Anastacia's Reviews > Tweak: Growing Up On Methamphetamines

Tweak by Nic Sheff
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Jul 28, 09


I wish to God that Goodreads had a category or designation for THE WORST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ, because this would definitely be in it. The schtick is a pretty good one - the drug addicted son writing his version and his father writing his own version, but the execution is just awful. The kid, Nic, is just one more selfish, entitled kid (who brand-name and name drops excessively) who goes down a wrong path and has a family to keep picking up the pieces for him, giving him chance after chance. It angers me that this kid got a book deal because he has connections and has a marketable "story," because if this book is supposed to be insight into the drug addicted mind, it fails miserably. This isn't an illustration of a life on drugs. I would so much rather read a story about a street kid drug addict who has a *real* story - someone who didn't grow up knowing famous people and having money or brand names. That's the story I want to read. Not this insipid drivel. I have never in my reading history stopped reading mid-sentence, closed the book, hunted in the trash for the receipt and returned it. Never, until this book. It is so poorly, terribly and arrogantly written that it makes me seethe with anger. I am *only* giving the book one star so that the poor rating gets added to the average. No stars would have no impact at all.
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Comments (showing 1-22 of 22) (22 new)

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message 1: by Laura (last edited Apr 22, 2009 08:12AM) (new)

Laura I haven't even read this book (nor will I) and I'm totally pissed off just reading the review. I know exactly what you mean.

Also, when I read the title, I think of the character Tweak on South Park, so that makes the whole thing even more ludicrous.


Cheryl What's up with the anger? Can't rich people suffer too? And isn't the relentless self-focus characteristic of the hell of addiction (and immaturity)? I wouldn't expect him to be able to write well after all his brain has been through.


Anastacia I would. IMO, writing a book well is the whole point of writing a book. Numerous authors have written about their addictive pasts and many have done so very, very well.

A good straw man argument, though. Appreciate your opinion on these opinions. :)


message 4: by Brian (new)

Brian I read this after reading is dad's book, "Beautiful Boy" and I agree, it was a waste. Let's just hope his addiction has lasted. Otherwise, that's a bunch of royalties in the vein . . .


Cheryl Anastacia wrote: "I would. IMO, writing a book well is the whole point of writing a book. Numerous authors have written about their addictive pasts and many have done so very, very well.

A good straw man argumen..."


Yeah, point taken. I confess I didn't want to spend the time to read the whole thing; I feel sorry for him though and hope he makes it. Do you have an example of a memoir of addiction that's well written?



message 6: by Brian (new)

Brian Read his dad's book . . . He wasn't the addicted one, but I think his tale of his own son's addiction spoke more to me, especially as a parent. He saw the ordeal from the outside, and yet it became so much a part of him.


Anastacia I agree. His father's book was stunning and beautifully written. "Night of the Gun" by David Carr was pretty good and I liked "Leaving Dirty Jersey" - that one was written by another young-ish guy but it just seems so much more insightful and real. Cheryl, let me take a second to go through my books and let you know more. I'm a sucker for addiction and mental health memoirs.


Lauren I don't understand how you can say that because he wasn't some poor street kid, his story isn't real. Doesn't that make it even more real, that he came from a well-educated, middle-class upbringing? That anyone, no matter what background, can end up in terrible situations? It doesn't matter how much money you have growing up...some people turn into addicts regardless. And to assume only street kids turn into addicts is ignorant on your part.


message 9: by Brian (new)

Brian In many ways, his story is more real than most, I imagine. He had it all, despite the instability of his home life, and still hit bottom as a result of some poor decisions made amongst equally well-to-do friends. It's a different perspective from the kid-on-the-street variety, but in Nic's case, it seems like so much whining about having it all. I imagine that's what turned Ana off in regards to this book.

But I'll let her clarify if she so desires . . .


Anastacia Wait a second. Someone hops on the internet, mischaracterizes my opinion and then calls me names and I'M the one who's ignorant? Oh noes! Brace yourself for the irony! Lauren, here's a thought: maybe next time you can choose to put on the Pull-Ups and be a big girl by sincerely questioning your points before jumping to conclusions and commencing with the name calling. You might just find yourself in the middle of a thoughtful discussion, maybe for the first time in your small, unexamined world. Maybe your points would actually reveal something that the other person didn't realize could be interpreted a certain way. Maybe you'll actually feel intelligent for making this choice and then experience that warm and fuzzy and glowing feeling that mutual respect and intelligent discourse can give a person. I didn't think it would be necessary to state the obvious because I thought it would be inferred, but let me clarify. When you write your tragic life in a memoir you are, in various and individual ways, putting yourself in a representative-type role for your particular flavor of tragedy. Of course his story is "real" in the strictly defined sense. Was it on the non-fiction shelf? Is it a "memoir?" Yes? Ding, ding! It really happened! I wasn't questioning its authenticity. Am I picking on him for holding the opinion that he is an incredibly and unbearably horrible writer? Is it wrong that I don't see in the statistics a lot of horribly addicted people who were lucky enough to get a two-for-one on Book Deal Day because of Daddy and because it could make a great schtick for the publishing house? Is it so horrible of me to read through his name dropping and whining and take it a little personally in thinking of the millions of people who don't get bailed out of Hell by a convenient book deal and a plush seat on Oprah just thrown at them? I'm confused at why it is so monstrous of me to feel that his flat whine of entitlement should get any more attention than someone - even with the same bank balance! - who actually worked for it? Nowhere did I say that street kids are the only ones who are addicted. That doesn't even make sense. YOU inferred that. I was stating a preference, that I would rather read X than Y. I don't give a rat's ass about his financial statement other than the fact that he should be grateful he has that kind of support because there are too many that don't. That that would possibly brand me as class-discriminatory is a joke. Lauren, I am WELL AWARE and have been too closely acquainted with methamphetamine and other addiction to understand that it hits the ones with privilege with equal intensity, so DO NOT mischaracterize or twist my opinion, ever, because you have absolutely no idea. Methinks it’s time to put your immature reactivity and anger to rest in favor of actually thinking before you speak or write or react to opinions about a book on an effing reading website.

