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Strung Out: One Last Hit and Other Lies That Nearly Killed Me

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3.92  ·  Rating details ·  858 ratings  ·  155 reviews
"This is a story she needed to tell; and the rest of the country needs to listen."
-- New York Times Book Review


"This vital memoir will change how we look at the opioid crisis and how the media talks about it. A deeply moving and emotional read, STRUNG OUT challenges our preconceived ideas of what addiction looks like."
--Stephanie Land, New York Times bestselling author of
...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 25th 2020 by Park Row
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Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  858 ratings  ·  155 reviews


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Theresa Alan
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Addiction spares no one. Making it out is akin to winning the lottery, even when you have the resources and access for help.”

Erin Khar started smoking heroin when she was thirteen years old and used on and off for years until it become a constant thing in her twenties. She used intravenously for a while and added crack and other drugs to the mix. She’s a white woman from a comfortably well-off family. Her first stint in rehab got her clean for a while, but until she dealt with the psychological
...more
Christy
I absolutely loved "Strung Out: One Last Hit and Other Lies that Nearly Killed Me". My go to genre is always wanting to read memoirs, particularly about addiction, abuse, dysfunctional families, or other obstacles that the author can overcome. This is the first one I have ever read involving heroin and a drug I know very little about except what I have seen on TV. This memoir was also very well written and I had a hard time putting it down to go to bed at night.

Erin Khar struggles with a 15 yea
...more
Rene Denfeld
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a brutally honest and yet tender look inside opined addiction. Khar pulls aside the mask of an addict, and neither self-pitying or blaming, delves deep into the personal, social and physical reasons for addiction.
Eric
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strung out by Erin Khar is a memoir detailing the drug addiction, mental illness, and abuses in the life of the author. The book opens with Khar trying to figure out how to formulate an answer to her own child's question of whether his mother had ever used drugs. Coincidentally, when Khar's twelve-year-old son asks her this question, he is just one year younger than when his mother first used heroin at the age of 13 years of age.

To be honest, while reading this memoir, and others like it, (for e
...more
Bookworm
May 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

If you’re looking for a dark and gritty memoir, this is it. The author shares her descent into opiate addiction that started in her teens and lasted into her 30’s. There was something about this brutally honest account of drug and sex addiction that pushed my comfort limits. The horror of living in addiction and the portrayal of day to day life as an addict - living in perpetual shame -was difficult to read about. The story, at times, felt suffocating and sickening and I had to take a b
...more
Tina
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
I have mixed feelings about this one. The writing is amazing and as always, I admire the author for being brave and telling her story.

Although the author brings us to dark places, she rarely seems accountable for her actions, which is a bit of a disconnect for me.

She is one lucky addict. She never ended up on the street, she never had any diseases from the myriad of men and she basically somehow had money to fly from NYC to LA to Paris.

Nonetheless this was a good read.
Abby
Aug 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review is for the free, digital ARC from NetGalley. Some parts may not apply to the final publication.

This book was a bit of a letdown. I'm a big fan of memoirs, especially of addiction and mental illness, and at first I enjoyed how it was going: a good jumping off point, well-set scenes, early events told at a fairly surface level that would clearly lead into the rest of the story.

As the book went on, though, it mostly stayed at the surface level. I think in some ways, the amount of writin
...more
Lorie
Aug 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Reviewing this book is one of the most difficult reviews I've ever found myself writing. Simply because I've had a hard time detecting anything redeemable in it to discuss. In the first chapter I was already thinking rich girl problems, turned out I was right, which she freely admits, she also admits she doesn't fall into the category of problems one usually has in dealing with addiction. Profiling, color (black, white, Latino, poor) so that honesty was appreciated. However, to call her addictio ...more
Janet
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When it is hot as heck outside and there is nothing cool to do but reading as everything else makes you end up a sweaty mess, it is the perfect day for a speed reader.

I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.

