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Don't Try This at Home

3.47  ·  Rating Details  ·  756 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
One day, Dave Navarro opened the doors of this house in the Hollywood Hills to the chaos of the valley below. His only rule was, "You come in the house, you get in the photo booth." The result is a shocking, rocking, not-to-be-believed diary, sociological experiment, Hollywood documentary, and exercise in exhibitionism. From strippers, drug dealers, record execs, cleaning ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published October 18th 2005 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published October 2004)
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Apr 09, 2009 Libby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: musicology
I read this one in a day because I simply couldnt put it down. I guess there was some kind of morbid fascination in it for me as I have always wondered what it would be like if I just "let it all go" for a while and give in to excess...whether I could claw back from the edge or simply become lost or die. Of course Dave Navarro has oodles of money and unlimited access to the LA freakshow so his story is much more interesting. This book is an interesting look into his psyche and what happens when ...more
No Remorse
"All people are nuts, so you might as well find the hottest one you can and learn to deal."

"Love does exist; however, only moment to moment and never for a lifetime... Love fades."
Carrie Ann
Feb 25, 2010 Carrie Ann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, music
A really quick, easy read that is slightly less self indulgent than the typical addiction/recovery memoir - probably because it's written mostly by a third party, but only slightly because it is also "approved" by Navarro.

The concept of documenting a year in his life through a photo booth in his home was really intriguing and I found the early retelling of conversations and Dave's essays both sad but also interesting. Unfortunately for the book and the documentary project it devolves into a les
Tim Frank
Feb 02, 2012 Tim Frank rated it it was ok
Extremely dark and not especially insightful. This is a year in the life of an addict. There's a chapter in the end after he cleaned up, which is a nice silver lining. In the forward he clearly states that he does not condone drug use, but admits that they are a large part of his history and his journey. I distinctly remember a page titled "10 ways to tie off" and some details about how he would use anything around to get a fix just about anywhere. In the end there's also a page called "10 reaso ...more
Dec 09, 2011 Brooke rated it it was ok
I didn't read all of this book which is a shame because I was looking forward to reading it as I have loved Neil Strauss' other work with Marilyn Manson, Jenna Jameson and Motley Crue. But I just couldn't get into this book. It seemed to me to just be a series of disjointed recounts and musings of someone who has done far too many drugs. There didn't appear to be any direction in the book and I just didn't find the random recounts gripping enough to keep me reading.

Aug 17, 2015 Brittney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
I wanted to read this for a couple of reasons. The first reason of course being that I am a fan of Dave Navarro, the second is that I loved the photo booth idea and the fact that this book is a snapshot of his life and not the full story, and the final reason was because it is far from being a fluff piece. Actually it hits hard on the topic of substance abuse, which happens to be a career focus of mine.

Expectation wise this novel delivered. I cannot begin to explain how incredibly interesting it
Dec 23, 2012 Yolande rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The premise of this book is interesting and well executed: take a year in the life of a complicated person of note, and document it with photo booth strips, transcriptions of conversations and memories. Navarro starts out with a hypothesis that the only people who stay in one's life are those one pays. Fortunately, he lays himself bare enough to rethink this idea by the end of the book. When Navarro appeared to throw himself into a drug and thought induced pit of darkness near the end, I almost ...more
Katy St. Clair
A deep and penetrating looking into the life of a guy that, when all was said and done, I really didn't give two shits about. I suppose the fact that he's intelligent sets him apart from 90 percent of the people he associates with but beyond that, meh. However, Im still glad I read it in my "Six Degrees of Biography" challenge I've given myself. I am rolling through autobios of people who were mentioned in whatever previous autobio I read. Rod Stewart led to Bobbie Brown, then that led to Tommy ...more
I'm a Dave Navarro fan - I'll say that right off.

I had to read this book. A year in the life of Dave Navarro. Basically, a year in the life of a heroin addict. Wow. I am so glad I am not this f**k'd up. This book is one weird trip.

This takes place from the summer of 1998 to the summer of 1999. At the end, there's good news. He goes straight. Then there are a few epilogues afterwards as he waits to publish this. There is a chapter at the end about his relationship with Carmen Electra and they se
Dec 02, 2009 Stefanielorene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rock-music, drugs
Being the Jane's Addiction junkie that I am, I had to read this one. Not only is it a completely engaging and entertaining read, it's also a book detailing a year in Dave Navarro's life in photographs that are primarily from a photo booth he had in his home during that year. Funny at some points, tragic at others, the book is a must read for fans.
Aug 01, 2015 E rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ugh. My heart cracked when I read this after seeing Janes Addiction recently (where Dave Navarro crushed it.) - very disappointing. Dave N always comes off as smart, intelligent, kind and thoughtful in interviews and someone who has clearly been through a lot. This book makes him come of as a self absorbed crazy person who complains how broke models and wanna bes use him (which they do.) For all of his whining and complaining, his choices do not make sense and clearly this is a man who has choic ...more
Evett DiBianco
Feb 20, 2008 Evett DiBianco rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: celebrity-status
A decent was Carmen and Dave's relationship that interested me. It's another Hollywood sob story...a life of drugs, alcohol and sadness.
Nov 11, 2012 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the peak into the life of a rock 'n roll icon that this book provided. It was a cool/fun read and I really dug the photobooth tie-in!
Jun 11, 2014 Maureen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Admittedly, it wasn’t his music career that made me a fan. I fell in love as I watched him on several reality shows (all the way back from his wedding show with Electra to Ink Master today) and interviews. I always thought he came across as funny, smart, and overall intelligent. This book portrays some of those things, but more showed the darker side going through major drug addiction and depression.

