TRAVELING HIGH & TRIPPING HARD by Joseph  Davida

TRAVELING HIGH & TRIPPING HARD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A debut memoir chronicles one man’s global adventures with drugs.

Davida’s book begins with a bizarre event on Long Island. The author, 8 years old at the time, somehow consumed PCP and had a psychedelic event that lasted 14 hours. The experience presented a number of dark visions (an apparition of Hitler even told the boy he had to kill his parents). But rather than turning Davida away from recreational drugs, the incident was merely the beginning. In the years that followed, the author hunted down high-grade marijuana in the Pacific Northwest, consumed black hash in Nepal, and smoked something called Ya-Ba in Thailand. As he chased different highs in diverse places, he also sought some sort of understanding about the world. A loose spiritual undertaking is woven into the recollections as Davida, for instance, visited South America with the fuzzy notion that he was on “a mission to save the world.” The author also happened to be traveling through the Middle East during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Following the death of his father (whose ashes he carried), he had a deeply emotional experience at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Israel. It is in these last two tales that the book is at its most noteworthy. Stories of scoring cheap but excellent hash in Nepal, relayed in a conversational style (“I was ready to kiss him!” Davida writes of the man who got the drugs), may be informative, but they are not really engaging. Many authors have told meandering tales of looking for drugs, but more personal material, such as memories from an infamous day in American history, gives the book its staying power. In the end, readers will get to know the author not just as someone who traveled the world looking to score, but as a man who experienced fear, loathing, and the loss of a loved one as well. And it is in the unveiling of a relatable person that the memoir is able to transcend its rote passages.   

Despite some rambling stories, this account paints a vivid picture of a world traveler bent on illicit explorations.

Pub Date: Jan. 25th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-9993975-0-3
Page count: 218pp
Publisher: Dark Planet Press
Program: Kirkus Indie
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