In this deeply personal and illuminating memoir about her fifteen-year struggl
...more
Lindsay Shultz Gurney
When you first hear somebody is a drug addict or an alcoholic, you immediately start judging them, am I right? I know I did before I knew what it was actually like to be addicted to something. You have no control over an addiction until you are ready to become sober, and Erin Khar shows that extremely well in her memoir, Strung Out. If you want to know what life is actually like for a drug addict, I highly suggest picking this book up. Erin doesn’t sugar coat a single thing, which can be extreme ...more
Sondra Brooks
Oct 11, 2019 rated it liked it
I must give credit to anyone who successfully lives a life in recovery from addiction, and especially anyone who has the discipline and persistence to write a book. Having struggled with addiction myself, I have found memoirs in this genre to be extremely helpful. Believe me, I've read scores of them, and this is why it is difficult for me to rate this book as a stellar read. As far as addiction memoirs go, I found this to be predictable. Self-hatred, try drugs, become addicted, see everything i ...more
Astrid Galactic
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A disarmingly honest account of one woman's misspent youth via addiction and how she eventually got herself together to put it all behind her after much pain and damage. Highly recommend reading this book for a deeper understanding of how this can so easily happen to anyone. An ideal book list inclusion for those interested in addiction and its consequences, as well as a glimmer of hope, and well worth reading for those who just may be curious.

Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of the eBook for a fa
...more
Eric
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Strung out by Erin Khar is a memoir detailing the drug addiction, mental illness, and abuses in the life of the author. The book opens with Khar trying to figure out how to formulate an answer to her own child's question of whether his mother had ever used drugs. Coincidentally, when Khar's twelve-year-old son asks her this question, he is just one year younger than when his mother first used heroin at the age of 13 years of age.

To be honest, while reading this memoir, and others like it, (for e
...more
Mandy
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
No no no no noooooooo.

I feel a little guilty leaving a bad review for someone who has overcome so much, but this isnt meant to belittle Erin's monumentous accomplishment in becoming sober, it's the gd writing.

HOLY GOD IN HEAVEN.

Reading this was like listening to nails on a chalkboard. Its 97% word vomit: talking just to talk, repeating what was already stated a mere few pages ago, even using the exact same sentences (if I saw the words corpse baby and yellow dress one more time...*shakes fist a
...more
Astrid Galactic
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A disarmingly honest account of one woman's misspent youth via addiction and how she eventually got herself together to put it all behind her after much pain and damage. Highly recommend reading this book for a deeper understanding of how this can so easily happen to anyone. An ideal book list inclusion for those interested in addiction and its consequences, as well as a glimmer of hope, and well worth reading for those who just may be curious.

Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of the eBook for a f
...more
Christine Corrigan
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received and Advance Reader's Edition from Park Row Books in exchange for my honest review. Strung Out begins with a question from Khar's then twelve year old son, "Mom, did you ever do drugs?" The memoir recounts the author's fifteen year addiction to heroin and how it consumed her life, blinded her to the impact her addiction had on her relationships, particularly with her parents and close friends. It is brutally honest and powerfully written.

Khar grew up privileged in Los Angeles, getting
...more
Naomi Rand
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Erin Khar's book begins with a question from her son, "Mom have you ever done drugs?" Her answer is this book, a gripping memoir of her descent into addiction and her struggle to get clean. It's honest, gut wrenching and beautifully written. Khar's story is gripping and painful, she relapses multiple times looking for solace in drugs before she finally is able to say no and really mean it. The tipping point may well be the birth of the child who asks her that hard question so many years later. T ...more
Alia
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating book! I don't usually read recovery memoirs, but once I started this one, I couldn't put it down. The writing is fierce, unflinching, honest, and thoroughly entertaining. You don't have to be in recovery to appreciate the human drama, which in this time of widespread opioid addiction affects us all. Highly recommend this one. ...more
Julie Porter
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julie Porter
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Spoilers: It is interesting that I am reviewing Erin Khar’s Strung Out: One Last Hit and Other Lies That Nearly Killed Me for this blog at the same time that I am reviewing The United States of Opioids by Harry Nelson for another site. Both books illustrate how large the Opioid Crisis has become and how it affects both society and the individual. The latter book is a dry fact based account of the Crisis and how it began as well as the various institutions and people that put the Crisis in motion ...more
Kristi
Jan 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Erin Khar’s story is compelling ... it reads almost like a novel. I couldn’t put it down because I wanted to see what happened next. So just for the sheer surface enjoyment, I give it five stars.

