American Junkie

American Junkie Takes you to the gristle chewing tracks of the gnarly Emerald City before the first wave of Sub Pop loving kids arrived Chris Estey KEXP Radio SeattleIn American Junkie Tom Hansen takes us non stop

  • Title: American Junkie
  • Author: Tom Hansen Sean Beaudoin
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 392
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Takes you to the gristle chewing tracks of the gnarly Emerald City before the first wave of Sub Pop loving kids arrived Chris Estey, KEXP Radio, SeattleIn American Junkie, Tom Hansen takes us non stop into a land of desperate addicts, failed punk bands, and brushes with sad fame, selling drugs during the Seattle grunge years It s a story that maps his heroin addiction, Takes you to the gristle chewing tracks of the gnarly Emerald City before the first wave of Sub Pop loving kids arrived Chris Estey, KEXP Radio, SeattleIn American Junkie, Tom Hansen takes us non stop into a land of desperate addicts, failed punk bands, and brushes with sad fame, selling drugs during the Seattle grunge years It s a story that maps his heroin addiction, from the promise of a young life to the prison of a mattress, from budding musician to broken down junkie, drowning in syringes and cigarette butts, shooting heroin into wounds the size of softballs, and ultimately, a ride to a hospital for a six month stay and a painful self discovery that cuts down to the bone Through it all he never really loses his step, never lets go of his smarts, and always projects quintessential American reason, humor, and hope to make a story not only about drugs, but a compelling study of vulnerability and toughness.

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      392 Tom Hansen Sean Beaudoin
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      Posted by:Tom Hansen Sean Beaudoin
      Published :2018-05-26T22:02:55+00:00

    1 thought on “American Junkie”

    1. Since this review is getting more attention (awesome!) here's my interview with the author!This is not so much a book as it is an ordeal, something we should bear witness to. It starts at rock bottom, 1999, and here come the graphic descriptions thick and fast. You better get used to them. Hansen has written this book in such a way that we live his experiences, and they are grim, grim, grim. I am way more acquainted with the rotting holes in his hips than I wanted—and to think, just days ago, [...]

    2. This is a compelling book. Descriptions of it can be a bit misleading. It's not a book about being a punk rocker (by the time much of the action is taking place, Hansen hasn't played music in a long time) and it's definitely not a book about being a dealer to grunge superstars (Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley make cameo appearances, but they are phantoms drifting through a haunted landscape, not real players in the story). It's also not yet another addiction memoir, a la "A Million Little Pieces," [...]

    3. There's nothing glamorous about American Junkie. It starts out an oozing abscess and it just gets darker and darker. Tom Hansen isn't trying to make the reader comfortable. He isn't trying to make people like him, or feel pity, or empathy, or tell a tale that folks will find inspiring. He's mainlining scorching black tar prose and the syringe is clogging and the fucking reader better be ready to help him tie-off while he finds a vein. Don't be squeamish, don't be judgmental, and don't flinch. Re [...]

    4. As a nurse who has never even taken a puff on a cigarette, let alone tried drugs, (I'm not bragging, just stating a fact) I found this memoir fascinating. It isn't a polished story, written by some scholarly ghostwriter, but an honest, tragic, blunt account of one man's downward spiral into heroin addiction. You can tell every word came from Tom himself. It was shocking to read how much damage his body sustained from the drug. I mean, I know it doesn't do the body good, but a lot of the things m [...]

    5. Damn this site's a pain my ass. Okay, I got that out of the way.Tom Hansen sold heroin to Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley. But that's not why you should read this book. Read it for a brutally honest and unapologetic account of the life of an addict. Hansen tells the story from two perspectivese present as he lay near death, and the past growing up, eventually merging the two threads. I would take off the judgment glasses before cracking this book, and read it on a rainy day. It will change your lif [...]

    6. In the wake of addiction memoirs by everyone from grizzled flat-lining rock and rollers to intellectually-overbearing college girls, lately the genre has felt tired and unoriginal. In fact, it is hard to find a reason to buy one more book about someone's struggle to find physical and spiritual redemption after a prolonged bout with a needle, pipe, or bottle. With "American Junkie," Tom Hansen breathes both life and hope into this genre with his compelling memoir "American Junkie."The book begins [...]

    7. Seriously one of the very best books on addiction I have ever read. This man tells it like it is. Even when he's telling his stories of a time when his addiction might have been considered to be the most "glamorous " while being a celebrity heroin dealer he treats it with the same nasty realism as he does in any part of the book. This book pulls no punches, tells no lies and shows drug/ heroin addiction in it's darkest reality. It's not sexy and it's unclean and it's desperate and rooted in deep [...]

    8. "There are different shades of gray, the faint outline of a window, a door in the corner. A man on a hospital bed, covered with a blanket, unmoving." Hansen's prose is stark and vital when he's nearly dead, which in the first 150 pages of "American Junkie." The weight of his relentless denial, the madness of heroin addiction ring true in his tight curt sentences like "The midday sun drilled into my back." The scenes in the hospital were disturbing and grotesque, often accompanied by charming gra [...]

    9. I thought this was a great read and I love Tom's honesty. I'm a facebook "friend" of his and he's grumpy and funny without trying to be and admits everything is hard we have to go through. No bullshit inspirational quotes. Honest about his fear, honest about what he did to his body and about what you can expect from heroin. Even mentioned my favorite person, Layne Staley. Great read.

