Sandie's Reviews > Eating Smoke: One Man's Descent Into Crystal Meth Psychosis in Hong Kong's Triad Heartland

Eating Smoke by Chris Thrall
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Apr 21, 12


Chris Thrall leaves the Royal Marines in his early twenties, sure that he is cut out for bigger things. He goes to Hong Kong to make his fortune in the security business, but soon finds it falling apart. He moves from job to job, his engaging personality making it easy to get jobs, but his restless nature making it difficult to keep one. He soon makes his way to the nightclub world, where he is employed as a doorman.

This way of life suits him, with nighttime working hours, lots of new faces and above all, the drugs. Chris has the knack of quickly making friends with almost anyone, and he spends his days in a whirl of socializing and doing drugs. He becomes addicted to crystal meth. Although he can see the effects of the drugs on his friends, decrying the depths they fall to, he seems oblivious to his own deterioration.

As time goes on, he finds it more and more difficult to keep a job, eat, sleep, or maintain a home. Wandering the streets, living off his friends, he becomes a typical meth addict, but with one terrifying difference. He gets on the wrong side of one of Hong Kong's fiercest gangs and must now figure out how to save his life, both physically and to wrench himself out of his drug addiction.

Readers will want to not like Chris. He blithely moves through life, never finding anything that goes deeper than an inch, taking drugs, moving from job to job, friend to friend. Yet, somehow, the reader is engaged with this man who seems so oblivious yet is so engaging, and soon finds that they are cheering for Thrall to be successful in his attempt to change from an addict with no future. This book is recommended for those interested in learning about the Hong Kong culture and those interested in tales of redemption.
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