The book was alright, but I think I would have rather read about his life in a more positive tim
Oct 09, 2008 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As a fan of Dave Navarro's music, I thought this would be an interesting read. The premise is that he put a photo booth in his house and whoever came to the house had to get their picture taken to document what happened in his house and his life. I thought there would be interesting stories about other musicians, but instead I read about his girlfriend, his assistant and the numerous prostitutes and groupies that hung out and did drugs with him. Boring! What I did find interesting was his fight ...more
Apr 20, 2008 Genaphur rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just read this book in whole in two days (that says a lot seeing how my daughter doesn't give me a lot of time for reading these days) after picking it up and putting it back down several times over the past couple of years since first buying it.

I've been in a mood for the past week so reading this was just what I needed. It made me think that my life could be worse for wear and not that I would compare my life in anyway to Dave's, I do see that everyone can learn a good lesson about how to h
Aug 17, 2011 Yvonne rated it liked it
I remember when Neil Strauss wrote for Rolling Stone (does he still?) and, along with a very few others, was the closest thing to a reporter I'd met in the music industry. Mostly for fans of Navarro this book is a scrapbook of photo booth photos (all unidentified - some obviously recognizable), limited & somewhat stilted prose by Strauss (some of the cliches are REALLY painful) and Navarro, supposed transcripts of conversations, even a diary entry from one of Navarro's "girlfriends." It make ...more
Feb 16, 2016 Ietrio rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: junk
I picked up this book because of Neil. I don't care about Dave. And his stories are crap. The best part of the book were the photo collages. And they were pretty crappy too.
Jan 01, 2013 Carla rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'll be honest - I gave up less than 1/3 into the book. I don't know why you'd read it - Dave Navarro (from Jane's Addiction and Red Hot Chili Peppers) talks about his life experience with drugs, sex, and the people who passed through his house and who were photographed in his home photo booth. I didn't really care about any of it. He sounds as whiny as he complains other famous people are. Maybe there's an enduring message in here, but I wasn't into it. I just didn't care about it. I wished tha ...more
Will Lee
Apr 01, 2008 Will Lee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Here's the thing... this book would have been fantastic if Dave Navarro had not gone back and edited it. I first read an excerpt from this book in 2003 in Spin magazine and was super excited to read it. Then it gets called back for re-writes. He lost a lot of the grit and explicitness in it to make it more of an uplifting piece. Carmen Electra totally f'ed it up man. Had he been allowed to publish this book before meeting her, it would have been great. Instead, he waters it down because he's in ...more
Brandon Dalo
I read this book years ago, but I do remember enjoying it. One of my favorite parts about the book was the pictures from this photo booth that Dave had set up in his home. He had anyone who came over to his house take a picture inside it. Most of the book talks about his past addictions and bands. I would recommend this one to fans of his work and musicians.
Sir Paul
Nov 25, 2008 Sir Paul rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Todd Janko
This is quite the quick read, and I believe Neil Strauss (author of books like The Game, and co-author of Dirt) wrote this over a weekend or two. There are plenty of interesting and provocative photos for sure, as Dave set up a photo both in his Gothic style home. This book surely bleeds the egocentric, rock star likes to party vibe. It's not a must read, like some autobiographies, but it's enjoyable for the true fan. As Navarro brags of his different adventures of being high and doing this and ...more
Mary Beth Kennedy
It was a walk on the wildside, from the moment I picked up Dave Navarro's book. Spectacular artwork and design throughout this account of drug-addled addiction. The content was interesting, fragmented, with a bit of wisdom at the end of Navarro's 1 year documentary. Without the help of Neil Strauss, I'm not sure if Navarro would have pulled this one out so well.
Amy Homa
Jun 24, 2014 Amy Homa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
so f****ed up....i loved it!!!!
Oct 01, 2012 Amy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Uccchhhh. If you are a Dave Navarro fan, don't read this. You won't be anymore. It's not that it's poorly written. It's just pathetic. What a shallow, sheltered, ungrounded person. This book has no redeeming quality that I could see. The idea of having a photo booth in your house is cool, but that's about it. I couldn't even finish it.
Dec 07, 2010 Kitt-e-kat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The man had a dark past. Surprise to see him still living! He has made an amazing turn around from junkie to well known status. I recommend if you like dark type drug living reading
May 10, 2013 Gina added it
Recommended to Gina by: Mac Haik
As a co-worker stated it is "dark and seedy" and frustrating and rewarding and a great read! A great depiction of dealing with an addict. Dave is intelligent and has great insight. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about lifestyles of this rich and famous guy!
Jun 30, 2007 Rebecca rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pre-2007
I read this not because I like Dave Navarro (which I didn't, and do less since reading his book) but because Neil Strauss did the editing and has previously never gone wrong. Well, I suppose I'll allow him this one slip up.
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David Michael Navarro is an American guitarist who plays in the alternative rock band The Panic Channel and, most notably, Jane's Addiction. He has also played with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Navarro is member of the cover band Camp Freddy.
More about Dave Navarro...

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