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Elizabeth Wurtzel published her memoir of depression, Prozac Nation, to astonishing literary acclaim. A cultural phenomenon by age twenty-six, she had fame, money, respecteverything she had always wanted except that one, true thing: happiness. For all of her professional success, Wurtzel felt like a failure. She had lost friends and lovers, every magazine job she'd held, Elizabeth Wurtzel published her memoir of depression, Prozac Nation, to astonishing literary acclaim. A cultural phenomenon by age twenty-six, she had fame, money, respecteverything she had always wanted except that one, true thing: happiness. For all of her professional success, Wurtzel felt like a failure. She had lost friends and lovers, every magazine job she'd held, and way too much weight. She couldn't write, and her second book was past due. But when her doctor prescribed Ritalin to help her focus-and boost the effects of her antidepressants -- Wurtzel was spared. The Ritalin worked. And worked. The pills became her sugar...the sweetness in the days that have none. Soon she began grinding up the Ritalin and snorting it. Then came the cocaine, then more Ritalin, then more cocaine. Then I need more. I always need more. For all of my life I have needed more... More, Now, Again is the brutally honest, often painful account of Wurtzel's descent into drug addiction. It is also a love story: How Wurtzel managed to break free of her relationship with Ritalin and learned to love life, and herself, is at the heart of this ultimately uplifting memoir that no reader will soon forget.


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Elizabeth Wurtzel published her memoir of depression, Prozac Nation, to astonishing literary acclaim. A cultural phenomenon by age twenty-six, she had fame, money, respecteverything she had always wanted except that one, true thing: happiness. For all of her professional success, Wurtzel felt like a failure. She had lost friends and lovers, every magazine job she'd held, Elizabeth Wurtzel published her memoir of depression, Prozac Nation, to astonishing literary acclaim. A cultural phenomenon by age twenty-six, she had fame, money, respecteverything she had always wanted except that one, true thing: happiness. For all of her professional success, Wurtzel felt like a failure. She had lost friends and lovers, every magazine job she'd held, and way too much weight. She couldn't write, and her second book was past due. But when her doctor prescribed Ritalin to help her focus-and boost the effects of her antidepressants -- Wurtzel was spared. The Ritalin worked. And worked. The pills became her sugar...the sweetness in the days that have none. Soon she began grinding up the Ritalin and snorting it. Then came the cocaine, then more Ritalin, then more cocaine. Then I need more. I always need more. For all of my life I have needed more... More, Now, Again is the brutally honest, often painful account of Wurtzel's descent into drug addiction. It is also a love story: How Wurtzel managed to break free of her relationship with Ritalin and learned to love life, and herself, is at the heart of this ultimately uplifting memoir that no reader will soon forget.

30 review for More, Now, Again: A Memoir of Addiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    I get the impression that most of the people who hate this book have little or no experience with addiction. Yes, of course, Wurtzel comes across as self destructive. That's the point. You think people decide one day that a drug addiction would make their life better? It is really, REALLY hard to watch someone you care about make extremely bad, extremely stupid choices over and over and over. Wurtzel lets you get into her head while she's making these extremely bad choices. I think the idea is t I get the impression that most of the people who hate this book have little or no experience with addiction. Yes, of course, Wurtzel comes across as self destructive. That's the point. You think people decide one day that a drug addiction would make their life better? It is really, REALLY hard to watch someone you care about make extremely bad, extremely stupid choices over and over and over. Wurtzel lets you get into her head while she's making these extremely bad choices. I think the idea is to give people who DON'T have these issues, or any experience with them, a glimpse into the life of someone who does... but like Prozac Nation, I think she ends up only speaking to people who already get it. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing -- I read Prozac Nation when I was so depressed I could barely think, and it was just such a rush to read about someone who "got it". "More, Now, Again" probably speaks better to people who've faced addiction, or who have loved ones who do.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Julie Ehlers

