Imogen's Reviews > Leaving Dirty Jersey: A Crystal Meth Memoir

Leaving Dirty Jersey by James Salant
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Jan 04, 2009

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Read in January, 2009

I'm not gonna lie, I mostly read this because I like New Jersey (ask me about my tattoo!). It's about a tough guy who moves from New Jersey to California to be tough, which is m y life story too, but ultimately it's the story of a rich kid with rich parents who decides to be a badass on his parents' money, talking about how smart he was for scamming his parents' money, telling stories about how Oh man I w as so fucked up.

I wanted more acknowledgment of the privilege he had, and instead I got a bunch of, y'know, gritty stories about the harsh seedy realities of the drug world. Whatever. There's also, at the end, him being like, "So all these great things happened and helped me turn my life around because I'm lucky," when I wanted him to be like "because I'm white, come from money, and ultimately the stakes for the shit I was pulling were never really that high; I could always just go home." Which is annoying. And also in the end when he's like, 'I figured out that being tough just isn't cool,' I'm like, Well, then why are you writing a book about how tough you are/were? I think the answer might be that his paradigm is, exploit what privilege you've got, which feels gross to me.

Still, I read it, it was readable, he writes well enough- I didn't throw it across the room. I'm just, like, whatever. I'm not sure *why* I read the whole thing except that I used to take drugs, too, and I like to remember taking drugs 'cause it was a pretty good time in my life, too. Because I'm a hypocrite, or something. I don't know. I used to be able to read drug memoirs with so much more credulity, less criticism! But now I'm tired and old.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Jeremiah (new)

Jeremiah Dunnavant shut up

Catherine Jeremiah wrote: "shut up"

Ha!!!!! Exactly...

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