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Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction

By David Sheff

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Book review written by Miss Liz Gormack, Year 11 Dean 2019, English and Media Studies Teacher

“An alcoholic will steal your wallet and lie to you. A drug addict will steal your wallet and then help you look for it.”

These words come from a father dealing with his son’s methamphetamine addition. American writer/journalist David Sheff’s memoir Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction is both fascinating and heart wrenching. Sheff’s book takes us through his journey as he deals with his oldest son, whom he loves dearly but who has become dangerous and out of control as he spirals into his addiction. A mix of facts and poignant point of view writing Sheff researches addiction and also the dangerousness of meth. Being a parent myself, I found his turmoil familiar as it’s tough navigating teens at the best of times, let alone when they’ve become addicted to a drug.

“Through Nic's drug addiction, I have learned that parents can bear almost anything....I shock myself with my ability to rationalize and tolerate things once unthinkable. The rationalizations escalate....It's only marijuana. He gets high only on weekends. At least he's not using hard drugs....”

All parents should make the time to read this evocative narrative. If time is pressing, you could watch the film version instead, starring Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet.

Sheff, D. (2018). Beautiful Boy.

Book review written by Miss Liz Gormack, Year 11 Dean 2019, English and Media Studies Teacher