    The first time I read More, Now, Again I was around 30, the age Wurtzel is for most of the period the book takes place. At the time I'd had the easiest, least stressful life imaginable for a few years. I loved my job, I liked my apartment, I had a fun and low-key social life. Sure, there were a few iffy things happening on the periphery, but it would be a few more years before I had to deal with anything serious like that. It's hard to imagine that the true emotional import of any book would've b The first time I read More, Now, Again I was around 30, the age Wurtzel is for most of the period the book takes place. At the time I'd had the easiest, least stressful life imaginable for a few years. I loved my job, I liked my apartment, I had a fun and low-key social life. Sure, there were a few iffy things happening on the periphery, but it would be a few more years before I had to deal with anything serious like that. It's hard to imagine that the true emotional import of any book would've been evident to me during this time, and indeed, what I remembered most about More, Now, Again was Wurtzel's isolation in a Florida hotel room, where she did drugs and engaged in other compulsive behaviors that have to be read about to be believed. The sensationalist stuff. I didn't remember anything about the aftermath, about all the complicated emotions and the trashed career and the messed-up relationships. So reading this again I was struck anew by how brave it all was. People say Elizabeth Wurtzel, as portrayed in her books, is annoying, and it's true, she is. They say she's selfish, and she certainly can be. (Aren't most addicts annoying and selfish sometimes?) People hate this in memoirs, but I always find it to be a relief. Aren't we all selfish and annoying sometimes? Isn't it nice for someone to put it out in the open? It's not like Wurtzel doesn't realize it—she does. And, admirably, she makes zero effort to make herself more likable than she is. This total honesty is really refreshing. I've said this before, but I get so fed up with addiction memoirs that take an extended, solemn deep dive into the author's childhood, as if that really explains anything. And I get so tired of how sorry and regretful everyone makes themselves sound. I realize they are sorry and regretful—Wurtzel is too—but infusing your memoir with these after-the-fact feelings, these poetic musings, has the effect of obscuring what actually went on when you were using. Wurtzel doesn't obscure anything, and for that reason More, Now, Again is probably one of the most accurate depictions of drug addiction you'll find anywhere. The only other I can think of that's this honest is How to Murder Your Life (a book obviously influenced by Wurtzel's writing), but Cat Marnell, honest as she is, is more of a party girl—there's actually some fun in her book. Wurtzel is no party girl; she's a desperate soul, she's not a mess in any kind of fun way, she spoils her own party every time, and she gets that across on the page very effectively. And yet she does have a sense of humor about herself, which is one of the things that saves her, and the reader, from all the bleakness. Readers always accuse memoirists, particularly female memoirists, of being "self-centered." It doesn't matter if they're writing about self-destruction or about redemption, if they're happy or sad, just the fact they they're thinking about themselves is crime enough. I've probably fallen back on this criticism myself, but not anymore. Going forward, if I think a memoir is "self-centered," I'm going to dig a little deeper and figure out what's really bothering me about it. But I don't have to do that with More, Now, Again. Nothing about it bothers me. At a certain point in this book, Wurtzel talks about Hearts of Darkness, the documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now. She marvels that the process of making the film was so disastrous, and yet it resulted in an enduring masterpiece. Then she says: Maybe that's what will happen to this book, all the craziness, everybody coming to the rescue, everybody scared—maybe it will be a work of genius. Trouble is, you never know. You never know until it's all done. I guess it's all done now. I have no idea if More, Now, Again will endure the way Prozac Nation seems to be enduring, but it certainly deserves to. Four stars the first time around, five stars for the reread.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mo

    Oh, it was awful and I couldn't put it down. I have a certain, shall we say, *affinity* for memoirs about really fucked up people. Wurtzel comes across as simultaneously annoying, manipulative, awful, spoiled, whiny, desperate, genuine, shallow, talented and fascinating. The horror, the horror...

  4. 4 out of 5

    y

    Make. her. stop. PLEASE! I picked up this book whenever I felt emotionally constipated - I'd read a few pages, get fed up with her incessant whining and her seemingly endless supply of self-pity, let out a roar of frustration and throw the book against the wall. Then I'd smile and go back to doing whatever I was doing before. It was cathartic in a twisted way, so I guess that's one positive thing I got out of this book...?? I'm not a cold hearted bitch, and I tried really hard to not hate this boo Make. her. stop. PLEASE! I picked up this book whenever I felt emotionally constipated - I'd read a few pages, get fed up with her incessant whining and her seemingly endless supply of self-pity, let out a roar of frustration and throw the book against the wall. Then I'd smile and go back to doing whatever I was doing before. It was cathartic in a twisted way, so I guess that's one positive thing I got out of this book...?? I'm not a cold hearted bitch, and I tried really hard to not hate this book or Ms. Wurtzel's publishers for considering this worthy of publication - but what rubs me the wrong way is the lack of any sort of narrative organization in the book. I'm all for a realistic, just-the-naked-truth approach to memoirs, especially those that deal with the darker aspects of human nature, but this book is 300+ pages of self indulgent whining. There doesn't seem to be any WRITING in this book; rather, it reads like a transcription of Ms. Wurtzel's therapy sessions. Gosh, if this is all it takes to get published nowadays, we should publish the diaries of anyone and everyone with a self-destructive habit or two... ugh. I read this book over a year ago and it still manages to piss me off.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mosey

