book cover of Junkie
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Confessions of an Unredeemed Drug Addict
A novel by

'Junk,' writes the author of these brutally frank reveltions, 'is not just a habit. It is way of life.' A way of life in which 'kick' is king, and where drug-dominated starvelings float in a half-lighted world of debased values, overpowering hungers and sudden-flaring violence. Not since De Quincey's 'The Confessions of an English Opium Eater' has the finger of light shone so glaringly on the wasteland of the drug addict. Yet, were De Quincey wrote in the vein of dream-phantasy, 'Junkie' is pitilessly factual and hard-boiled. From the very first lines, 'Junkie' strips down the addict without shame or self-pity in all his nakedness. But this is more than the story of a drug addict. The anonymous underworld fills its pages - the moochers, fags, four-flushers, stool-pigeons, thieves. We follow them as they slink furtively to their 'meets' in dim-lit cafeterias and sleazy bars. We watch their hidden gestures, we see them as they 'cop the stuff.' We see the veins shrink at the needle's thrust, the 'bang' as the stuff takes - and the indescribable horrors of junk sickness. We witness the sordidness of every crevice of their lives. For all are a 'beat, nowhere bunch of guys,' seemingly without past and no future. There has never been a criminal confession better calculated to discourage imitiation by thrilling hungry teen-agers. This is the unadulterated, unglamorous, unthrilling life of the drug addict. William Lee (the name of the author and of all persons appearing in this book are disguised) is an unrepentant, unredeemed drug addict. His own words tell us that he is a fugitive from the law; that he has been diagnosed as schizophrenic, paranoid; that he is totally without moral values. But his pen has been dipped in an acid of strange lustre, and some of his word pictures are vignettes of compelling artistry. We realized that here was a document which could forearm the public more effectively than anything yet printed about the drug menace. The picture it paints of a sordid netherworld was all the more horrifying for being so authentic in language and point of view. For the protection of the reader, we have inserted occasional parenthetical notes to indicate where the author clearly departs from accepted medical fact or makes other unsubstantiated statements in an effort to justify his actions."

Genre: Literary Fiction

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