But, then again, *I'm* the ignorant one.



Synesthesia I don't know... It does seem to do a good job pointing out that anyone, even if they have that privileged background can become a drug addict. It is an affliction that crosses over every single line, after all.
http://www.neaq.org/education_and_act... Have a seal.


message 12: by Asaa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Asaa Most of you are looking at this from a not so good perspective.... When i read this novel, i looked at it from 2 perspectives, because my father is a doctor that is currently working with the worlds smartest neurologists, and my mother works at a free clinic for the homeless. Today, MILLIONS of people in the US have Bi polar disease, and at least 1 out of 10 kids are very susceptible to being addicted to drugs. So scientifically, it could happen to anyone. ALSO this man went to Harvard, hes not a dumbass. SO before you make all of these condescending affiliations and say this kid is a brat, experience more of this persons world.... I live in SF in a very very nice neighborhood with my father, and in Oakland, bordering on the bad part of town. Both my parents are divorced, but they still are great friends and love each other..... Also, when i was 5, i had a friend that was 16 and arrested for selling/consuming drugs, and he lives horribly, but is a nice sweet kid. I also have a very privileged friend with extreme bi polar, who has tried to kill himself on numerous occasions... All im asking is that you look at it from every perspective, scientific, emotional, intellectual, etc. dont be ignorant


message 13: by Asaa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Asaa I know i'm not even an adult yet, but i'm not a moron.... I've seen and been through a lot , and apparently know more about the street world, and real world, then some of you do....


Kylee Bryant Fuuck. you.


Katrina this book is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


message 16: by Jay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jay G. Kinda sucks but its readable mostly bc of the subject matter. Even the worst episodes of 'intervention' are better than the best episodes of some 'real housewives' show. (Personally my favorite inadvertantly hilarious show...ie Kristy, the one on meth that runs around naked, has a catfight with her sister over ramen noodles and thinks that shes either God or 'a god', shes not sure).. That said, I get the same feeling from this book that I got from 'A Million Little Pieces of Made Up Bullshit' by that guy on Oprah. Feels contrived and like yet another drop into the completely fictionalized bucket of ' ok guys, this is what bein on drugs is REALLY like'. Also, I guess still being kinda new to this site, I didn't realize how many ppl were on here just to fight over nonsense...Aren't there already a buncha other sites where we can do that? I guess theres a lotta rage out there. Shitty that we waste it all pecking away at a keyboard. Stay away from that pookie, kids...it'll make you a bad writer. Praise Jesus, bra. J.G.


message 17: by Jay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jay G. Kinda sucks but its readable mostly bc of the subject matter. Even the worst episodes of 'intervention' are better than the best episodes of some 'real housewives' show. (Personally my favorite inadvertantly hilarious show...ie Kristy, the one on meth that runs around naked, has a catfight with her sister over ramen noodles and thinks that shes either God or 'a god', shes not sure).. That said, I get the same feeling from this book that I got from 'A Million Little Pieces of Made Up Bullshit' by that guy on Oprah. Feels contrived and like yet another drop into the completely fictionalized bucket of ' ok guys, this is what bein on drugs is REALLY like'. Also, I guess still being kinda new to this site, I didn't realize how many ppl were on here just to fight over nonsense...Aren't there already a buncha other sites where we can do that? I guess theres a lotta rage out there. Shitty that we waste it all pecking away at a keyboard. Stay away from that pookie, kids...it'll make you a bad writer. Praise Jesus, bra. J.G.


message 18: by Regan (new) - added it

Regan I think you are very ignorant and selfish. Just because he's in a stable home and had money and knows people, his story isn't 'real'? Really? People like you disgust me. Both of my brothers are drug addicts an have been for 7 years, and my family is very well off. I think your lack of immaturity shows in your review and I also think that you haven't suffered to the severity like he, or any drug addict has. So until you know, I think you shoul keep your rude opinion to yourself.


message 19: by Lindsay (new) - added it

Lindsay Did you read beautiful boy? If so, what was your opinion on that?


message 20: by Vee (new) - added it

Vee Man, people are getting fired up over this book and for that I give nic sheff a round of applause. The first half of the book I didn't really care for but once he went back to LA I really started to get into it. He examined his life in a way that made me examine mine which led me to buy the follow up book "we all fall down" which I'm really into because it gives you a look into how the rehab process works which I really never knew much about. Although nic can be bratty and narcissistic I think most people can relate to his struggles within whether your a drug addict or not.


message 21: by Lisa (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lisa Nally I think the tragedy is he has the ambition to be a talented writer, but the drugs have screwed up his brain. His story is that of an addict - did you expect Shakespeare? I will say this. Knowing things, his story is honest. It's the real world of addiction and it sucks. I commend him for telling it, and just because he's a rich, self-entitled kid doesn't mean his story is less than the gangsters in Compton or wherever. Our society is filled with people JUST LIKE HIM.


Susan Comment on the someone else's comment that Sheff went to Harvard. In the book he goes to Amherst College. Is this yet another fact that has been changed in the story?


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