In which the author pretends that he is clearing up some general misconceptions, in order to repeat every last bogus piece of completely non-controversial, culturally ingrained conventional addiction “wisdom” that everyone has already believed for generations: “What I do want to do,” he says, “is lash out at some of the myths, old wives’ tales and sheer rubbish surrounding addiction.” You know this is going to be a trenchant piece when the first myth he tackles is: “If it’s legal, it can’t be that bad.”
Drug hell memoirs often make for self-indulgent, voyeuristic vic-lit (victim literature). And that includes A Million Little Pieces by James Frey, although the artistically embroidered bits were entertaining enough.
So why then more about addiction?
Well, because I need to tell you about the “hideous Four Horsemen – Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, Despair,” as the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book terms them. And how, after battling them for a decade or more, they trotted away for a bit. Then came thundering back with a diabolical fury that saw me go on to autopilot and, in a moment of utter insanity in mid-2009, pick up a bottle of vodka and shamble down the Via Dolorosa.