Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Ninety Days: A Memoir of Recovery” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Ninety Days: A Memoir ...
Bill Clegg
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Ninety Days: A Memoir of Recovery

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  626 ratings  ·  109 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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Ninety Days, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Ninety Days

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,708)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Eric Rickert
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ilyssa Wesche
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
Patrick Santana
Jul 05, 2013 Patrick Santana rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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.
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
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
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
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
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."
Audra Russell
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.
"Ninety Days" is a powerful account of addiction and attempts at recovery. It took Clegg many years, many relapses to finally reach a period of more than 5 substance-free years. As he so honestly puts it, a person is never a recovery addict or alcoholic. A person is always, always recovering.

Shortly after finishing this book, his 2nd on addiction, Clegg again relapsed - and admits to the relapse in his closing. This is not a self-help book. The author has no magical solutions, no one resolution
Adam Dunn
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
Cheryl "Mash"
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
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.

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
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
Jennifer Hummer
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
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
Neil Mudde
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
Renaud PETIT
Frank, plain spoken, touching and also educational
Ninety Days really is a wonderful book and should be given to basically everyone who wonders what it is like to be an addict and what it is like to get sober.
Clegg wrote this book with an incredible honesty (the same honesty I found in his first book 'Portrait of an addict as a young man').
Compared to all the authors whose books I read about addictions, Clegg certainly is the most sincere and the only one who manages to perfectly transpose the f
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
I went into this book prepared to be heartbroken, as is the case for most stories of addiction. Instead, I found myself bored with almost the entire story. It read more like a journal than anything, and it was hard to get into. The sentences and pacing were extremely choppy, and it was hard to feel for the people mentioned because there was either no back story or they weren't important for much of the story.
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
Picked this up out of curiosity after hearing the author speak about his upcoming novel at Library Journal's Day of Dialog. It's a bit light and feels rushed/sketched in for the last 50 pages or so, but definitely held my interest, a good subway read. I'll probably try to read the previous one as well now.
Terry Perrel
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
George Ilsley
A true roller coaster ride of a read. Fast and thrilling. Those moments when the addict decides to pick up still remain mysterious. In this memoir they seem to happen at any time, for no real reason.

I did find myself worrying about Benny, the long suffering cat who did not seem to like his owner very much. I wonder what this cat's take would be if he wrote a memoir?
I somehow missed the author's first work, "Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man", but after finishing Ninety Days, I plan to pick it up. I thought Ninety Days was an honest and realistic account of getting to sobriety - which, for most people (like the author) is a bumpy road with many twists and turns. Though short, I thought it packed a powerful punch with strong and vivid narration.

I think this is a good read for general fans of memoirs, but especially those who may have a friend or family m
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
I really enjoyed Bill Clegg's first memoir about his crack addiction, so I was curious to read about his recovery. I found Ninety Days to be just as gripping as Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man. It was also very inspirational. I think everyone can find strength in the message he sends throughout these pages, whether or not someone has dealt with substance abuse. We're all human and will never be perfect. But making mistakes doesn't have to derail us; instead, we should pick ourselves up and ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 56 57 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Broken: My Story of Addiction and Redemption
  • Scende la notte (Il diario del vampiro, #6)
  • Kasher in the Rye: The True Tale of a White Boy from Oakland Who Became a Drug Addict, Criminal, Mental Patient, and Then Turned 16
  • Memoirs of an Addicted Brain: A Neuroscientist Examines his Former Life on Drugs
  • Confessions of a Fairy's Daughter: Growing Up with a Gay Dad
  • The Long View
  • My Friend Jesus Christ
  • The Pit and the Pendulum and Other Stories
  • Fighting for Common Ground: How We Can Fix the Stalemate in Congress
  • Parched
  • L'ordine della Croce  (Black Friars, #3)
  • La voce invisibile del vento
  • We All Fall Down: Living with Addiction
  • Stay Close: A Mother's Story of Her Son's Addiction
  • A Stitch In Time
  • The Way To Freedom
  • The Lifespan of a Fact
  • Spit and Passion
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...

Share This Book

“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.” 0 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
More quotes…