Joseph W. Naus was living the American dream. He'd survived a brutal childhood, graduated from Pepperdine Law School, and become a successful attorney. Then one night his American dream life became a nightmare when his sex and alcohol addictions collided and exploded.
"On Tuesday I was a respected civil trial lawyer making six figures. On Wednesday I woke up handcuffed to a hospital bed, charged with attempted murder...and then it got worse."
Straight Pepper Diet is a book about surviving one's own wreckage. It's harrowing, sometimes hilarious, and surprisingly hope-filled.
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Riveting, Relevant, and Raw
Joseph's transformation from degenerate to spiritually enlightened is inspiring. He is so honest, so vulnerable and open to judgment, it's truly admirable. It doesn't matter that he'll disgust you at first because you will be able to empathize with the circumstances that led him to deplorable behavior, and you will be proud of him when he frees himself from it.
I've read other memoirs about addiction and transformation, but nothing like this. SPD made me feel a gamut of positive and negative emotions, which is what books should do.
Having the story read by the author makes him feel very real, like I was one of his friends or exes. It was great to have his voice contribute to the overall picture of the narrator. His honest thoughts in his own voice maintain the story's authenticity and, again, make him real and likable.
I expected to hate this book. I bought it because I was married to someone like Joseph and I wanted to understand him better. In the end, I don't know if it helped me with that--my ex may very well be a sociopath and Joseph is not-- but I found value in the story anyway. I would read it again and strongly recommend it if you like memoirs.
- Autumn E.