    10. This book is intense. It takes a lot to make me squirm, and American Junkie definitely made my skin crawl a bit, no pun intended. Reading about the severity of his infections, about parts of his body just melting away, about huge gaping wounds packed with paper towels, about fishing bone fragments out of his body during drug runs, about sneaking out of the hospital to score and then shoot up in his IV line, and finally about his ability to pull himself out of that 20 year haze and recover in way [...]

    11. There were over half-a-dozen original documents included in this book, a number of which seemed important to the plot, and yet they were all but unreadable (and resisted magnification) on the Kindle. sigh.

    12. This is not an easy book to read. I read the reissued edition that came out this year (2017). Tom Hansen lives in Seattle, and his book has been on my to read list, so after hearing him read from his reissued novel I picked up his memoir. At the reading in his pre-amble talk he spoke the difference between writing fiction and writing memoir, to paraphrase, in fiction you make the action keep happening, in a memoir you explain to make the how and why come through. In his memoir he gives a running [...]

    13. This is not the usual "junkie book". Tom Hansen did an extremely good job writing about addiction. There is much more than that to it. He is a writer. A good one.

    14. American Junkie captures what it's like to face the void and it doesn't wimp out.Holes in the body so deep the bone is showing? It's just a fact of life, and the author, Tom Hansen, doesn't bother glorifying it. He doesn't need to dress up the details to make them captivating.You might think that it's a depressing book, but it's not. There is humor, insight, and life. Life in a book about someone that was barely alive? Yes!In Star Wars language, this book is about a world where there is no myste [...]

    15. Decent, if rather graphic, book about the life of a heroin addict. Tom Hansen isn't afraid to make himself look bad -- as in, really bad -- which gives this book an edge over all those dumb noble-addict-triumphs-over-addiction-and-becomes-a-better-person works we all seem to have read several dozen times.

    16. I've never done heroin or coke but this book was compelling and revealing to me as the horrors of Tom's decisions unfolded. The story starts out with Tom making a call that seems to change the course of his life. His past is filled out by simple and brief flashbacks, some including very recognizable names. None of it is glorified, just stated matter-of-fact. An honest and stark representation.

    17. As a recovering punk rock heroin addict I was intriguedI was also familiar with some of the music he's done too. Anyhow, I thought I'd had it pretty bad out there.Hey Tom never did a lengthy prison sentence like I did but his story is far far more brutaljust fucking brutal.

    18. Stories like these always amaze me- how the human body can survive unthinkable self-inflicted abuses. I loved the book and appreciated every dirty detail as it shows the true story and not just the glossed over tragic stuff the movies portray.

    19. This book is raw; it's tone matching the content. It is a memoir that describes the realities of a heroin addict in Seattle. Not a vacation read.

    20. I've definitely read better memoirs, but the honesty and lack of ego is a major player in the wonderful aspects of this book.

    21. At times a deeply intense and disturbing journey into the world of addiction. Honost and blunt Tom Hansen has written a must-read for anyone who wants to know the true experience of addiction.

    22. A very interesting look of a life from the prospective of a heroin addict in Seattle during and before the Grunge era. It definitely got me interesting looks on the bus when reading.

    23. One of the best memoirs of any genre, and definitely the best in the addiction category. This is one of those rare books where the only disappointment is the fact that that it's day two and you're already done! I am not saying it's short by any means, you just cannot put it down. Very very few people have been able to sustain an addiction that bad for that long. Fewer can even fathom that a human can take addiction to these lengths, and as far as I know, he is the only one to do so and live to w [...]

    24. This memoir was incredibly evocative for me. Tom Hansen describes a Seattle lost to gentrification, the deep sense of place that is the result of growing up in the pouring rain and the diffused light around Puget Sound. His description of heroin addiction is spot-on; I've read a lot of addiction memoirs and this is the first one that captures the progression in all its nonchalance and ugliness. Hansen traces the story of his life from restless, aimless pursuit of relief from the feeling of disco [...]

    25. This book unfolds in the Seattle I remember: Danceland USA, the Monastery, the Showbox (and the Fartz!), B & O Espresso, Nelly Stallion. Hansen evokes our shared vanished world with elegant precision. That said, I do think the book romanticizes heroin even as it (or especially as it) details various gory drug stunts. Addicts--as William Burroughs famously understood--have a medical condition that makes them compulsive consumers; they are not anti-consumerist rebels.

    26. I'm not completely certain how I feel about this book. I got it on a whim from a college bookstore and read it all in one glorious four-hour sitting, and I just hmm. Definitely some pretty heavy stuff, offering a poignant perspective on drugs and life and love. Aside from the minor punctuation issues I think it was a solid read, but I just can't figure out whether or not I enjoyed it.

    27. A harrowing account of a junkie that went way past extreme with his addiction. Did an unreal amount of damage to his body. The medical sketches portraying the carnage on his body are disturbing. Amazing he is alive, shouldn't be. A page turner and one of the best I've ever read on addiction.

    28. I finished this book quite some time ago. It is a brutally honest book and quite graphic in parts, not for the faint of heart. Quite insightful.

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