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My Fair Junkie: A Memoir of Getting Dirty and Staying Clean

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  2,020 ratings  ·  179 reviews
In the tradition of Blackout and Permanent Midnight, a darkly funny and revealing debut memoir of one woman's twenty-year battle with sex, drugs, and alcohol addiction, and what happens when she finally emerges on the other side.

Growing up in Beverly Hills, Amy Dresner had it all: a top-notch private school education, the most expensive summer camps, and even a weekly clo
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 12th 2017 by Hachette Books (first published 2017)
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Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Any intent is buried by ignorance and nastiness

Oof. You know how sometimes you see someone who has used up all the space in their social media profile boasting about how they're such an a**hole? This book is that, for 244 pages.

Deep contempt for people of differing lifestyles. Casual racism. Casual homophobia. Casual transphobia. Casual Islamophobia. Casual fat hatred. Casual everything that makes anyone capable of meaningful self reflection wince when we look back at how people treated each ot
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: women-authors
I ended up hate reading this at the end. There are repeated anecdotes (for real, didn't she have an editor?) a timeline that is nonlinear for reasons that aren't clear and while she does seem to grow she also seems to continiously put the blame for everything on others. she's thin, and pretty which is mentioned every other page (and then has the audacity to say that fat people never get told to eat differently. On what planet does she live?) If you really have to read a book about addiction and ...more
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
this is one of the worst memoirs ive ever read. not all addicts have the privileges and advantages that amy does.. so when she constantly speaks for all of us "Addicts this, addicts that.." its very frustrating.
i would not recommend this book to anyone i know, unless they want to judge an over-privileged woman who, yes is an addict, but also lives a very different life than a lot of addicts due to money.
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
My Fair Junkie: A Memoir of Getting Dirty and Staying Clean is a stunning and riveting debut of addiction and recovery by author comedienne Amy Dresner. With appearances on HuffPost Live, her writing has been featured in Psychology Today, The Fix, and other notable publications. She lives in West Hollywood, CA.

The 2011, holiday celebrations should have been enjoyable and fun. For Dresner, high on OxyContin, hysterical, and fighting frantically with her husband--life as she knew it would soon be
Patrick O'Neil
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished reading Amy Dresner’s My Fair Junkie and I’m truly impressed. Not only that Dresner wrote such a strong compelling memoir, but that she’s actually still alive. Alcoholic, meth-head, sex addict, pill popper, suicidal, and serial rehabist—damn! Whether you’re in recovery or not My Fair Junkie is an all encompassing equal opportunity addiction extravaganza—there’s something here for everyone to identify with—a solid read for the entire family.
Valerity (Val)
I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir by Amy Dresner. Even though it's about addiction and alcoholism, it's one of the funniest books I've read in a while. It's about her many trips to rehab until she finally makes it stick, told with sarcastic humor while she recounts her marital split and divorce, breakdowns and time doing community service. She runs into some real characters during her time getting and staying clean, and it's a real trip. She also worked for nearly 5 years as a stand-up comic as y ...more
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir
I'm in minority here, since I found this memoir ridiculous, such self pitying and seemingly endless narrative by very entitled and completely lacking self awareness woman. She never seem to take responsibility for her actions, preferring instead to whine endlessly and not every convincingly on her so hard life. She pulls a knife at her husband while under influence of whatever substance and then complains for the criminal charge! No matter what her size is ( and we have endless descriptions of h ...more
Jen from Quebec :0)
A witty, engaging memoir of addiction told (and read by) the author, a stand up comic- which makes this an unflinchingly honest, candid and FUNNY account of a terrible malady. The audible version I enjoyed is made better by Amy, the author, reading it herself- plus, if she HADN'T read it herself, all those jokes about how very deep her voice is wouldn't have hit the mark at all. --Jen from Quebec :0) ...more
Nov 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
Dresner's experiences were pretty hardcore (junkie, alcoholic, sex addict), at least to this milquetoast reader, and certainly made for an interesting read. I've heard the author interviewed and in that format I found her funny, outrageous, and honest. Disappointingly, I didn't find those disarming qualities in her writing, a lack that created a tone throughout the book of self-possession, external judgment, & childish sarcasm. Perhaps that was only me, missing subtle emotional nuance within the ...more
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Whoa, what an amazing journey! I've been a follower of Amy's through her writing for The Fix and other recovery publications, so I knew this would deliver. Yes that it did! This is a fasten your seatbelt kind of read! The wit, honesty, rawness, courage and resiliency she showed us in this book is bar none above anything else I've ever read in a while. Amy's takes you through her hellacious journey of finding her true self while getting clean and sober. She battles demons - more than just alcohol ...more
Michelle Monieson
Let me start by saying this is the first book review I've ever written, AND, i rarely give books 5 stars. This book grabbed me with the first sentence and compelled me to read the book in one day, it was that FASCINATING. It was addictive (no pun intended) for 2 reasons: 1) Dresner is an amazing writer. I loved her style, her descriptive comparisons, her vocabulary - all of it! 2) Dresner is FUNNY. No wonder she did stand up comedy. The fact that she is writing about such disturbing, gritty mate ...more
Nov 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyed how Amy doesn't take herself too seriously, either in her life or narration here. Certainly not a feel-good read, nor particularly revolutionary, but still an entertaining romp down how self-destructive one woman can become and still live another day. ...more
Rebecca Sandham Mathwin
Addiction memoirs tend to be quick reads. I read My Fair Junkie at the gym and was able to finish it in two sessions on the stair climber. Ms. Dresner's writing is sharp and she definitely has plenty of stories to tell. I feel odd saying it was entertaining as it seems as though I'm implying that I took pleasure in hearing about her drug, alcohol and sexual addiction. However, as ghoulish and voyeuristic as it may sound it was entertaining. Addiction memoirs typically are-lots of drama.

