This book will haunt me for years to come. The author's fears, dreams, hopes, apathy, and downright horror jump off of the pages and eat away at your heart. I've always believed that if my child ended up like Nic, I would be able to walk away, but now... I just don't know. I could feel this man's pain, feel his love oozing from the text. I think what made it harder is believing that Nic was better again and again and again. I spent the last two or three chapters in and out of tears. Yes, I felt for Nic, but David is who I really wanted to reach out and hug, to offer to do something - anything - to ease his pain.
Oh, there were a few funny parts, and endearing. Nic truly seems like he's a good kid who has just screwed up royally. I am left wondering how Nic is doing TODAY though. I believe the story ended about 18 months ago, so I'm curious... what has happened since then?
It appears that Nic also wrote a book. I'll give it a read. I do hope Nic realizes what an amazing father he has and learns to deal with his demons. Hug your dad, Nic - he did for you what I'm not sure I could for my own children.
This is by far the worst read book I've ever heard. The narrator's voice is excruciating. He is melodramatic and sounds like he is voicing the Punch & Judy Show. I may have liked the book had I not been cringing at this man's terrible inflections, imitations, and embellishments the entire time. The subject matter was interesting, but I highly recommend you read a hard copy rather than listen to this buffoon.
If you love someone who is an addict/alcoholic, known someone who is--this book is as necessary to read for you as food is for nourishment. It will bring a smile to your lips, it will give you hope, it will crush you and break your heart. And in the end, it will help you understand what you are up against and give you the solace that comes in knowing you are not alone. I read this in two days, staying up until 3 a.m.--probably not the healthiest of things to do under times of stress--but I could not put it down. As much as it pained me to read it, it also gave me hope. Life and love are not for the weak. What's that old saing? "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger." Whether we want it or not--loved ones of addicts are in for the long-haul, the duration, the good and the bad. Keep the faith.
At one point about half way thru I almost put this book down. I was looking for more about the story of what happened than the facts of the addiction. I am happy that I kept reading. What an eye opener for me of how I have been dealing with the addicts in my own life.
A heartbreaking memoir of addiction and the damage that it inflicts on a family. Perhaps lags a little at times, but in all, very good. I think any parent can feel much empathy for the narrator, and I would imagine it would really hit home for those parents living through the nightmare of an addicted child. It made me very, very grateful to have escaped that particular circle of hell in my own life.
Started off somewhat slow but didn't disappoint. I found myself identifying with the author due to my own daughters addiction, knowing someone else felt this way and had the same thoughts was somehow comforting. This story strikes at every parents fears for their child..I highly recommend.
I could not put this book down. David Sheff's description of his son's descent into drugs was gut-wrenching. His sadness, horror, guilt, fear and struggle to hold onto hope, all shine through on every page. The absolutely beautiful writing made it easy, even joyous for me to read, even while it broke my heart. Highly recommended.
****** Six stars out of five, and three thrumbs up.
"Close your eyes
Have no fear
The monsters gone
He's on the run and your daddy's here"
Thus begins John Lennon's lyrics to "Beautiful Boy". Author David Sheff adapts the song title into an apt name for the memoir chronicling his experiences with his first born son, who struggled off and on with addiction for more than a century. This book, expanded from an article published in the New York Times Magazine, evolved into a page turner illuminating the years Sheff spent consumed by worry, sleepless nights, anxiety and powerlessness over his son's advancing drug consumption. The tale culminates with the author's self-awarenss of his codependency; he didn't cause his son's addiction to methamphetamine anymore than he could control it or cure it. He writes, "...our children live and die with or without us. No matter what we do, no matter how we agonize or obsess, we cannot chose for our children whether they live or die. It is a devastating realization, but also liberating. I finally chose life for myself. I chose the perilous but essential path that allows me to accept that Nic will decide for himself how - and whether - he will live his life."
Accompany David Sheff on his journey as he masterfully narrates the life events leading to his son begin grasped by the jaws of the substance-abuse monster.
This was a very heart wrenching story. I went through many tissues while reading it. In some ways, I wish I hadn't read this book. It makes you realize that a drug addiction can happen to any family no matter how close you are. I have a 4 year old daughter and just pray that she doesn't take this route. I really felt for the whole family in this story. There were definately things that the father did that I thought I would never be able to do, but you just don't know until it happens to you. It really gives you a look into a drug addicts life and family. I also think it gives you signs to look for in your own family. I feel this is something that every parent should read. I am going to read Tweak by Nic Sheff next as I am curious to read the same story from a completely different point of view.
Anyone who has a family member who suffers fom drug addiction needs to read this book. It is beautifully written by a father who's son is a severe drug addict. He will take you down the road to that addiction and the agony of trying to save him. If there was something else this family could have done to "fix" their son I can't imagine what it would be. I have so much more sympathy for families who I personally know that have suffered the same with their own children. I wish I knew how Nick is doing now ......
Joyce J. (absolutecute) reviewed Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Meth Addiction on
Having recently had to cope with a family member suffering with addiction and rehab, this book was greatly supportive and informative; the author makes you feel like he truly does understand what parents go through, and you see what you are living through his eyes. I was very impressed. Thank you.
A heart-rendering story of a father's journey into his son's drug addiction. Anyone who grew up in the 60's and 70's and wondered what to tell their kids about their own "activities" needs to read this. I was riveted.
I read from start to finish as fast as I could flip the pages. I couldn't put this book down. David Sheff is an amazing amazing father. This is one of the most emotional true stories i've read in a very long time. It's a story once you've read it I promise you'll never forget it. Five stars!!!!
A wonderful companion to _Tweaked_, David Sheff's son Nic's own precocious memoir of his addiction to meth and other substances, _Beautiful Boy_ also stands as an amazing memoir in its own right. Sheff depicts the hope and hopelessness of a parents, step-parents, siblings, and extended family coping (and, often, not coping) with the drama and trauma of loving a drug-addicted child, as that child moves from the seemingly manageable ups and downs of adolescence to the dangers of an independent and uncontrollable life of a young adult with a chronic, nearly lethal drug addiction. I was more than once moved to tears by the crystalline clarity and unstinting honesty with which Sheff depicted his pain as a father dealing with this unexpected and almost indescribable pain and how it affected, for ill and for good, his entire family.
Jessica D. (jmd) reviewed Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Meth Addiction on
This book is an eye opening, sometimes heartbreaking account of how a family deals with a loved one who is a drug addict. It is an excellent book for both those who have been through a similar situation with a family member or friend and those who haven't, as it gives an honest account of the feelings a family struggles with when facing such a daunting challenge.
And now his son has written a book called "Tweak" giving his perspective. Interesting how the father goes on and on in the book about all the idyllic things that he gave his son or that his son was, and wondered why, despite that, his son was drawn to meth, but said next to nothing about the story of his divorce from his mother's son when the son was 3, although the post-divorce is covered. Maybe he didn't want his ex-wife dragged into the story.