    Someone here on "Goodreads" named Catherine wrote that "I don't freaking give a damn that she appeared whiny and self-absorbed to everyone else; the nature of depression and addiction lends itself to introspection that is hard to avoid." Thank you, Catherine. F***ing brilliant. I couldn't figure out how to defend this writing that I have loved for years while at the same time admitting that it, at times, is "whiny" and "self-absorbed". It may be whiny and self-absorbed but it is sooooo real and Someone here on "Goodreads" named Catherine wrote that "I don't freaking give a damn that she appeared whiny and self-absorbed to everyone else; the nature of depression and addiction lends itself to introspection that is hard to avoid." Thank you, Catherine. F***ing brilliant. I couldn't figure out how to defend this writing that I have loved for years while at the same time admitting that it, at times, is "whiny" and "self-absorbed". It may be whiny and self-absorbed but it is sooooo real and captivating and gritty. When I say gritty the thing I remember most about this book is the image of her on ritalin (awake for days on end) in her apartment that she called a treehouse, getting so obsessive-compulsive and focused and insane that she felt compelled to pull out her leg hairs with tweezers." I first read "Prozac Nation, loved it, then read "Bitch", which didn't seem like the same author. Bitch is more like a non-fiction non-sense tirade about feminism (which I love) but boring as hell. Then I read "More, Now, Again" where she reveals that while writing "Bitch" she was addicted to ritalin. Ok, that makes sense.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    Wurtzel is a self-absorbed ninny who writes too many memoirs.

  7. 5 out of 5

    L Dub

    This is the real story of addiction. This is what A Million Little Pieces failed to convey. She finally learns humility and loses a sense of entitlement, and that is a growing experience that most spoiled Americans would benefit from. I believe the real addiction is that of consumption. As individuals we medicate ourselves with food, drugs, shopping, attention-seeking behavior etc. We try to replace people with things because we've grown to distrust others and refuse to appear vulnerable. Pride This is the real story of addiction. This is what A Million Little Pieces failed to convey. She finally learns humility and loses a sense of entitlement, and that is a growing experience that most spoiled Americans would benefit from. I believe the real addiction is that of consumption. As individuals we medicate ourselves with food, drugs, shopping, attention-seeking behavior etc. We try to replace people with things because we've grown to distrust others and refuse to appear vulnerable. Pride is our sickness, and it's harder to give up than any bad habit.

  8. 5 out of 5

    stephanie

    DON'T FEED HER DRUG HABIT! this is another indulgence memoir that give memiors a bad name. she describes how she finished her earlier book, bitch, by getting high first on ritalin, and then on coke. she never takes responsibility for anything, she blames the world and not herself, and I HATE HER.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jalyssa Elliott

    I'm not finished and I may be biased but I'm adding my two cents anyway. I see a lot of complaining about Elizabeth Wurtzel being a self indulgent, whining writer who writes too many memoirs. Let me be objective in this and not take into consideration Bitch or Prozac Nation. Had I never read those books I would have still fallen in love with this book. Why? Why even though she whines, blames others for her emotional issues, prattles on in a non-linear way that doesn't seem to be exactly heading I'm not finished and I may be biased but I'm adding my two cents anyway. I see a lot of complaining about Elizabeth Wurtzel being a self indulgent, whining writer who writes too many memoirs. Let me be objective in this and not take into consideration Bitch or Prozac Nation. Had I never read those books I would have still fallen in love with this book. Why? Why even though she whines, blames others for her emotional issues, prattles on in a non-linear way that doesn't seem to be exactly heading toward a clear solution or ending, is self indulgent in her writing style regardless of who may or may not be reading the material? Easy. Everything I have just described is the nature of addiction. It is honest. It is unflinching. It is raw and it is real. What addict do you know of to be pragmatic and objective in the midst of active addiction? Since when has an addict who is waist deep in a binge stopped and went, "You know? I should really have considered so-and-so's opinion before I said that to them."? Who I ask? The nature of addiction is selfish. It is self-destructive and indulgent. It is erratic and self-indulgent. It is balls deep in "Poor me" and "If only you hadn't (fill in the blank)". Had she told her story any other way it wouldn't have been real or true to her experience and I respect her guts for telling it the way it actually happened in the voice that it actually occurred in. If you are looking for the run of mill story of addiction where the protagonist falls, suffers and then makes a miraculous recovery through rigorous 12-step work and then realizes the meaning to life in some profound way and is completely transformed - tada!- this book is not for you.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Peachy

