The goal is 90. Just 90 clean and sober days to loosen the hold of the addiction that caused Bill Clegg to lose everything. With 73 days in rehab behind him he returns to New York and attends two or three meetings each day. It is in these refuges that he befriends essential allies including the seemingly unshakably sober Asa and Polly, who struggles daily with her own cycle of recovery and relapse.
At first, the support is not enough: Clegg relapses for the first time with only three days left. Written with uncompromised immediacy, Ninety Days begins where Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man ends - and tells the wrenching story Clegg's battle to reclaim his life. As any recovering addict knows, hitting rock bottom is just the beginning.
Praise for Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man: "Mesmerizing.... Reading it is like letting the needle down on a Nick Drake album. Clegg tells his story in short, atmospheric paragraphs, each separated by white space, each its own strobe-lighted snapshot of decadent poetic memory.... Clegg can write." (Dwight Garner, The New York Times)
"legg spares no one's feelings, least of all his own; it's not the brutality that makes this book worthwhile but rather the strange beauty of the stream-of consciousness prose." (Mickey Rapkin, GQ)
"Beautifully rendered in spare and elegant prose, a rumination on the human condition that recalls William Styron's memoir of depression, Darkness Visible." (Kirk Davis Swinehart, Chicago Tribune)
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Overall a Good Addiction Memoir
What's unique among addiction memoirs is that he describes various relapses. One of the most memorable moments is when he was literally about to knock on the door of someone from whom he would get drugs and relapse, when a person from his AA group walked by and convinced him to go to a meeting instead. He was able to avoid the relapse solely through the help of this person. It's a strong example of how addicts need to rely on others to help them.
I always enjoy when the author reads the audiobook. It wasn't particularly memorable, but not bad.
Apparently this is a follow-up to a first book he wrote about addiction. I haven't read that one, so maybe it's better to do so.
- Dawn E. Sanders
it's never easy to tell the truth
- Andrea Lupton