SYNANON by Guy Endore


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Guy Endore implements the saga of Synanon (Casriel--So Fair a House, 1963, Yablonsky--The Tunnel Back, 1965). ""This place is really a more powerful fix than heroin,"" Endore was assured. A square who shied at a cigarette or a cocktail, he played the Game, took his ""hair-cuts"" and gained the endorsement of ""honorary dope fiend."" There is no doubt that he is sold on Synanon if not accepting it as a religion: he explores this aspect of founder Chuck Dederich's role (is he synanonymous with the movement?). There is something of a mystery of what makes Synanon work: Dederich explains the complete mutuality of the community, describes it as a family, not a religion. Endore features interviews with Chuck, his wife and daughter, Synanon members who stayed or split. His book is not so clear on Synanon dynamics as Yablonsky's, leaves the question of growth and perpetuation in the air, as it currently seems to be. There is the feeling that Synanon has a big fish on its line, can solve a lot more than drug addiction (only a beginning). Endore does not substantially alter the image already projected but furthers the human dimension.

Pub Date: May 24th, 1968
Publisher: Doubleday