    More, Now, Again may often seem like merely arrogant, spoiled brat, stream-of-conscious writing, but it is also an honest and accurate account of the narcissistic, contrived and ingenuitive life of an addict drowning in psychosis and a disengaged mind. www.booksnakereviews.blogspot.com More, Now, Again may often seem like merely arrogant, spoiled brat, stream-of-conscious writing, but it is also an honest and accurate account of the narcissistic, contrived and ingenuitive life of an addict drowning in psychosis and a disengaged mind. www.booksnakereviews.blogspot.com

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    i had been interested in reading this for more than a year, after hearing that Elizabeth Wurtzel got sober in AA after writing Prozac Nation, but I decided to buy it when I started taking Adderall. Wurtzel's story begins when she is prescribed Ritalin to treat "treatment resistent depression" like I was, and I was very interested to read about her experience, especially because taking this new medication makes me feel a little embarrassed and nervous, as someone in recovery. The good news is tha i had been interested in reading this for more than a year, after hearing that Elizabeth Wurtzel got sober in AA after writing Prozac Nation, but I decided to buy it when I started taking Adderall. Wurtzel's story begins when she is prescribed Ritalin to treat "treatment resistent depression" like I was, and I was very interested to read about her experience, especially because taking this new medication makes me feel a little embarrassed and nervous, as someone in recovery. The good news is that, while I identified pretty much constantly with the experience of addiction in the book, I was reassured of my own healthy consumption of ADHD meds for depression because I have had no desire, thoughts, or compulsion to abuse, much less snort, my Adderall. As a big memoir fan, I really enjoyed this one. More importantly, I have read many memoirs of addicts and addiction and this is definitely one of the best, comprable to Dry by Augusten Burroughs. Obviously I'm biased, but it really annoys me when authors describe their experience with incredible detail, depth, and self-reflection, only to claim in the last 50 pages that they are not an addict, did not need a 12 step program, etc. (I'm referring here to Smashed, A Drinking Life by Pete Hamil, and to a lesser extent The Tender Bar. Jack London's John Barleycorn belongs in a category of self-indulgent denial and dated silliness all to itself.) Besides being an excellently insightful and true to life account of Wutzel's addiction, the author's searing intelligence, world-class education, and impeccable literary knowledge kept me deep in thought by providing countless references and quotes (from songs, novels, poetry, pop culture). Wurtzel's profound understanding of the nature of addiction combined with the above mentioned talents allow her to make many of her own accute observations into awesome sobriety sound bites. Some of my favorites: "That's the main difference between depression and addiction, as far as I can tell: depression is full of need, and addiction fulfills that need." "Most drug addicts who stay clean will tell you that they did all the things they were supposed to, they went to meetings, they took care of themselves, but in the end it really was some higher power that pulled them through. In the end, it was grace." "I started using cocaine because I liked some guy. It was the middle of the day, he was at work, and I'd call. He'd say, I'm in a meeting, honey - he's call me honey because he liked me too - and he'd say, I'll call you in five. Five would turn to ten and then twenty more minutes and I'd be a wreck....so things fall apart before they start, and I'm always alone." "Here is how heroin - how all drugs - makes me feel: Quite simply, it makes me feel okay to be me. Here is how I feel not on drugs: I hate me. If anyone has ever been in love with me for real, I don't know about it. All I can remember is good-byes. Sometimes someone will be standing in front of me and already I feel him walking away. It's only a matter of time, so what's the point? I have no sense of presence, mine or anyone else's. But on drugs, I could feel that moment, I could be something besides nostolgic for the things that haven't happened yet. I could live here now." I could go on forever but the point is made. People say, and I agree, that reading one of the stories in the back of the book is like going to a meeting. I feel the same about good addiction memoirs, except better because the people who wrote the stories in the book are not, shall we say, professional writers. Wurtzel's story is very different from mine, but I identify with the feelings. Her experiences and insight on being an intellectual snob and playing semantic games to get out of looking at her shit, co-dependency in relationships and dating, relationships with friends and co-workers who are not addicts, and especially depression all interested me either because I've been there to some extent or I could be.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ivy

