When I’m not burying myself under a tsunami of dystopian novels, I’m balls deep in the pages of some kind of memoir. Usually about drugs and/or alcohol addiction. Love it. Absolutely infatuated by it. There is nothing I love more than reading about how drugs and/or alcohol viciously destroyed a man’s life, and inevitably, changed them for the better (most of the time. Sometimes they die. Drugs are a gamble, people.) That statement may or may not hint at some deep-seated, underlying mental health issues but ignore your gut, for I am one healthy, mentally stable lady. I just like to peek inside the brains of fucked up individuals from time to time. Tweak by Nic Sheff is one of my all-time favorite books (read it) so when I found out his goddamn gem of a father wrote a book documenting his side of Nic’s grueling methamphetamine addiction, I cried to the book-gods and immediately purchased it on my kindle so I wouldn’t have to wait for it to be delivered. Patience is not a friend of mine, this we already know.
Beautiful Boy by David Sheff has everything you’re looking for in an addiction memoir. We got your meth, a family struggling to keep their shit together, a little brother sitting at the window, baseball mitt in hand, waiting patiently for his drug-addled brother to come home and play catch with him. However, this memoir was different than the other millions I’ve read: it offered a different perspective on the ol’ junky spectrum. After reading Nic Sheff’s take on his addiction, David Sheff (his daddio) gives us his side of the story which, spoiler alert, is monumentally HEARTBREAKING. Here’s a quick synopsis from Goodreads:
“What had happened to my beautiful boy? To our family? What did I do wrong? Those are the wrenching questions that haunted David Sheff’s journey through his son Nic’s addiction to drugs and tentative steps toward recovery. Before Nic became addicted to crystal meth, he was a charming boy, joyous and funny, a varsity athlete and honor student adored by his two younger siblings. After meth, he was a trembling wraith who lied, stole, and lived on the streets. David Sheff traces the first warning signs: the denial, the three a.m. phone calls—is it Nic? the police? the hospital? His preoccupation with Nic became an addiction in itself. But as a journalist, he instinctively researched every treatment that might save his son. And he refused to give up on Nic.”
As someone who comes from a family well-versed in all things addiction, I instantly connected to everything David Sheff had to say on the subject. It was a different take on my usual addiction-memoir-benders, and one I very much related to on a deeply personal level. Addiction is wack, yo.
I’d like to point out that since reading this novel, I found out Beautiful Boy was made into a movie and released this past October, starring everybody’s favorite actor, Steve Carell. I haven’t had cable in over four years (streaming is life), and therefore had no fucking clue this masterpiece was in the making. Legit the only time I realize we don’t have cable is when someone brings up a movie trailer. Save your money, kids, cancel your cable bill.
That’s all she wrote. Click here to buy the book so we can chat about it together. Subscribe or I’ll rip your arms off.