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Bill Clegg
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Ninety Days: A Memoir of Recovery

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  814 Ratings  ·  129 Reviews
The goal is ninety. Just ninety clean and sober days to loosen the hold of the addiction that caused Bill Clegg to lose everything. With six weeks of his most recent 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 Polly, who struggles daily with her own cycle of recovery ...more
Published April 10th 2012 by Little, Brown & Company (first published 2012)
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Patrick Santana
Jun 23, 2013 Patrick Santana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Patrick by: Ira Sachs
Holy f*ck, what a tremendously readable story of stumbling, recovery, collapse, loss, redemption, confusion, and self-discovery. I've read so many books about addiction, but this one is the first to take me inside the state and the sorrow of it. Bill Clegg's writing is nothing less than fearless, even as it's wrapped in his own fear. This is the kind of book you don't just read, you inhale its pages. Clegg's sense of pacing is superb, and he finds this wonderful balance between detailing his con ...more
Kasa Cotugno
This is the book James Frey wishes he'd written
Ilyssa Wesche
Jan 25, 2012 Ilyssa Wesche rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
WARNING RANT AHEAD: I am hopping mad about this book (sorry Julie!) This should be edited down to be the epilogue of the paperback edition of his last book (which I also read, and wasn't crazy about, but liked more than this.) $24.95 for a 150-ish hardcover? 5 pages of which, for example, are about a walk in the effing rain? REALLY, Little Brown? Ever hear of a little thing called PAPERBACK ORIGINAL?

Listen, I get that addiction is a horrible, wrenching, soul-sucking disease. Reviewing memoirs is
Eric Rickert
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 29, 2015 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Talk about a time when I did NOT need a good cry, but finished this book and had one anyway. Bill Clegg is so talented.
Feb 07, 2013 Abeck01 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book fills in a lot of the blanks from "Portrait of the Young Man as an Addict." Clegg clearly withheld a great deal of information from his first book, making his rehab and recovery seem much more easy than it really was. I was extremely angry at him as I read this new book and realized how he had misrepresented his recovery in the prior work, but I guess once in denial, always in denial. Yes,he does try to make up for that here, and his descriptions and representations of himself are quit ...more
Allizabeth Collins

Ninety Days is the true story of Bill Clegg's recovery - crack addicted to clean and sober. This memoir is the follow-up to his first book , Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man, and begins where it left off - after seventy-three days of rehab.


A raw and highly emotional look into the life of a once prominent businessman and his strenuous journey to sobriety, Ninety days is an intense, yet simply-written, look into recovery from addiction. It feels like I am reading Clegg's j
Apr 06, 2012 Eris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading his story of going down in flames in "Portrait of an Addict", I was curious to see how the recovery process went for him. If you are an addict or know an addict, the path is predictable but still painful in all of the relapses, moments of personal blindness, the pain and the fury. Halfway through this, I found myself itching - while I think this recovery memoir can be useful to many who are new to recovery, those who are at risk of being set off by trigger memories should avoid thi ...more
Ninety days? Seems like ninety years of groundhog day as Clegg tried to piece together three months of time that benchmark a solid toehold on sobriety. Clegg was finally able to write this account of his many failed attempts at rehab, of quitting binges with crack and vodka, of pissing off his sober friends while burning bridge after bridge and crack pipe after crack pipe. It's nothing short of miraculous that Clegg had a single human being to turn to after his dissolute spiraling antics or even ...more
Emily Mack
This follow-up memoir lacks the unmistakable intensity of its first volume, Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man: A Memoir, and I think my appreciation of that first book has at least slightly colored my impression of the second.

