23-year-old James wakes up on a flight to Chicago, badly injured with no memories of his injuries or how he got on the plane. On the airport he is received by his parents who drive him to a rehabilitation clinic since he has been alcoholic for ten years and crack addict for three years while he is being hunted by police in three states for several different charges. Initially sold as a memoir later turned to a semi-fictional novel accused of literary forgery, this novel is the story of its author James Frey. Some similar books are recommended in the following list.
1- Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction
This book is bestselling memoir written by David Sheff describing what he and his family went through to deal with his son Nic’s methamphetamine addiction. Large amount of the book covers the life of Nic whom David loves but he is also a danger to the family as Nic steals money from younger siblings and gets arrested on various charges in front of them. Nic went through different rehabs but to no avail. Towards the end of the memoir David Sheff tells that Nic is sober one year and inside his heart, he hopes that this is the last time.
It is a memoir written by Augusten Burroughs describing the author’s battle with alcoholism. This memoir was written before Running With Scissors but got published second. ‘Dry’ saw number 24 on NY Times Bestseller list for nonfiction hardcover. The story in this memoir is based upon actual events that the author went through. He was kept at a rehab facility catering to gay and lesbian patients only. Burroughs’ ex-boyfriend is described in part II of this memoir. Pighead died due to HIV sending Burroughs into a relapse with cocaine and crack added to the mix. Memoir ends with Burroughs recovery and helping other friends to recover from alcoholism.
3- I Am Not Myself These Days
This memoir is a tragic as well as funny account of Kilmer-Purcell’s early days in New York living dual lives. By day as advertising art director and a drag queen ‘Aquadisiac’ by night. The memoir goes into detail about his relationship with a crack addict named Jack and this memoir was a NY Times bestseller in 2006.
4- A Piece of Cake
This is based on a true story featuring ‘Cupcake’ who is eleven-year-old orphan living with foster parents. She tries to run away one night and gets exposed to drugs, alcohol and sex all in one night. Her story then shifts from tear-jerking tragedy to a disturbing and dark journey through hell. She joins a gang at 16 and now she is a crack cocaine addict as well. One day she wakes up after four-day crack binge behind a dumpster with half clothes on and feeling half dead. This is the moment she realized that she needs to change her life or to die on the streets.
5- A Virtuous Woman
It is written by Kaye Gibbons’ who has portrayed two ill-matched people miraculously making a marriage work. Blinking Jack Stokes meets Ruby Pitt Woodrow when she was only twenty and he was forty years old. He was a skinny tenant farmer and she was carefully raised daughter of Carolina. She was newly widowed and they didn’t fall in love but simply found each other.
6- Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood
This NY Times bestseller garnered a lot of attention from parents as well as young people. Author Koren Zailckas’ story is not only hers but there are thousands of young girls like her. These girls are not yet alcoholic but use booze in routine as a shortcut to courage. Zailckas at twenty-two is so faithfully and fanatically into drinking that she would wake up and doesn’t know where she is. After years of blackouts and smashups she finally realized that she needs to stop drinking.