19 March 2009

What Did I Do Last Night?

Finally, a book for the discerning addict who truly needs an excuse for everything. Tom Sykes' memoir about his self-destructive years of drinking, smoking and drugs delights in recounting the nightmares of addiction without ever having to own up to his mistakes, except for the fact that he drank, smoked, and did drugs too much.

Sykes grew up a rebellious teen in London who fell into a job at a newspaper. Before he knew it, he was working at British GQ, well known as a crazy guy who occasionally got his work in on time. The cocaine helped him drink all night without blacking out, but sometimes it happened anyway; the pot let him unwind after a hard week of sneaking into the office late after another night out. He took those skills to the New York Post as a nightlife columnist, where after a brief flirtation with not drinking, he had even more reason to tipple. How else would he know where were the best places to go?

The author sustained a number of nasty injuries and nearly lost his long-suffering wife, who liked to drink but couldn't understand why her husband couldn't stop when he wanted to. But mostly Sykes gets off pretty easily in WHAT DID I DO LAST NIGHT? And when he does screw up, there's always an excuse, from work to the absence of his father when he was a teenager. I like addiction memoirs as much as the next girl, and I can't imagine how Sykes climbed out of his self-dug grave to become completely sober at last. But neither the rise nor the fall were particularly interesting.

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