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Permanent Midnight: A Memoir Paperback – Jun 1 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 371 pages
  • Publisher: Hushion House (June 1 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976082209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976082200
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #357,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"An extraordinary accomplishment... A remarkable book that will be of great value to people who feel isolated, alienated and overwhelmed by the circumstances of their lives." --Hubert Selby, Jr., author of Last Exit to Brooklyn "[Stahl] is a better-than-Burroughs virtuoso." --Thomas Mallon, The New Yorker "Original, appalling, indelible picture of a man trying to swim and drown at the same time. Stahl has nerve, heart, a language of his own and a ghastly, riotous humor." --Tobias Wolff, author of This Boy's Life "Permanent Midnight is one of the most harrowing and toughest accounts ever written in this century about what it means to be a junkie in America, making Burroughs look dated and Kerouac appear as the nose-thumbing adolescent he was." --Booklist --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Novelist, screenwriter, and journalist, Jerry Stahl has written nine books, including the novels Perv, Pain Killers, Happy Mutant Baby Pills, the highly acclaimed and bestselling I, Fatty -optioned by Johnny Depp-and his latest collection of personal essays, OG Dad. He has written for a variety of publications including Details (where he was Culture columnist), The Believer, The New York Times, and Esquire, and is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize for short fiction.

Stahl is that rarest of writers, one whose work has been embraced by both the underground and mainstream alike. His extensive film and TV credits range from the X-rated cult classic Cafe Flesh to ALF, the highest-rated episode of CSI to the HBO film Hemingway & Gellhorn. Stahl has taught at Sylmar Juvenile Hall and San Quentin. Most recently, he writes for the IFC series, Maron, and is completing a new novel, Ten-Cent Apocalypse.

Nic Sheff is a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. Still in his early twenties, he continues to fight daily battles with his addictions. His writing has been published in Newsweek, Nerve, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Tweak is his first book. Both Stahl and Sheff live in Los Angeles. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
I used to think that there was no way out, that I would just have to kill myself. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa1a3bf6c) out of 5 stars 20 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7c56c18) out of 5 stars Good Read May 22 2009
By April Wiley - Published on
Format: Paperback
I don't read a lot of memoirs, but this one sparked my interest. Jerry Stahl is a writer, obviously, who has written for Playboy, Hustler, Penthouse and then on to screenwriting in Hollywood. Somewhere along the way he picked up a very nasty drug addiction.

He starts with acid in High School, and quickly moves on to cocaine and heroin.

This book is very honest. Stahl makes plenty of excuses for his addiction but also admits that he shouldn't have any excuses. He's a very well paid TV screenwriter (ALF, Moonlighting, Thirty Something) with a $6,000 a week heroin addiction.

One story that sticks but in my mind is when Jerry is given a week to write a sample for Twin Peaks. He is in such an extreme drug haze, that when the messenger arrives to pick up the script, Jerry thinks it's only been two days. Sorry, Jerry, it's been seven. Then there's the time Jerry smokes crack while living out of his car and realizes he's `one of those people.'

Jerry tries to clean up multiple times. Sometimes he succeeds, but he always seems to find his way back into the arms of his addiction. Not even his newborn baby can save Jerry.

I enjoyed this book. It is dark and at times disturbing. But, Jerry remains hopeful. This book was written in 1994, and I hope Jerry is clean.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa177e714) out of 5 stars Beautiful Loser Is Right March 28 2008
By Slacky B - Published on
Format: Paperback
The reader who began his review with the header Beautiful Loser was spot on. Of course, this book has plenty of the scandalous details about hepatitis C, vomiting, blood, nodding and assorted weirdness. But the real strength of the book is the consistently poignant way in which Stahl describes his feeling of absolute alienation from everything. These passages are touching, accurate, moving and eloquent. For a slightly less eloquent version of the exact same terrain of alienation as seen through addiction, try Dee Dee Ramone's autobiography.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa177ed68) out of 5 stars Best memoir I've read on addiction May 6 2015
By Ryan leone - Published on
Format: Paperback
Years ago, I had a great job working as a media broker for a major television network. I was also heavily addicted to heroin and crack. So here I am going to network meetings in L.A, nodding in and out, and trying to balance both lives simultaneously. One of my best friends told me that my life was remiscent of a guy named Jerry Stahl and reccomended the Ben Stiller film, Permanant Midnight. I really identified with it.

Fast forward a few years later and I am jobless, scoring in East L.A, and selling large quantities of heroin. I got busted and was hauled off to federal prison for four years. I rememebered the movie and knew that it was a also a book. So I had my dad order it.

Jerry Stahl is one of the genuine talents of his generation. The book blew me away. I'd classify it as a literary memoir, Stahl really flexes his writing muscles and tells his story in a refreshingly honest way. It wasn't self-indulgant as some reviewers have lamented. This was an indictment on the materialistic, ego-driven, who-do-you-know, world of Hollywood. This guy knows what he's talking about and it seems that some readers have mistaken his sincerity for something they don't understand because they haven't inhabited the world he desribes.

Another complaint that reviewers seem to have is that his story somehow lacks validity because he was given so many opportunities for success. The fact of the matter is that he is a great writer. He attended Colombia University and worked his way from a seedy Hustler magazine job to writing for various television programs. He earned the opportunities presented to him. And heroin addiction doesn't discriminate... It can sink its claws into you no matter what socioeconomic class you are part of. Addiction is still just as horrific and the struggles are just as arresting.

Humor really makes this memoir standout as the masterpiece that it is. Humor is the last coping mechanism that an addict has, after all of their other emotional responses have been stripped away. When I was an addict I made everything a joke, no matter the degree of damage I was inflicting on myself. When I was arrested, when I contracted hepatitis c, when I had to get a puss-filled abcess lanced; it was all something to laugh off. The majority of memoirs about drug addiction are overly morose. They talk about the misery and never make light of it. Consequently, they lack emotional honesty. This memoir examined addiction and was sure to point out its absurdity when it was needed, all done so in this dark satirical way, that any true junkie will find humor, truth, and comfort in.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1ee651c) out of 5 stars Accuracy... Feb. 16 2006
By H. Ottsen - Published on
Format: Paperback
If you don't want to shoot up for years and figure it out on your own, please read this book. If you wonder why your genius-kid is out shooting up, please read this book. If you think you might go and shoot up, please, please, please read this book (instead). It is a 100% accurate portrayal of the highly intelligent, not to mention highly creative, mind under the influence of a completely destructive upbringing and eventually a completely enslaving opiate habit. You will see the hypocrisy, both short and long term, any addict must justify or at least fog out in order to continue the cycle (a cycle most people will never understand). You will, after more or less going through it with Jerry (what, with the friendly and familiar choice of words, stomach-dropping descriptions and gut bursting humor), reach the end of this book with a thoughtful and understanding tear in your eye and, if you were lucky enough to have read it instead of having to go through it (which usually goes down without the $6000 a week to spend), a new and broader understanding of people you might have otherwise summed up and dismissed (at a less informed time of your life). Take interest in a problem which affects our families as well as ourselves. Please read this heart-felt masterpiece.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1a88564) out of 5 stars Beautiful loser July 24 2005
By Adolph Pastrami - Published on
Format: Paperback
I thought I would hate this book because the guy seemed like some rich Hollywood type who romanticized his bout with drugs. The saving grace, was that the book is completely hilarious.