    I have always had problems with people, with the whole human race. Is it because I'm scared to be hurt or because humans are often unfriendly, selfish and offending? I try so hard to be friendly and gentle, but don't seem to get this back very often. I'm very sensitive, which means that little things in life count and that I think too much about random things. I really wish to be more relaxed and laid back! Anyway, why am I telling this? I have read a section in Wurtzel's book that I really liked I have always had problems with people, with the whole human race. Is it because I'm scared to be hurt or because humans are often unfriendly, selfish and offending? I try so hard to be friendly and gentle, but don't seem to get this back very often. I'm very sensitive, which means that little things in life count and that I think too much about random things. I really wish to be more relaxed and laid back! Anyway, why am I telling this? I have read a section in Wurtzel's book that I really liked concerning the topic of being friendly: "And I find myself wanting to tell Pamela that I know she barely knows me, but she has no idea what I have been through in the last year, has no idea what I am going through right now. Pehaps for the first time in my life I understand the value of good manners: I understand that you must be polite to all people at all times because you never know what difficulties they might be struggling with at that precise moment, you never know how the slightest wrong thing that you say could be the last little iota it takes to send a person who is just barely holding it together into a complete breakdown. The one little mistake you make, bumping into someone as you walk busily across a crowded sidewalk, shoving a woman aside as you push your way into a crowded subway car, spilling red wine on someone else's white shirt because you weren't paying attention as you made your rounds trough a cocktail party - you never know if that misguided gesture might not be the reason some poor lost soul ends up in the looney bin."

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra

    From the first time I read the back cover of this book, I was hooked. Wurtzel's description of Ritalin as "sugar...the sweetness in the days that have none" mirrored ver batim my own experience with the drug. As a recovering addict, it was impossible not to be moved by Wurtzel's brutally honest and totally real account of her experience with the true nature of addiction - both the pain and the redemption. Yet I wouldn't be altogether surprised if to the average reader Wurtzel is seen as a self-a From the first time I read the back cover of this book, I was hooked. Wurtzel's description of Ritalin as "sugar...the sweetness in the days that have none" mirrored ver batim my own experience with the drug. As a recovering addict, it was impossible not to be moved by Wurtzel's brutally honest and totally real account of her experience with the true nature of addiction - both the pain and the redemption. Yet I wouldn't be altogether surprised if to the average reader Wurtzel is seen as a self-absorbed, attention-seeking brat. For this reason I don't recommend this book to someone with no knowledge of or experience with addiction, not because the book isn't excellent but for that very reason. What makes this book great is Wurtzel's ability to verbalize the seemingly irrelavant details of what it is to be addicted. More, Now Again is not a pleasant read, and to the average person Wurtzel may seem anything but a heroine. But what may seem a depressing, drawn-out whine-fest to some is sure to grab the gut of the recovering addict. Wurtzel puts into words what we all feel, and will tell you truths about yourself that even you were not aware existed. You will laugh with her, cry with her, and ultimately cheer her - and yourself - on as she finds what all addicts so desperately long for - hope.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Hope

    LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT!! READ IT, READ IT, READ IT!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Elizabeth Wurtzel made a name for herself with her depression memoir, Prozac Nation. This book is a retrospective look at her struggle with addiction. She was a polysubstance abuser, but she really got her start crushing and snorting ritalin. Perhaps she was ahead of her time in a sense (this was written 15 years ago), as prescription drugs like ritalin have become more and more frequently abused in the last decade. What was most impressive to me about this memoir was how well she was able to ca Elizabeth Wurtzel made a name for herself with her depression memoir, Prozac Nation. This book is a retrospective look at her struggle with addiction. She was a polysubstance abuser, but she really got her start crushing and snorting ritalin. Perhaps she was ahead of her time in a sense (this was written 15 years ago), as prescription drugs like ritalin have become more and more frequently abused in the last decade. What was most impressive to me about this memoir was how well she was able to capture her mind set while using and craving drugs from a distance. She does not spare herself in this book, honestly portraying herself as a desperate, depressed, selfish addict who drove or tried to drive away nearly everyone who cared about her. But still, her humanity shines through, and you can't help but pull for her as she experiences her many and seemingly inevitably failures. The level of disclosure itself seems almost pathological - as if only by baring her worst self to everyone could she prove to herself that whoever is left won't abandon her when they find out how ruined she is. Unsurprisingly, she comes from a troubled family, feeling abandoned, misunderstood and unloved. Her relationships with men play this out and reinforce her belief that she can never be truly loved. She waits and waits for men, and the thing that makes the waiting bearable is drugs. It is hard to imagine what it must feel like to write something like this and have it in the world, read by millions, knowing that that many people know your secrets. Despite her obvious insecurity, it seems to be like an act of courage. I think about how hard it is for me to sing a personal song in a bar with 100 people in it, and reading this humbles me. When I finished it, I wanted nothing more in the world than for this woman to be ok, and because of when it was written, I realized I could find out immediately. So I went to the internet and was shocked to find that the book was generally panned. People found it self-absorbed and non-directional. It made me wonder if she had created so many enemies within the literary community with her addictive behavior that there was no one left to stick up for her. She hasn't written a lot in the last decade - she got a law degree and practiced a bit, and then seemingly out of nowhere fell in love and got married last year for the first time at age 47. It would seem a happy ending were it not for her breast cancer diagnosis 3 months before the wedding. To her credit, she described her cancer as not in the top 10 worst things that have happened to her, and it appears that after buying into the AA/NA lifestyle, she has remained clean. Kids, don't do drugs.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rlgraban

    Anyone who has delt with the mental health system in this country will understand the point that this book establishes - pills don't make the demons go away or the depression stop. It is then that too many people turn to addiction to quiet the darkness. For anyone who has been troubled with addiction, weather it be personal or someone in your life, and won will see the beauty in this book shows about the resilance of a womans character when all odds are pitted against her.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alex Ankarr

    One of my all-time faves, possibly largely due to schadenfreude. (I hear she's rude to waitstaff. /bulgyeyes, meaningful look) Wonderfully hilarious, continuous fuck-ups ago-go!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I loved prozac nation because I understood what she was going through and it was nice to read about someone elses problems instead of thinking of my own. so I was looking forward to reading this one as well. I really liked it even though I found her to be very annoying and often times I wish I could go through the book and ring her neck about the way she viewed some things but that is why i like her books so much because they make you feel even if you do not identify with what she is going throu I loved prozac nation because I understood what she was going through and it was nice to read about someone elses problems instead of thinking of my own. so I was looking forward to reading this one as well. I really liked it even though I found her to be very annoying and often times I wish I could go through the book and ring her neck about the way she viewed some things but that is why i like her books so much because they make you feel even if you do not identify with what she is going through or not.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lillian

    This book kind of makes me sick. The author is so self involved and fucked up and it totally sucks me in. Interesting documentation on addiction, but really more like a theraputic diary written and left lying out for someone to find and take pity on the author- and maybe should have been kept that way. I will finish it though.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Marykickel

    Grow up and get a grip elizabeth wurtzel.

  21. 5 out of 5

    victoria

    Let me DEFEND my wurtzel girl here kids. I think that her publishers had a lot to do with this book being a redemption story when all was said and done. Being that BITCH was such a....well....coked up little wander through Wurtzel's rathering refreshing Bad Girl take on the big scary F word---maybe her long-suffering friend & agent Lydia just didn't want another nightmare book tour--wurtzel missing her connection to Sweden and ending up buying expensive scarves and alchohol in Iceland instead, cra Let me DEFEND my wurtzel girl here kids. I think that her publishers had a lot to do with this book being a redemption story when all was said and done. Being that BITCH was such a....well....coked up little wander through Wurtzel's rathering refreshing Bad Girl take on the big scary F word---maybe her long-suffering friend & agent Lydia just didn't want another nightmare book tour--wurtzel missing her connection to Sweden and ending up buying expensive scarves and alchohol in Iceland instead, crashing out on the doubleday couches with old chinesse food and an adorable yet tiresome attitude, pissing everyone off including old friends lovers and drug connections all over the city, slutting her way through yet another rehab. You know maybe her agent just saw a chance for her to make a little more money before she started Law School at Yale. Maybe this was all in the end a part of a reputation make over for the lovely and talented Ms. Wurtzel. Her beauty should not be held against her. People always do that---they think, "She is SO pretty that she doesn't have to PAY for her mistakes like the rest of us." Well, I think she has paid plenty & now she's enjoying the benefits of her hard work. Despite the general feeling the reader may have of stories not being told her---it still has the essential lizzie goodness---cool music quotes, literary references, wacky tales of travel family and county jail, time spent in hotel rooms and bars. Hey... there's even married MEN and PORN. What more could you ask? Nice one Liz! What's your retainer? =)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sigrid Ellis

    It's hard to say what I think of this book. I like it, certainly, but it's not the kind of thing that lends itself to "like" and "good." It's terrifically effective. Reading Wurtzel's description of what her life of addiction was like while she wrote Bitch makes me feel like I don't want to read Bitch -- however good it may be. I think I'd spend the book pondering Wurtzel in her succession of Florida apartments, or in her publisher's office, snorting an eightball of coke a day and going out of h It's hard to say what I think of this book. I like it, certainly, but it's not the kind of thing that lends itself to "like" and "good." It's terrifically effective. Reading Wurtzel's description of what her life of addiction was like while she wrote Bitch makes me feel like I don't want to read Bitch -- however good it may be. I think I'd spend the book pondering Wurtzel in her succession of Florida apartments, or in her publisher's office, snorting an eightball of coke a day and going out of her mind. I spent a huge amount of time reading this books laughing in pained recognition of the logic of the addict. I love junkie logic; it's so damn familiar to me. But I can't swear that this book will make any kind of sense, or be anything but frustrating, to someone who does not understand that the only important thing on earth is to get the next hit of the drugs that makes you feel sane, that makes you feel normal, that makes you feel less, that makes you feel nothing at all but the chemicals you just inhaled. If you don't get that, if you've never felt that way, then you probably won't enjoy Wurtzel's book. God knows I wanted to kick the woman across the room half the time, even in my sympathy. But her prose is letter-perfect, her honesty forces you to share her life intimately, and her experience of addiction is a compelling read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    John

    Although our main character "Liz", in this memoir is every bit as self-absorbed and disagreeable as the "Liz" in that other paean to the self, "Eat, Pray, Love", her humanity is front and center on every page and as a reader I was feeling what she felt and generally understanding the sometimes reasonable, sometimes ridiculous points of view she held on the book's action. This is some bravado writing, well-executed and detailed to the point of obsession. It is a tour of a human spirit in free fall Although our main character "Liz", in this memoir is every bit as self-absorbed and disagreeable as the "Liz" in that other paean to the self, "Eat, Pray, Love", her humanity is front and center on every page and as a reader I was feeling what she felt and generally understanding the sometimes reasonable, sometimes ridiculous points of view she held on the book's action. This is some bravado writing, well-executed and detailed to the point of obsession. It is a tour of a human spirit in free fall. I recall Rimbaud as a point of reference, and Wm S Burroughs as a comparison view. Liz is one tortured soul throughout, but thoughtful, well-meaning and failing miserably. I have read so many memoirs of addiction (Rock Bios, mainly) that none of the revelations are new. What's new here is the level of analysis and introspection. Ms Wurtzel seems to figure it all out as she progresses (and she does progress). Now, that's interesting. A story arc with a pot of gold at the end. Frailty, vanity, emotional blindness, self-deception, deceit, self-destruction, selfishness: these qualities are all so human and they are acted out and discussed in a detailed, logical sequence. Good luck, Liz, you're a lot like all of us.

  24. 5 out of 5

    S.

    Prozac Nation's Elizabeth Wurtzel can write. the only problem, of course, is that the writing is all about addiction, addiction, addiction, problem, problem, problem, me, me, me. well, I guess I admit that it's not for everyone. but I also believe the skill involved in writing something like this is actually underrated-- just try it, you know, just try it. write about your coffee habit or cigarettes, and you'll see, it's not all that easy. no creativity is! although today Wurtzel looks kinda wash Prozac Nation's Elizabeth Wurtzel can write. the only problem, of course, is that the writing is all about addiction, addiction, addiction, problem, problem, problem, me, me, me. well, I guess I admit that it's not for everyone. but I also believe the skill involved in writing something like this is actually underrated-- just try it, you know, just try it. write about your coffee habit or cigarettes, and you'll see, it's not all that easy. no creativity is! although today Wurtzel looks kinda washed up (post-drug addictee) there is an achievement here. feel like to some degree I am playing the defense here against the storm of Wurtzel skeptics, but well, a lot of people did finish this book. it's Sylvia Plath's Bell Jar updated (and in one section, does seem to consciously echo the Plath section on the Rosenbergs; deliberate imitation of an unpopular cause)... maybe I'm too oversympathetic. but well, I guess I will actually read Prozac Nation one day

