Been There, Done That

Elvis Costello once sniffed that "writing about music is like dancing about architecture." The same could be said of writing about drugs. How could any author, no matter how gifted, hope to capture in mere words the genuine rapture of mind-expanding substances, as well as the hopeless abyss that usually follows prolonged abuse? True, a few sharpies—William Burroughs, Irvine Welsh, maybe Terry Southern—have managed to pull it off. But most drug memoirs are pretty much alike—either they're heated Hunter S. Thompson rip-offs packed with hackneyed hallucinations (bats, lizards) and heavily-punctuated (!!!!) rants, or languid diaries from naive dopers whose dreamy visions...

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