Friday, July 26, 2013

Needle by Craig Jordan Goodman

Rating:  3 out of 5 stars.

Being born and raised in New York, Craig Jordan Goodman had an advantage on all those dreamers who flocked to the city during the 1990s and early 2000s to make their dreams of stardom come true. He had the musical talent to make his music career dream a definitely reality until he began down the path of becoming heroin junky.

Alongside his good friend, Perry, Goodman follows the dope-bricked road as it leads him further and further into a world of desperation, sacrifice and near-deadly consequences. In his honest and brashly descriptive memoir, he admits his faults, insecurities, and poor decisions. As it was his friend who introduced him to the drug, Perry also helped to lead him away from an almost certain death.

I fined memoirs to be interesting, moving and often times, truly inspiring. This book fulfilled those qualities and then some as I dove into the world of a city and drug that I had absolutely no idea about. To me, the most refreshing quality of the book was the brash honesty that Goodman puts forth as he writes about everything in his life from his own hypocrisy in drug use, the rise and downfall of his music career and the levels at which he went in order to obtain his fix.

Although there were moments of clarity and amusement, the overall journey with heroin was an intensely dark one for the author. Most disturbing to me was the level of detachment that I felt the author had toward the end of the book. He was not only detached from the severity of his situation in any regard, but he appeared to be detached from any and all human interaction unless it was absolutely necessary. This was a complete 180 degree turn from the beginning of the book where he was closely tied to a wide circle of people. A harrowing portrait of how isolating drug use can become, the story of the author's life serves as a wake-up call to those who are ready to listen.

While I couldn't relate to much of what the author had been through in terms of the drug use and related consequences, the emotions stemming from the isolation and despair came across in such a way that anyone could have empathized with him. It's truly a remarkable turnaround to see that the author is now living the type of life is meant to life and doing something positive with his time and energy by giving abused and abandoned dogs a second chance. The proceeds from his book sales go to help fund programs to help eliminate animal cruelty and homelessness among animals. If you're looking for an honest depiction of life in the midst of addiction, this book gives a truly honest portrayal.

Needle by Craig Jordan Goodman is currently available in both paperback and Kindle form at A portion of the proceeds does go to help end animal cruelty and homelessness. A sequel to the novel, Needle, is set to be released toward the end of the year. The book can be purchased at Amazon by clicking the link below.
Needle by Craig Jordan Goodman

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