Still, though, this small book is worth reading. At the end of Portrait, there is a sense of triumph over addiction, which I felt hungry for after reading page after page of Clegg's shocking experiences as a crack addict. But this book reminds you that recovery from addi
Mar 23, 2013 Sean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A compelling look at addiction and relapse. Clegg is a skilled writer and it was a fast read. Still as person in recovery I cringed at some of more brutal moments and sometimes wanted to shake Clegg. The drama of relapse makes for a juicy read and as a literary agent Clegg knows how to push the more tragic parts of his story over talking about a solution. Nevertheless, it's a wholly accurate portrayal of life in recovery and he's a terrific writer. I'm just not sure I can say I "loved it."
Oct 13, 2015 Audra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. I read this book in one sitting. It was exhausting. If you've ever wondered what an addict goes through on the roller coaster ride to recover, read this book. Raw and heartbreaking, I just want to meet Bill Clegg and give him a hug.
Karine DS
Mar 07, 2017 Karine DS rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lu en français !
Bill est de retour à New York après une cure de désintox de 6 semaines.
Quand il se retrouve seul dans le studio de Dave, puis dans son propre appartement, j'assiste au début de son introspection. Le poids de la rechute pèse sur ses épaules tel un couperet. Il se rend à sa première réunion, où Jack son parrain qui est ancien toxico est présent pour le soutenir. Le processus commence, se débrouiller sans l'assistance du corps médical, sans surveillance constante. Le temps de renaît
Kevin Summers
Jun 19, 2017 Kevin Summers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
Sample quote: "The meeting begins. As the basket is passed and people toss in their bills, I raise my hand and say that I have eight days, and as I do I know that eventually, not today, and probably not tonight, but at some point soon, I will pick up. ... I will use again, this much I know."
Harley Johnson
Good book; nothing I would discuss with friends & encourage them to read, but I wanted to find out how it ended.
Adam Dunn
May 10, 2012 Adam Dunn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbt
There is no prize for beating an addiction, there is no finish line. Like life itself, it's a work in progress.
You can't have it all. You have to choose, do you want your addiction or do you want life. You can't have both.
You get to a point where you're sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I never understood the AA philosophy until I read this book. I was reluctant to look at it because of it's emphasis on God or a higher power. I never liked the line "I accept I am powerless over drugs and a
Mar 27, 2012 Cheryl rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-read
Ninety Days: A Memoir of Recovery by Bill Clegg
Published by Little Brown and Company
Hachette Book Group
Publishing Date: April 10, 2012
ISBN-10: 0316122521
ISBN-13: 978-0316122528
At the request of The Hachette Book Group, an ARC TPB was sent, at no cost to me, for my honest opinion.

Synopsis (from publisher): The goal is ninety. Just ninety clean and sober days to loosen the hold of the addiction that caused Bill Clegg to lose everything. With seventy-three days in rehab behind him he returns to Ne
Neil Mudde
May 12, 2012 Neil Mudde rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well completed reading the book today, it is an interesting and often frustrating story of Bill Clegg trying to obtain his 90 days of Sobriety,( 90 meeting in 90 days)which is suggested by one of the programs which I followed reaching 18 years of sobriety. His struggle of reaching this goal can be heartbreaking. Bill Clegg is not only addicted to alcohol, but various drugs as well, the story is well written, and will no doubt encourage those persons trying to get the addiction monkey off their b ...more
Jun 24, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did not expect to like this, actually. I wasn't impressed by Clegg's first book, Portrait Of An Addict As A Young Man. I expected this to be an equally quick read, like the first, maybe with some vicarious thrills and sex thrown in once again. His first book seemed to be saying, "Look how bad I was!" with the emphasis on Look!

My expectations weren't much higher as I started to read. It's easy to be snarky and (spoiler alert) note that the title could be "76 Days" as that's how long the narrato
Dec 19, 2016 Medhat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bill CleggBill Clegg delivers another heartwarming and heart-wrenching memoir that is, like his other two books, mesmerizing, addictive and nostalgic.

Bill Clegg is an amazing writer, and I would follow him anywhere. From my very first book by him, his debut novel 'Did You Ever Have a FamilyDid You Ever Have A Family', Clegg has astonished me with how lyrical and deep his story-telling talent is. As in Did You Ever Have A Family, he keeps breaking and warming my heart with this epic journey from
Sep 06, 2012 Garima rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Honest, direct memoir of ones journey in darkness. Sometimes motivation, inspiration ambition are just empty fancy words and there is no option then going downhill. Addiction is evil (and explained first hand) its dark and lives in the deeper recesses of brain ready to unleash itself at every possible point. The pivotal point is that its you vs you. Brain is what takes all decisions and that tells u, it reasons, convinces to take drugs, then the same brain says dont do that......should be killin ...more
Dec 29, 2013 Annie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The complete opposite of the last book I read about addiction (The Wolf Of Wall Street), Clegg paints a very relate-able view of addiction and recovery. Moving back to the city after a 6 week stay in rehab, Clegg has to discover how to avoid relapse with no outside force requiring his sobriety. Living in his brother's office with no money, Clegg focuses all his efforts on attending multiple addicts meetings each day where he finds the community and support system he needs to reach ninety days.

