A recovering crack addict traverses the slippery slopes of sobriety, only to find the possibility of relapse around every corner.
Fresh out of rehab, Clegg (Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man, 2010) haunted the streets of his former hometown broke, busted and barely able to suppress his old cravings. Prior to his addiction, he was a hotshot literary agent. After, he was penned into a few blocks bounded by “trigger” zones his sponsor warned were absolutely off-limits. The desire to use again is omnipresent, and his story is littered with lies, betrayals and debauched sex. Eventually Clegg realized that the next step in his dismal descent was surely death. The author writes with astonishing honesty, infusing the intensely interior narrative with powerful imagery and penetrating insights. Even the short journeys to his daily support groups sound like heroic odysseys—though Clegg is no hero. The outcome is never assured, and there are casualties among the sharply drawn characters, most of whom the author seems to know as intimately as his own psyche. Three scant months may not seem like a long time, but for all involved it was an epic period of transformation. At turns cautionary and inspirational, Clegg’s saga embraces both the weaknesses and strengths of human nature, while only alluding to the possibility of salvation.
A gritty, lyrical and potent portrait of what it really means to be addicted.