspective on something I don't know much about" Well go figure I absolutely hated it. Especially the part with the dog.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    A life quest, through the fish-eye lens of mind-alteration... no morality tale or pitch for sobriety, reader gets to draw their own conclusions. Terse, no-frills writing style scrapes off any layers of artifice in the storytelling.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jen

  6. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Valentine

  7. 5 out of 5

    Yakov Izbitser

  8. 4 out of 5

    Damion

  9. 5 out of 5

    Maxrathberger

  10. 5 out of 5

    David Nash

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michael Martin

  12. 5 out of 5

    Darren-lee

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alfonso

  14. 5 out of 5

    Eric

  15. 5 out of 5

    Javier

  16. 5 out of 5

    K. Albasi

  17. 4 out of 5

    Robert Boyd

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sean Leadston

  19. 4 out of 5

    Floris Van den bos

  20. 4 out of 5

    jseris

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dave Mitchell

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jim Steele

  23. 5 out of 5

    Vladislav

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jon

  25. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Sagramsingh

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mischa Daanen

  27. 5 out of 5

    brum in the

  28. 4 out of 5

    Squeasel

  29. 5 out of 5

    James Tarp

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amber

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