Brielle Charmasson's Reviews > Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man: A Memoir

Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man by Bill Clegg
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's review
Sep 22, 2010

really liked it
Read in September, 2010

** spoiler alert ** In this compelling story about a man’s journey through hell, Bill Clegg invites the reader into a whole new world, one that is almost impossible to crawl out of. Each and every page connects you more and more into the story, making you feel as if you are addicted to abusing drugs just as much as Clegg is. His creative use of diction, detail, and syntax allows you to feel every emotion, every inhale, and every drink Clegg endures. This raw text exposes his most embarrassing experiences and left me with a need for more.
Clegg’s writing style is one that I have never read before, and even though it was hard to read at times, I fell in love immediately. In one chapter he describes, “It’s one o’clock and I have a spectacular pile of crack in the little ashtray on the nightstand. This is the most I have had on my own, and I know I will smoke every last bit of it. I wonder if somewhere in that pile is the crumb that will bring on a heart attack or stroke of seizure. The cardiac event that will deliver all this to an abrupt and welcome halt. My chest pounds, my fingers are singed, I fill my lungs with smoke.” (page 34)
As this impeccable author accounts for his days of binge, rehab, failure of rehab, rehab once more, and near death, one has no other choice than to care about him and his survival. I strongly recommend anyone to read this book because of how engaging one becomes in this amazing memoir. As Clegg says in his book, “He misses the feeling even before it’s left him and not only does he want more, he needs it.” (page 115) I felt this exact way nearing the end of this book, needing more words to read on the page, and I know you will feel the same way too.
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