this is a strong and poignant story of drug-use, narrated by a Hollywood youngster whose cocaine-ecstasy-crack-heroin-meth parties take place in Valley mansions with swimming pools and populated by actresses and down-and-out producers. it may have, to some degree, the standard use-overdose-rehab-relapse and 'agitated psychotic/hysterical' sequences as many drug works, but the writer rarely loses control of the authorial voice and the story can be quite evocative at points. solid 4/5 pushing the 5.
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after I left Tigger, that "night that was the most important thing I've ever done in my life," according to an itinerant musician and folk ethnomusicologist, I never again had any real world exposure to crack. some artists or philosophers lay the case that all creativity or meaning occurs on the edge of danger. had I cooled my heels at the crack den for some 30 days, a book would have been written. meaning would have been understood. but look =>
the crack coaine high is 5- 10 minutes. think about that. in the amount of time it takes to write a goodreads review, a crack addict is already coming down from their joyous excursion into happy land and is now irritable, irritated, annoyed, and paranoid. that is why I can hang out with a lawyer whose doing cocaine; I don't have any huge problem with stoners; even an ecstasy-chomping club kid probably isn't going to flip emotions within 5 minutes. but crack is freakin' bad news. soft drugs: marijuana, khat, betel nuts, even x (in terms of danger to bystanders, not necessarily in terms of high). hard drugs: crystal meth, amphetamines in general, crack, heroin. hard = danger to you, the person who's just watching the drugs being taken.
so I guess if I'm blabbing or whatever, the long and the short of it, is that I'm stuck here writing goodreads reviews as a frustrated writer and not as a world-changing author of '30 Days on The Crack of Hell' because at the age of nineteen I got up in the morning and left the crack den. but possibly I could have been knifed; some of the girls present (probably selling their bodies) could have brought back trouble; there could have been some outbreak of sexual jealousy or some sort of status/power struggle. who knows.
now let's return to that backpacking trip. a few days later an email came from the now defunct Northwest Airlines. for a mere $350 plus frequent flyer miles, they would take me to a week in Japan. I did it. I arrived in Kyoto; the red lanters lining the flowing river on a soft, never-bombed city filled with paving stones and old wooden houses was of course a distinct arrival experience. most tourists arrive in Tokyo; I arrived in Kyoto. (see also: [b:The Lady and the Monk|131101|The Lady and the Monk Four Seasons in Kyoto|Pico Iyer|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1320433732s/131101.jpg|2954374])
Japan was already by that time of history pouring in its anime/manga into susceptible American teenagers. this compares to the 1950s relationship, whereas some grandpa once told me, "Japan used to export these little tin toys to America, and when they broke, you could see the Campbell soup label still inside."