However, I did note what a lot of other reviewers noticed. The author is rather spoiled and lucky. Throughout her life, she was able to work whenever she wanted or didn’t want to, Daddy was always there with money or gifts, she was able fly all over the world at a moment’s notice, and she never really ha
...more
Maleah
I really appreciate any memoir that demomstrates a deep understanding of one's own story and an unfiltered vulnerability in telling it how it really is; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Erin Kahr does just that in this beautifully written memoir of her life struggle with mental illness, sexual abuse, family dysfunction, and her resulting opiate addiction. At times I had such compassion and empathy for her pain and her story, finding myself wanting to hug her and encourage her to stay strong. Yet ...more
Cameron Hammon
Jun 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book stayed with me. The writing is propulsive and novelistic, and the story--of a young woman struggling with heroin addiction--is timely, compelling, and necessarily complicated. This is a book I thought about when I wasn't reading, a book I rushed back to every evening. Understandably, STRUNG OUT makes reference to the opioid crisis, but I felt that Erin's story also shined a light on a very real phenomenon for people of my generation (X) whose celebrities were prized for how well they f ...more
Ashlyn
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Okay. First off I don't understand why I didn't put the two together. The title literally means being strung out so I don't know why I didn't think this wouldn't trigger my past issues I've dealt with myself. Second, with that being said I made it 50% through before it really hit me hard. From the first try of heroin down to her very end. I don't know how I would approach my child either about a past drug use, I think the way she answered it though was very wise and articulate. It wasn't too muc ...more
Brian Joynt
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
Okay, but far from the more compelling addiction memoirs available. Basically the story of a massively over-privileged princess-type living the good life in California, but due to her loneliness and the fact that her parents don't care what she's doing, she gets involved with drugs. Problem is, there never seems to be anything real at stake, no real danger, no real consequences. Still, an interesting character piece, I guess. Two and half stars. ...more
Sara Diane
Oct 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
I got this from NetGalley to review.

I worked with addicts for six years through Probation, so I was curious to see how honest this book would be. And it's honest. Khar doesn't pull punches, she doesn't deflect, and she does take responsibility (now) for her choices. This is a great book to help those who don't get it, get it. So many addicts struggle to overcome the addiction. It's hard. It can be done, but rarely is it a "one and done" journey. I appreciated Khar's willingness to share her stor
...more
Robert
Sep 16, 2020 rated it liked it
At times this book wasn't bad and was in fact quite enjoyable/relatable. However, it was difficult to feel any sort of sympathy for Erin when, through the book, it's apparent her privilege and dad giving her money allowed her to live such a life where seemingly the worst part of her life is being without drugs. ...more
Lisa Bowen
I am not a fan to this book. I feel that everyone in this book was using everybody for some thing. It was a fast read.
Patsey
Jul 10, 2020 added it
Shelves: 2020
Meh. I just didn’t care. Her story didn’t move me...felt self-indulgent. I’m sure her struggles were real but I wasn’t drawn in.
Angela
Aug 15, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars.
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Erin Khar's debut memoir, Strung Out: One Last Hit and Other Lies that Nearly Killed Me (Park Row Books, 2/25/20), has appeared on most anticipated lists from The Rumpus, SELF, Apple Books, Goodreads, Bitch Media, Alma, and others. Of the book, The New York Times writes, Khar’s buoyant writing doesn’t get mired in her dark subject matter. There is an honesty here that can only come from, to put it ...more

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