I give M
Nathan Williams
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As a former alcoholic/pillhead/methhead and a dozen more drugs,I fucking loved this book so much.
I got the audiobook version,which was a treat to listen to.
Amy is very honest,painfully so,and it really made me feel like I wasn't alone is what I went through.I go through recovery memoirs like i used to smoke hits of crack,and this book satisfied me deeply and profoundly, unlike crack,lol.
Hats of to you Amy for shining a light on how it REALLY is ,you educated me about sex addiction, and how fucki
I was relieved when I finally found a memoir that dealt with some of the real issues of addiction, in particular the fact that the author was a dual diagnosis addict and that she spent time in a halfway house and sober living facility. I was disappointed when I noticed the book taking a turn for the worse around the halfway point. There were moments where I was intrigued. Amy would recount a day of her community service and then flashback to another memory where she was using. I thought it was a ...more
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a review.

Full disclosure: I had never heard of Amy Dresner before. And my life is pretty much 100% the opposite of hers. And yet, this book was completely captivating. It talks a lot about Amy's time dealing with alcohol, drug and sex addiction and goes into details about what that looked like, nightmares and all. Unlike some memoirs, her writing was good - even though many of her actions were despicable and horrific, you rooted for her. I wanted
Oct 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written by a comedienne, but if it was supposed to be funny, it missed the mark. Amy’s drug addiction is a fascinating but non-linear read. Perhaps this was intentional to simulate the confusion that comes with the brain addling narcotics and copious alcohol which took over Amy’s life. Her timelines are skewed and confusing. Her sexual addiction which is described frequently and in almost grotesque detail making sure we know that she had slept with both famous people and Tinder conquests. (I’m h ...more
David Ward
My Fair Junkie: A Memoir of Getting Dirty and Staying Clean by Amy Dresner (Hatchette Books 2017) (362.29092). Author / comedienne Amy Dresner has written a fantastic new memoir of her years of drug addiction and sexual addiction. She was addicted at various times to opiods, to methamphetamine, and to cocaine. She refers to opiate addiction as being in a warm cocoon. This volume seems like a good choice to put into the hands of young people. They should be able to parse out that the lifestyle f ...more
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An intense, brutally honest and raw memoir of addiction. I wasn't able to put this one down, and you feel like you're just sitting with Amy and listening to her story. She writes like I imagine she talks - freewheeling, unfiltered and real. A harrowing but also heartfelt and hilarious story of how she battled her demons to come out the other side. Very compelling. ...more
Jan 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Quite a wild ride. Lots of Sex and Addition herein. She has a very easygoing but dark humor that makes this a quick read. It seems wrong to say this is an "enjoyable" read, due to the many horrible experience she endures, but definitely its interesting and that she has made a normal life for herself after all of this is inspiring. ...more
Russell Holbrook
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dude. I loved this book so much that I was honestly sad when I finished it. As a recovering addict-alcoholic / alcoholic-addict, I could relate to so much of what the author had to say. Her insights also taught me things about my addiction and my behavior -past and current- that I hadn't picked up on before. I appreciate this author and her book so very, very much. Thanks for sharing, Amy. ...more
Teresa Noble
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I am pretty squeamish when it comes to needles so I had to put the book down and take a breath at certain points. Other than that, I thought it was raw and disturbing, but also funny. A great combination!
Alexis Nascimento
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’m always game for a comeback story, and Dresner’s story doesn’t disappoint. A hilarious, tormented and painfully honest memoir about rock-bottom addiction. Be forewarned though... this book isn’t for the faint of heart.
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Although the author was an upper junkie and I am a downer junkie, and she came from privilege, and I came from trauma, I still related to this book tremendously. Highly recommended to anybody wanting to understand addiction better.
Kristin Boldon
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, memoir, borrowed
I really enjoyed this addiction and recovery memoir. Dresner is smart, funny, dark and resilient as heck. The non-linearity was hard to follow at times, but it has a good through line of her community service, and a strong finish.
Holly Brolsma
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a great book! It took me a hot minute to finally get into, but once I did, I could not put it down. Girl has gone through it all. I love her raw, honest, yet hilarious take on her life. I can totally see myself getting along with her and having an amazeballs time.
Apr 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book, Amy's writing style is humorous and fun to read her brutally honest account of an addict's life. I related to so much of this book on a few different levels, one of my favorites of 2020. ...more
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm not sure I should say out loud that this book made me laugh. A lot. Read this book! Kudos to author for coming clean. ...more
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Captivating. I read this book in a couple days. Her experiences are insane and her storytelling is hilarious.
Jeanette Barone
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Amazing, raw and yet also hysterically funny. Loved this book so much.
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Amy Dresner is a former professional stand-up comic, having appeared at The Comedy Store, The Laugh Factory, and The Improv. Since 2012, she has been a contributing editor of the online addiction and recovery magazine The Fix ( She’s also written for the Good Men Project, The Frisky, Refinery 29, and has been a regular contributor to and, where ...more

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“cling to his arms. “You’re like a wire mesh monkey, you know that?” he says. “What the fuck are you talking about?” I sniffle. “They did these experiments, in, like, the sixties, where they took baby monkeys from their moms and then… didn’t you ever see those black-and-white photos?” “No.” “Some of the monkeys were raised with a fake terry cloth mom. And some were raised with a fake wire mesh mom.” “What’s your point?” “The ones raised by the wire mesh moms were fucked up. They were, like… forty percent more likely to brandish a knife.” “You’re an asshole.” He holds me for a bit in silence and then kisses my neck. “I’m coming back. So don’t freak out, my little wire mesh monkey.” 0 likes
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