Monica's Reviews > Opium Fiend: A 21st Century Slave to a 19th Century Addiction

Opium Fiend by Steven Martin
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's review
Apr 30, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: first-reads, own


The opening of this book hits you like a ton of bricks. Descriptive passages of going through withdrawal and the intense feelings connected with addiction portrayed made me sick to my stomach reading about it. The book slows down a bit from there but the connection between the author's OCD-ish collecting of ancient opium smoking utensils and the meticulous decline into drug addiction are woven together wonderfully.

I didn't know much about opium going into this book. I learned more than I ever would have wanted to know. The author talks about that he is convinced that inanimate objects had feelings. I love this brief (very brief) passage. I felt connections that I was unable to feel with most other passages speaking of drug addiction.

The path to recovery was also interesting. The change in feelings, friendships and world views was articulated well. I like how the author chose to end the book as well. Not too messy, not too pretty.

Overall, a dip into a world that I am far from and knew little about. I am glad that I was able to view through the peephole the little sections of this world that the author shared.
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