5 Books About Drug Addiction

As I have read a number of books about drug addiction recently, I have decided to dedicate a blog post to the subject.

The following 5 books are presented in the order in which they were published:


Confessions of an English Opium-Eater by Thomas De Quincey (1800) 

Confessions of an English Opium-Eater

Published in 1821, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater is widely regarded as being the forefather of addiction literature.  The book embraces an ornate prose style and grandiloquent use of language.

My Review: The first part of this autobiographical work takes the form of a lengthy discourse on the author’s childhood and teenage years… (More)

My Verdict: Downer


Novel with Cocaine by M. Ageyev (1934)

Novel with Cocaine

Reprehensible anti-hero Vadim offers some profound insights into the human condition in this depressing, nihilistic and at times humorous novel about adolescence and addiction.

My Review: Set in the years immediately before and after the Russian Revolution, Novel with Cocaine follows the life of Vadim, a Moscow adolescent and student… (More)

My Verdict: Good Stuff


Junky by William S. Burroughs (1953)


Junky is a semi-autobiographical novella, in which the author successfully utilises a detached journalistic approach to capture the obsessive nature of addiction.

My Review: Set in 1950s America and Mexico, Junky is a confessional novella about drug addiction. Its protagonist Bill Lee chronicles his drug-centred existence, … (More)

My Verdict: Good Stuff


The Basketball Diaries by Jim Carroll (1978)

the basketball diaries

Narrated in a candid, brutal and matter of fact manner, The Basketball Diaries is a realistic depiction of an inner city youth drawn into a life of addiction.

My Review: Author Jim Carroll recounts his New York youth in this classic piece of adolescent literature.  The book, which takes the form of seasonal diary entries, … (More)

My Verdict: Okay


Wasting Talent by Ryan Leone (2014)

Wasting Talent

Author Ryan Leone uses innovative writing techniques and a frenetic and at times poetic prose style to weave this graphic story about drug addiction.

My Review: Young guitar virtuoso Damien Cantwell is a member of a band in Southern California. Damian is talented, popular and good looking, but has a drug problem… (More)

My Verdict: Good Stuff


I plan to expand on this post when I get around to reading Irvine Welsh’s Skagboys and The Diary of a Drug Fiend by Aleister Crowley.

If you haven’t read it already you might be interested in my blog post about drug addicted authors – 7 Famous Drug Addicted Authors.


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