Sep 09, 2016 Al rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bill Clegg's follow up to "Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man" details his struggles with recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. As someone with an alcoholic spouse, his memoir hit home to me--the recurrent relapses, the endless A.A. meetings, the risky behavior. Clegg ultimately credits his current recovery to the support network that AA (or NA) provided him. That the seemingly random strangers he met in AA kept him going through his recurrent relapses strikes him in retrospect as amazing. ...more
Jennifer Hummer
Apr 19, 2012 Jennifer Hummer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ninety Days is the sequel to Clegg's first memoir, Portrait of a Young Man as an Addict. Both books will bring you to your knees for Clegg. Because what the author has to say about life as an addict isn’t just painful for him, its painful for his readers too. And that’s great writing.

The story takes place in New York City, in both the grimiest neighborhoods and the most posh. Clegg knows the city like the back of his hand, which gives his readers a virtual telescope into the big apple. Some of
Margaret Carmel
Apr 11, 2013 Margaret Carmel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was not super impressed with Bill Clegg's first book and memoir "Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man", so I was slightly reluctant to continue reading his story. BUT, i'm glad I did. This book is the story of his recovery and the struggle to get and stay clean. One of the things that his first book did not do well was it was very boring because it was just the very repetitive cycle of him using, being paranoid, leaving, and using again. While Ninety Days does have some of the repetitive struc ...more
Feb 07, 2012 Jaclyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bill Clegg's book, Ninety Days, is a continuation of his struggle with addiction that we first were introduced to in Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man. As in his first book, Clegg does an excellent job of taking the reader along on his journey through his worst days and into the present as he works to maintain his sobriety each day. The narrative voice was so strong that I felt connected to him through all of his highs and lows. I wanted to scream at him to go turn around as he makes his way ...more
Andrew Marshall
Having followed Bill Clegg through the depth of his addiction to crack cocaine and alcohol, I had always planned to read the follow up. Although not as dramatic as his previous descent, it is a good insight into the mind of an addict and how setbacks are not the end of the world (which is something that I think we can all learn from whether we've addiction problems or not). As always Clegg is readable and honest about his problems staying sober. However, his romantic relationships during this pe ...more
Terry Perrel
Jul 05, 2012 Terry Perrel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why, I wondered as I started the first chapter of Ninety Days, was a I reading ANOTHER book by a recovering addict? I considered putting it down but then reconsidered. It was a slender volume, so I gave it a try. The first amazing thing is that Bill Clegg's story has no bipolar, alcoholic mother as a central character, something that seems to be a mainstay of memoirs written by today's gifted but troubled writers.And instead of coming off as a dangerous bad boy, Clegg portrays himself honestly - ...more
May 17, 2012 Meghan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had the opposite of the intended effect -- it just reinforced the negative views that I already had of AA. And, having had up close and personal experience with addicts and alcoholics, I should've known just how depressing this tale of relapse and recovery, relapse and recovery ad nauseum would be. It's pretty much a constant state of waiting for the other shoe to drop; and if there's one area in which an addict won't disappoint, it's relapse. The book is well written, and Clegg really ...more
Marcia Aldrich
I haven't read his first memoir about addiction and I was curious about this one about his recovery. I'm glad I read it because it helps me think about how message driven books like Ninety Days work. They aren't very satisfying in terms of language or style. He has a strong message to deliver, stated baldly at the end: if you are addicted you can't recover by yourself. Clegg takes issue on these grounds with Frey's addiction memoir, not because he made stuff up and not because it was poorly writ ...more
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Bill Clegg is a literary agent in New York and the author of the bestselling memoirs Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man and Ninety Days.

He has written for the New York Times, Lapham’s Quarterly, New York magazine, The Guardian, and Harper’s Bazaar.
More about Bill Clegg...

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“And if the only thing you can do is show up, do it. Then do it again. And when it’s the last thing you want to do and the last place you want to go, go. Just go. You have no idea who you might be helping just by sitting there or who might help you.” 2 likes
“OK, I say again, not really understanding what it is I am agreeing to, what it is precisely I am accepting. But I am accepting something. The truth of my circumstances? The reality I have until now avoided? It’s much worse than I imagined and also somehow better.” 0 likes
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