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Requiem for a Dream
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Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments 4 stars

“For weeks Tyrone thought he was going to die any minute, and there were also times when he was afraid he wasn't going to die.”

This quote describes how I felt while reading this book. It is harsh. Seriously HARSH. It is like watching a train wreck happen, knowing there is nothing that can stop it. It made me angry that life is often so difficult. It made me angry that some people are addicts and that the rest of us cannot save them from it. It made me angry that life is so hard.

It is a strange, experimental book, which seems appropriate to the subject matter. It is dark. Seriously DARK. And I liked that about it. These people are needy, self-abusive and sad. They are co-dependent. And all of that makes them more real and more sympathetic.

I started off rating this 3 stars -- because I didn't really enjoy it at all. But as I wrote this short review I went back and bumped it up to 4 stars -- because I realized how strongly I was responding.


Kristel (kristelh) | 4259 comments Mod
I was surprised by this book. I ended up with an appreciation of it when I expected to dislike it. The book was written by Hubert Selby, Jr in 1978. It is a story that tells the story of four people living in the Bronx. Selby is an author who endeavors to attack the American dream and his book looks at life lived in urban poverty and addictions. It is a story of addictions; addictions to TV, addictions to food, addictions to drugs and the desire to achieve something but never getting there. Selby captures the spiral of degradation that these addictions bring to Sara the mother addicted to TV and food, her son Harry with a dream to have a coffee house, Tyrone C. Love, and their girlfriends. It explores loneliness, futility and being unnecessary. The author captures the downward spiral into madness. The story is a bit dated. Published in the late 70s, it depicts mental illness care as a pretty grim thing doing harm rather than helping. It depicts the animosity of the south toward blacks. It depicts the horrors of drug addiction but all that reality will hardly give pause to a person falling into the same demise and accurately displayed by the old man talking to Tyrone in jail. The addicts constantly tell themselves that it is "not me".

Quotes
"Nobody know who they are. Everybody is running around looking for an identitiy or trying to borrow one, only they don't know it."
"dope continues to flow through their blood, whispering dreams to every living cells int their bodies.".

Comments at the end of the book;
Selby experimented with grammar, punctuation, spelling, language.
The brutal urban landscapes he portrayed, combined with potent immediacy of his prose.
His frank descriptions of drugs, prostitution, and the rough Brooklyn streets that he (the author) had known since his childhood.

Selby also experienced addiction to first morphine then heroin


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