There are certain literary tomes that claim to be true, yet the story seems so utterly far-fetched you really doubt its validity. But the tale is just so insanely great, you find yourself saying "Who fucking cares?" Addict is one of these books.
Addict purports to be the autobiography of some wacked out British Dexedrine addict who came of age in the sixties and spent the next 20 or so years in a drug addled orgy of prostitutes, gangsters (ever hear of the notorious Kray brothers, a pair of ruthless Brit mafiosos? Homeslice worked for Ďem.), homosexuals, completely inept psychologists, homeless shelters, insane asylums, and enough drug consumption to knock out the population of Wisconsin for ten years. Suffice to say, itís an excellent book for children and my nephew, Spike, says all the boys in his detention center love it.
What is exceptionally wonderful about Addict is the main characterís (whose name I forgot) drug of choice - Dexedrine. Whenís the last time you met a Dexedrine addict? These days thereís such a big fuss about heroin addicts, but as Keith Richards so aptly put it, "Heroin is for pussies." If we ever had some sort of gladiatorial game show where we pitted various types of drug addicts against each other, my money would be on the Dexedrine junkie. Heroin twerps just sit around staring at their hands while their insides rot, but dexies (Thatís my pet term for Dexedrine addicts. Cute, huh.) do all sorts of great stuff like pluck the eyeballs out of dead dogs and have sex with disturbed cat burglars. The absolute endurance of this particular dexie was amazing - whole years of his life were apparently spent completely high and he must have gone through two fortunes before he ended up on the street. But even as a homeless tramp he has a long decline ahead of him before he hits rock bottom. It seemed like every chapter would portray him sinking even deeper into this hellish hellhole, but then end on a sentence like "Little did I know that it was about to get far, far worse." (Thatís called "foreshadowing.")
One of the greatest moments of the book is at the end. He meets up with a nice German girl in what I assume to be the late 1970ís, and she falls in love with him not knowing that heís a Dexedrine addict (heís in one of his many recovery phases.) So he visits here in Germany (or maybe she comes to visit him in Britain, I canít remember) and they end up on the date from hell. Warped out of his mind on Dex he goes on this search for money that heís claimed he buried away long ago in various houses he used to own. Finally they end up hungry and broke on the shore of the Atlantic while heís babbling away with this wonderful schizophrenic poetry. For those of you who donít know, chicks donít dig this sort of behavior from the man they intend to marry, and this gal spends most of this crazy night crying. However, for some odd reason she sticks with him and he overcomes his addiction and love conquers all blah, blah, blah...
Interestingly, the guy that gave me the book was a pretty spacey individual himself. Iíd showed up at a friendís house only to find this sort of punk looking black dude named Nemo there and he instantly starts telling me that Courtney Love wants to kill him. Maybe that should have tipped me off, but truthfully it does seem like Courtney Love wants to kill a lot of people. So then Nemo went into his whole life story that involved years spent at the Chelsea hotel in NY living with some beautiful model and some crazed trips across Europe. But at some point he handed me a copy of Addict and told me Iíd like it and, Lord, I am thankful.