Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man

  • by Bill Clegg
  • Narrated by Bill Clegg
  • 4 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Bill Clegg had a thriving business as a literary agent, a supportive partner, trusting colleagues, and loving friends when he walked away from his world and embarked on a two-month crack binge. He had been released from rehab nine months earlier, and his relapse would cost him his home, his money, his career, and very nearly his life.
What is it that leads an exceptional young mind want to disappear? Clegg makes stunningly clear the attraction of the drug that had him in its thrall, capturing in scene after scene the drama, tension, and paranoiac nightmare of a secret life--and the exhilarating bliss that came again and again until it was eclipsed almost entirely by doom. He also explores the shape of addiction, how its pattern--not its cause--can be traced to the past.
Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man is an utterly compelling narrative--lyrical, irresistible, harsh, honest, and beautifully written--from which you simply cannot look away.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


I took this because of the great reviews and indeed it's dramatic, compelling, horrifying and well told.

I really don't understand how the author can recall with such clarity and detail all his drug and drink binges, etc. Time, places, prices, restaurants, people....Is memory not obliterated by these activities?
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- k.a.

Explains the Inexplicable

This book is an unflinching account of the author's descent into addiction. I have an addicted loved one, and despite reading book upon book about the disease of addiction I could still not get my head around how someone could allow himself to reach such depths without ever reaching out for help. This book shows, with horrifying clarity, the urgency to get one more high, the escalating paranoia, the desperation of the addict's loved ones, and the utter futility of trying to apply reason to this disease.

Thank you, Mr. Clegg, for giving us "civilians" a glimpse of how active addiction distorts a person's thinking, destoys his hope, and steals his life.

Like other reviewers, I wanted to hear more about Mr. Clegg's recovery but that is a different story.
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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-07-2010
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio