7.14.2006

Book Review: Smack

Smack by Melvin Burgess

SUMMARY: At 14, sweet-natured Tar leaves his small seaside town for Bristol to get away from his alcoholic, abusive parents. Gemma follows him to escape an infuriatingly repressive (to her, at least) home situation. Reveling in their newfound freedom, the two find shelter with a welcoming set of anarchists squatting in an abandoned building, then move on to live with Lily and Rob, a glamorous couple a year or so older who willingly share not just their squat, but their heroin too. Using multiple narrators, and only rarely resorting to violence or graphic details, Burgess chronicles drug addiction's slow, irresistible initial stages, capturing with devastating precision each teenager's combination of innocence, self-deceit, and bravado; the subsequent loss of personality and self-respect; the increasingly unsuccessful efforts to maintain a semblance of control. Based on actual people and incidents, this harrowing tale is as compellingly real as it is tragic. (excerpted from the Kirkus review)

OPINION: Heroin tricks your mind into thinking you are totally in control, when, in reality, you are a total junkie. This book chronicles the slow decline of teen abusers Tar, Gemma, Lily, and Rob. The sad part is that they are likable people. I was rooting for them through the whole book, no matter how many poor choices they made. This book is not overly graphic or overly preachy, but it is devistatingly realistic. If you like your realistic fiction on the gritty and streetwise side, this book's for you.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

This book made me cry. I had a vivid picture of every scene in my head and, at the end, it broke my heart. It's my favorite book and I recommend it to everyone.

Anonymous said...

this was probably my favorite book of all time. I discovered it very young and it left a long impression. I must have read this book about 10 billion times, and it never ceases to hit my heart each time i read it.

Anonymous said...

It was ok.

Anonymous said...

This book changed my view on drug users and addicts. It takes you into young runaway addicts personal stories. Gets you attached. Read it a million times,never gets old. Love it

Calem Philbeck said...

Like most addicts, the characters in this book are like anyone else in this world just trying there hardest to live, and discover what this life truly holds for them. They feel like family almost as if they could be your best friend, son, daughter, brother, or sister and this allows you to become even more attatched to them as people you might know, not just a friend of a friend you heard this story about. Your relationship evolves quickly as you read on, and you will soon find yourself feeling like part of the eclectic family of this book. A great read, it delivers you to the dark world of drug abuse, where love seems to be rare, but when is found proves all the more true.