Beautiful Boy

  • by David Sheff
  • Narrated by Anthony Heald
  • 11 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

David Sheff's story is a first: a teenager's addiction from the parent's point of view, a real-time chronicle of the shocking descent into substance abuse and the gradual emergence into hope.Before meth, Sheff's son, Nic, was a varsity athlete, honor student, and award-winning journalist. After meth, he was a trembling wraith who stole money from his eight-year-old brother and lived on the streets. With haunting candor, Sheff traces the first warning signs, the attempts at rehabilitation, and, at last, the way past addiction. He shows us that, whatever an addict's fate, the rest of the family must care for one another, too, lest they become addicted to addiction.


What the Critics Say

"Sheff does not spare himself or anyone else from keen professional scrutiny any more than he was himself spared the pains and joys of watching a loved one struggling with addiction and recovery....This is an honest, hopeful book, coming at a propitious moment in the meth epidemic." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Painful and honest account

This account by David Sheff about his son Nick's meth addiction was lengthy but riveting nontheless. The account leaves nothing out, starting with Nick as a baby, young child, school-age, middle school, teenager. This detail is offered apparently to give the reader an open look at Nick's life and see that drug addiction can happen to anyone. (Nick was very bright, great athlete, artistic, funny, charming, had it all). Nick experimented with marijuana and alcohol at around age 12 or 13 and graduated to other drugs as he got older. Eventually he settled on meth (speed) as his drug of choice. As any parent, David wanted to believe the best about his son so when his son said he was not using drugs he believed him until forced to acknowledge that he had been using all along. Like any parent, he wanted to believe his son was not a liar and under normal conditions (not high/using), his son was not a liar. He tried everything to manipulate his son to become a good non-drug using citizen, put him in rehab after rehab, chased him all around California, begged, cajoled, threatened jail, and was just obsessed with knowing where Nick was even when it was obvious Nick was bent on self-destruction. Perhaps the most startling part of the book was after David had a stroke and was in the hospital intensive care ward. He couldn't remember his name, or even the year (thought it was 2015), but he was obsessed with being able to call and check on Nick. He kept telling the nurse he had to call Nick to find out how he was. After all the rehabs and efforts by the family, he finally had to just give up and put Nick's life into his own hands. Very interesting book for anyone who might have a drug user in the family. Offers some interesting insights, especially should help alleviate guilt felt by parents of users who blame themselves for a child's addiction.
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- Book and Movie Lover

Terrifyingly real...

Sheff recounts in amazing detail, the horror he and his family continue to endure through his son's ongoing meth addiction.I found myself leaving earlier in the morning to catch the traffic jam, just so I could listen for longer.

As a professional of the medical world, I found his research and explanations excellent and pharmacologically accurate (as you'd expect of a journalist).

I loved this book, although I understand the agony and hopelessness Sheff expresses at times may be overwhelming to some - this really is the world that meth creates. Sheff does make some significant realisations on his journey which would assist anyone who also has a loved one with methamphetamine addiction.

I look forward to now reading/listening to Nick's account although I am terrified that by doing so I may be feeding the very habit he's trying to quit.
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- Amanda

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-23-2008
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.