Kerri's Reviews > Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction

Beautiful Boy by David Sheff
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's review
Jun 27, 08

bookshelves: non-fiction
Recommended to Kerri by: D bought it, but hasn't read it
Recommended for: Anyone who's known an addict; anyone who knows someone who has an addict in their life
Read in June, 2008

3.5 stars. Hmmm... so close to to four stars. A tough read, an easy read. A father's account of his son's addiction to meth (among other things), but there's so much in here that's familiar to anyone who's known someone addicted to anything. The same things that make me consider this book "just okay" (the repetition of themes, the over-dramaticism, the self-absorption) are the same things that make it so realistic and relatable to anyone who's had with an addict in their lives. He does a good job of capturing the paradoxes of addiction; all these conflicts that just don't add up in any logical way: You have no control... but don't you have influence? It's a disease; it's not their fault... but they're the only ones who can control it.

The literary quality of the book's debatable. A bit dramatic and self-aggrandizing. But at the same time, I think it perfectly depicts the mental state of the author. I have a hard time looking at the book objectively. Other than the fact that I have a recovering addict in my own life, the book takes place in all the places I know, and I always have an affinity for those.

The author leaves us with hope and tools for coping but not certainty, which is exactly how it should be.

It's not the best work of non-fiction, but any stretch, but I'd pretty much recommend it to anyone.
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