  25. 5 out of 5

    Stephen McQuiggan

    Lizzie Wurtzel is a successful, wealthy young woman whose first book brought her fame along with critical acclaim. But Lizzie has problems, problems that only seem to go away when she gets high - so Lizzie decides to try and make them stay away for good. This is so honest it is almost embarrassing to read - akin to publishing your diary, warts and all. She is demanding, unreasonable, arrogant, loud, obnoxious, insufferable and yet somehow still loveable. Her self analysis is as touching as her o Lizzie Wurtzel is a successful, wealthy young woman whose first book brought her fame along with critical acclaim. But Lizzie has problems, problems that only seem to go away when she gets high - so Lizzie decides to try and make them stay away for good. This is so honest it is almost embarrassing to read - akin to publishing your diary, warts and all. She is demanding, unreasonable, arrogant, loud, obnoxious, insufferable and yet somehow still loveable. Her self analysis is as touching as her opinions of others are funny. The relapse section, where she tersely falls back into cocaine use after four months of hard won abstinence is tragic in its matter of fact inevitability. The mess that is her life is quite spectacular, but nothing is shied away from or deemed too personal - sex, her parents, her clingy desperation. it's easy to dismiss this as the whinging of a spoilt brat, but hurt is hurt is hurt; rarely has it been so well expressed. At times depressing, the book ends with a beginning rendering it ultimately inspirational.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Giulia

    Elizabeth Wurtzel's honesty is worth praising, she brings up several things caused by her addiction that many would not even tell their therapist about. She describes to us what an awful person addiction turns you into. However, most of this book is, in my personal opinion, poorly written. This book could easily have been reduced by a hundred pages. She gets very repetitive, she re-describes her issues and past over and over again. And how awful everyone is, and how awful she is. A loop of misery Elizabeth Wurtzel's honesty is worth praising, she brings up several things caused by her addiction that many would not even tell their therapist about. She describes to us what an awful person addiction turns you into. However, most of this book is, in my personal opinion, poorly written. This book could easily have been reduced by a hundred pages. She gets very repetitive, she re-describes her issues and past over and over again. And how awful everyone is, and how awful she is. A loop of misery. And even during her last bit of recovery she does not take full responsibility of her previous actions. There's always a reason or an excuse. But maybe that¨s the whole point, maybe that's just how someone with an addictive personality is. But in the end it stopped becoming a memoir of addiction, and more of a personal rant about her life. If this book had been edited better, it would probably have been worth 3-4 stars. All I can say is that it's an easy read and somewhat interesting.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Drowndolly

    I absolutely hated this book! I finished it because I hate starting books and never finishing them. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone. In this book, she's whiny and blames everyone else for her problems and NEVER takes responsibility for herself and her own actions. I think that's one reason why I hate the book so much. It doesn't seem fitting to call it a "memoir".

  28. 4 out of 5

    BookActivist

    I'm almost done with this book, and well I HATE IT. It' horribly written. She drags ON AND ON about something little. Written as though she is bragging about how her life was. Well it's been almost 7 months now since I've started this book and well I'm still in the spot I was when I wrote the first page of this review. I would NOT recommend this book to ANYONE. She is a HORRIBLE writter.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    I am quite bias when it comes to most memoirs. I usually love them even if they are flawed in various manners. The only thing I would struggle with is poor writing. I cannot finish a book if it is poorly written. However, this is not the case with this memoir. It was not poorly written, but it did deal with an uncomfortable look at how an addict really is. Elizabeth Wurtzel writes like the real addict that she was---self centered and self absorbed, needy, and extremely candid. I can understand i I am quite bias when it comes to most memoirs. I usually love them even if they are flawed in various manners. The only thing I would struggle with is poor writing. I cannot finish a book if it is poorly written. However, this is not the case with this memoir. It was not poorly written, but it did deal with an uncomfortable look at how an addict really is. Elizabeth Wurtzel writes like the real addict that she was---self centered and self absorbed, needy, and extremely candid. I can understand if one were to read this memoir and not enjoy it, or even like the author's character. There were plenty of times when I would read an excerpt and find myself thinking how spoiled rotten she was---how she didn't seem to have many things to really complain about since she was already an established writer who gained notoriety from her first book Prozac Nation. That first book along with her having been a Harvard graduate gave her much more than the "average"junky who did not have the means or the amount of reliable friends and family she had. Despite her better position in life, Wurtzel definitely was the first to admit she was very conscious of her gifts while at the same time was honest about how disgusted she was with herself for having so many of these issues---drug addiction, depression, relationship issues, ect. Although I found this memoir to expose the mind of how an addict not only becomes entrenched into addiction, I also found her writing not as effective and fiery as what I have read of her in terms of her past work---namely that of her commentary pieces from various magazines. She is actually an incredibly charming writer in other pieces. Her memoir was easy to read and I had no issue enjoying it, but it definitely did not resonate quite like her essays/commentary pieces I have read. Still the same---I enjoyed getting to understand her perspective. I plan on reading her first book Prozac Nation to compare.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Coleman

    i miss her so much

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