Tag Archives: memoir

“When I Met Heroin, It Was True Love”

–Nikki Sixx, the introduction to The Heroin Diaries: A Year In The Life of a Shattered Rock Star.

Oh! Hi! Long time, no see. How have you been?

I apologize for the unexpected hiatus. Not long after my last entry, things got a little hectic, and I let my CLC duties slip. However, I’m back, and there will be a better updating schedule. I’m not able to update once a week, but it will definitely be less than a month between entries, I promise!

Before I go into my latest review, I have some sad news: the book I was going to review after Rue McClanahan‘s (RIP), Alyssa Milano’s Safe at Home: Confessions of a Baseball Fanatic, had to go back to the library before I got to take notes on it. So, instead, I present to you the CLC take on Nikki Sixx’s The Heroin Diaries: A Year In The Life of a Shattered Rock Star.

For those of you unfamiliar with Mr. Sixx, he is the guitarist of the greatest hair band of the eighties, Mötley Crüe. The Crüe is responsible for such hard hits as “Girls, Girls, Girls,” “Dr. Feelgood” and “Shout at the Devil.” Known for their killer look and loud, fierce sound, the Crüe spent the better part of the decade of decadence as the greatest rock stars–sex, drugs and rock and roll was their mantra.

Now, based on that description, I’m sure many people think that what Sixx has to say about his wild days is either “totally awesome, brah, totally awesome” or they dismiss it, thinking he’s another rock star trying to write to make some money.

If anything, my friends, Sixx’s memoir serves as a cautionary tale.

The Heroin Diaries is not written in a typical memoir fashion. Unlike, say, Marie Osmond or Paul Feig, he is not writing these stories from memory. Instead, he published his journals from Christmas 1986 to Christmas 1987 (the date of his infamous overdose, where he was pronounced DOA at the hospital. Luckily, two shots of adrenaline revived him.) and added his reflections/interviews with people who were there during his addiction, making for a more sobering (for lack of a better term) experience.

Disclosure: I first read The Heroin Diaries three years ago. I pre-ordered it in hardback, excited to read it as I had watched someone I love go through a very nasty heroin addiction for a while. To me, biographies/memoirs in which the subject dealt with any sort of addiction, particularly hard drugs, were and still are very therapeutic. They give me some insight about what an addict goes through, it gives me a better understanding.

When the book arrived at my off-campus house, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to read it. I went to campus early one day, to read a few pages before class started. I would resume when the hour-long class was over. Well, my readers, I never made it to class that day. I stayed in the library for a good two-two and a half hours reading the first half of the book, which I then put down and didn’t touch for a week as I was so shook up by what I had just read. It was that powerful.

Reading it again, I was still shook up. Even though I knew what was coming, I still felt overwhelmed and saddened by Sixx’s story. The entries at the height of his addiction really brought me down. It’s easy to dismiss him as a spoiled rock star, but when you’re that addicted, you become childlike. You regress.

So, in short, I do not recommend The Heroin Diaries as a beach read. I recommend it for a rainy day read, or if you know someone going through a similar situation. Yes, it will be hard, but it’s comforting to know that your friend/mom/dad/brother/sister/other relative/etc. isn’t alone (as heartbreaking and awful addiction is.)

Next time: something more lighthearted. As to what, exactly, I’m not sure. But it will be much, much lighter.

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When Paul Feig Says “Please Don’t Read This Chapter,” He Means It.

As you can see, I finally settled on Paul Feig for the celebrity author of the week. For those of you who don’t know Mr. Feig’s work, he created cult classic T.V. series Freaks and Geeks, played science teacher “Mr. Gene Pool” on the first season of Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, had a part on the very short-lived Dirty Dancing T.V. series from the late-eighties*, and recently served as a co-executive producer on The Office.

He also wrote Superstud: Or How I Became a 24-Year-Old Virgin, which chronicles Feig’s sexual awakening/young adult love life. I felt for younger Feig, as it is very clear the man was very, very sexually frustrated, the frustration brought on by a conflict with his religious beliefs. I wish Feig had touched more on this, as I found his “conversations”  with God entertaining and so true. Religion and sex are both touchy subjects when faced separately, but bring them together and it’s so weird–you follow these beliefs, but what to do about the biological urges?

Then again, if Feig spent the entirety of Superstud discussing the eternal debate of biology v. theology, we wouldn’t get to read his awkward yet hilarious dating stories. I spent most of the book alternating between laughter and cooing “awwww” at his various romantic misfortunes. One story in particular involves the situation everyone has found themselves in: thirteen-year-old Feig falls for a pretty older woman (all of age sixteen) at a roller rink, he thinks it’s love. She loves him too–as a friend. How could you not sympathize?  I also loved Feig’s attention to detail, from the music he was listening to down to the color/brand of people’s shoes. It wasn’t distracting, it helped put you in his shoes, making his angst fresh.

Which is unfortunate when you get to  “Please Don’t Read This Chapter.” Seriously, don’t read it. My reaction went something like this: “hee hee…wait…what did he do?…what…oh shit…oh no…oh [expletive!] What the?! Are you serious? What?!” (and no, I’m not telling you what he did. I’m not a fan of spoilers, which is why I don’t post many lines from the books I critique.) That, uh, interesting chapter aside, I still highly recommend Superstud.

Have you read Superstud? Did you read the chapter Feig begged the readers not to read? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Oh! I keep forgetting. CLC has a twitter now. Follow @CelebLitClub, find out when this page is updated and read news relating to celebrity literature/literature in general! I’ll follow you back!

Next Week: How you doin’, Wendy Willams’ The Wendy Williams Experience: Queen of Radio?

*I found this tidbit on IMDb and just had to share.

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