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Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
David Sheff, a professional journalist, has written a powerful account of his journey with his son, Nic, as he attempts to help him to recover from a meth addiction. This is a real-life story that is filled with a gamut of emotions such as fear, compassion, frustration and triumph. What is most compelling about his recollections is that they follow in an easy-to-read prose the daily struggles that both parent and son endure in order to get a handle on this deadly addiction. What Sheff ends up telling his readers is how to build a long-standing filial relationship with an addicted son by practicing love leavened with a lot of mercy and wisdom. On a more practical level, Sheff provides his readers with all the gruesome and sordid details of what it is like to become a crack addict, right down to the physiological and mental destruction such a dependency causes. I picked up the book because it was recommended to me by another colleague on staff who deals with crack users in her program. As I read it over a couple of nights, I couldn't help feeling that Sheff is a very unique person who expresses a solid commitment to seeing healing taking place in his son's life as well as his own. Seeing the tangible proof of Sheff's genuinely heartfelt desire to help his son while knowing that it might still not be enough make a difference is the real reward of reading this book. I was personally challenged to understand afresh what it really means to be a parent of a child going through such agonizing adversity.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2008
This is an excellent self observation of an entire family. David Sheff takes us to his own and his son's painful journey in fight with addiction and proofs that once a father always a father. A father never looses hope, never gives up even though sons and daughters give up. My boy always will be the "beautiful boy" addict or non addict.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2010
This is a book about a parent's agonizing journey through their child's addiction. With deep love and dedication, the author delivers a raw account of his son's fall into a life of drugs and his own struggle to do all he can to save him, save his other children and ultimately save himself. This book is the most open and powerful account I have ever read with no black and white answers, just honest and raw emotion. It is a must read for any parent struggling with their child's addiction. It offers a commonality of war and a solace in final acceptance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2010
This book was a sad journey into a dad's life with his drug addicted son and how it affected him and the rest of the family. I found it well written and honest and it made me feel alot of the same feelings that he himself felt going through all of the pain and heart ache with his son. I applaud him for being so open about something that has been hidden for so long because of embarassment and people not wanting friends and family to know about drug addicted family members. A must read for anyone going through something similar.
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on May 18, 2015
This book is very detailed on the progress of the addiction/disease, the alternatives, the support, the desperation about not enough help, and even suggestions of what support systems that can/could help. A super plus with this book is that this is the father writing, and the son that the book is about has also written a book of his own, Tweak, from about the same time period, seen from his point of view, or experience rather. It is quite unique and quite interesting and educational to see this from two perspectives, from the son, the user and the father, the enabler that became a supporter. If you choose to buy this book, which I highly recommend that you do if you either work with addicts, are an addicts parents or have a family member that has addictions, you should definitely buy Nic Sheffs book Tweak at the same time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2012
Memoirs of an Addicted Brain: A Neuroscientist Examines his Former Life on DrugsI don't have much to add to the excellent comments above. But I read the book about 2 years ago, and it was completely heart-breaking. Having been an addict myself, this was one of the few books that brought me tightly into the perspective of "the other" -- the family -- those who get hurt almost as much as you do, in fact maybe more. It's one of the few accounts I've read that get you to hate addiction without having to stoop to a moral judgment, one way or the other.
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on July 30, 2014
Reading this story is very much like reading my own story with my son. So close to our family situation. Every parent who has a prodigal with addictions, needs to read this book. Knowing you are not alone in your struggle is of some consolation. A book full of honesty, encouragement and comfort. David Sheff has put into words, quite eloquently, what we parents feel, do and hope for, for our lost children.

I highly recommend this book to anyone struggling to understand the shackles of an addicted loved one.
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on August 3, 2015
I would recommend this book for anyone working in a field where you come into contact with those struggling with drug addiction. Meth is very prominent in many Canadian cities and I found this book to be very eye opening, as it really took you through the experience of a parent trying to get their son back on track. David Sheff's journey is all too real and an experience that many parents and families of those with addiction have had. This is a must read!
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on April 29, 2012
To learn of an actual journey, to feel the pain, the loss, the questions ' is simply necessary if addiction is present in your life. Relevant information about the disease, conflicting information to consider. The author pulls no punches and tells his story with blatant, heart-wrenching honesty.Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction
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on September 1, 2014
After reading Nic's book, the view from the father's perspective was very powerful and provides insight into a family's struggle and opens one's eyes to the ugly world of addiction.
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