Michael's Reviews > Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines

Tweak by Nic Sheff
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Apr 02, 2010

did not like it
Read in March, 2010

** spoiler alert ** Okay, I get it: drugs are bad and people who use drugs make bad decisions. Truthfully, I understood this before I read this book, so my hope was that Nic's story would have something else, something more insightful, to teach me. Unfortunately, it didn't. Instead, what I got was a run-of-the-mill "day in the life of a druggie" story told with mediocre writing. In a memoir this personal and tragic you would at least expect to feel a little sympathy for the main character; that would at least have been some sort of consolation for wading through all the terrible things that happened to Nic and the unceasing redundancy of the story. Unfortunately, Sheff's portrayal of his actions and thought processes just grated on me until I was rolling my eyes.

The story starts with Nic Sheff running around the streets as a twenty-something looking for drugs with his loser friends. The story ends with him trying to make amends with his family while in rehab. Then, in the epilogue, Sheff tells us that he has relapsed but is now doing fine. Then, after the prologue, in a snippet from his blog, Sheff tells the reader that he relapsed, once again, after writing the epilogue, and then assures us that he is finally on the right track. This frustrating redundancy may be Sheff's way of showing us the vicious cycle of drugs, but I don't think it is. It seems more like the mark of a middle-of-the-road writer.

At the end of the book Sheff is trying to convince his parents that what he went through, with the drugs and all, was just as hard for him as it was for them. This book seems like his way of justifying his actions; his way of proving to his family (and himself) that his life was difficult. Is that what this book is? A justification? Because it doesn't seem like it is trying to be anything more profound.

Between the beginning of Nic's story and his eventual (failed) first attempt at rehab, not much happens that you wouldn't expect to happen to anyone making the decisions that Sheff makes. Nic gets high. Nic gets sick from the drugs. Nic complains that his life is hard and that he wants to die. Nic meets a girl. Nic and the girl decide they need to go to rehab together. Rehab doesn't work. Repeat. Literally, this is the plot of the book. It is what happens, over and over (first with Lauren, then with Zelda, who Sheff can't but help reminding us, continually, is famous).

Yes, I get it: drugs are harmful. But, like I said, I already knew that. Tell me something I don't know.
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message 1: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay Malouf You've convinced me! I definitely won't read it.


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