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Digging the Vein

Digging the Vein [Kindle Edition]

Tony O'Neill , James Frey , Dejan Gacond , Kit Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

“Digging The Vein will appeal to all Tony O'Neill fans, of which I'm one. It's another pitch dark classic." Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting.

Tony O'Neill's debut novel has become a cult classic since it was originally published by Contemporary Press in 2006. Digging the Vein is the tragicomic portrait of a young Englishman who arrives in LA fresh from an abortive career in rock and roll. His world abruptly changes when he submerges himself in the subterranean world of the Hollywood junk scene. Winning acclaim from the likes of Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting), John Giorno (You've Got To Burn To Shine), Dan Fante (Chump Change), James Frey (A Million Little Pieces), and Jerry Stahl (Permanent Midnight), Digging the Vein's unflinching depiction of Los Angeles' underbelly led to a deal with Harper Collins, who went on to publish a sequel (Down and Out on Murder Mile) as well as several other works of O'Neill's fiction and non-fiction.

Beyond the theme of addiction,Tony O'Neill's debut has an obsession honesty and authenticity - a desire for freedom at all costs that pits the narrator irrevocably and disastrously at odds with the world around him. Our hero has big problems: a wife he had known for only two days, no job, no money and a drug habit expanding beyond all limits. As you might expect, there are wild stories of drug deals gone wrong, friendships lost, suffering, casual sex and unexpected violence. And of course there are lonely nights in rotten motels, withdrawal symptoms, methadone clinics and the constant quest for the high. But Digging the Vein is a novel concerned with much more than the nocturnal world of the junkie: to paraphrase one great poet it's the narrators "Lust for Life" that keeps the reader hooked. This is a tale related with a startling lack of romanticism, and this refusal to apologize and condemn propels Digging the Vein down a far murkier path that lies beyond the traditional route signposted 'addiction / redemption.'

Since it was first published in a limited run back in 2006, O'Neill's debut has been long unavailable outside of the collectors market. Vicon Editions is proud to bring you the definitive e-book edition of the novel John Giorno described as, "mining diamonds for the crown of the King of Hell." As well as incorporating material originally left out of the US paperback edition, this all-new edition of Digging the Vein contains a gallery of covers from the book's various incarnations around the world, an introduction by "Million Little Pieces" author James Frey, and a mixed-media essay on Tony O'Neill and Digging the Vein by Dejan Gacond and Kit Brown (both of which originally appeared in the French edition of the novel, "Du Bleu Sur Les Veins").

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 917 KB
  • Print Length: 254 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Vicon Editions; 2 edition (2 Jun 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #100,783 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dirty Art 8 Mar 2006
if you have any interest in the beautiful darkness of the human spirit this is a book for you. Transcendent and illuminating, O'Neil leads you through the twisted world of the career junkie.
A scuzzy work of extraordinary art. An autofiction, par excellence.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sex, drugs and Rock and Roll 3 Oct 2006
This is a must for any fans of novels like The Basketball Diaries, Trainspotting or Junkie. The author details his years as a musician in various mid 90's bands like Kenickie, before the real meat of the book - a relentless nosedive into heroin addiction and crack use in some incredibly scuzzy sounding LA neighborhoods. The writing is simple, very brutal but poetic: the book reminded me more of the classic stuff like Burroughs or Bukowski than more recent memoirs like Jerry Stahl or James Frey. And a barely disguised account of his stint as a member of The Brian Jonestown Massacre is worth the price of admission by itself.

Be warned though - if a blow by blow account of someone injecting crack cooked up in lemon juice, with a used needle sounds too much for you - then avoid Digging the Vein. Otherwise, pick up a copy and change yer life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 1 Oct 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
trainspotting is for the school, this is so real!!!! great
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic! 28 Feb 2006
By William Leigh - Published on
I heard about this book from the numerous reviews floating around on the net and the number of short stories and poems Mr O'Neill has published online, so i was tremendously excited to get my hands on a copy of it. It arrived 2 days ago and I read it non stop as soon as it showed up. It was even better than I expected. If drug influenced literature is your thing, then you will get a lot from this book which is certainly a classic of its genre. It is at turns repulsive, beautiful, funny and dark. And most of all it's heartfelt. It's a different kind of book from say "A Million Little Pieces" - it deals with a much harsher story of addiction than that book did for one, but it also is more of a work of literature... definately to be filed alongside Burroughs, Jim Carroll, even Bukowski, rather than James Frey or Jerry Stahl. It's really impressive stuff. Impressive enough that I've sat down and written my first review on Amazon, something I've never felt the urge to do before.

Oh and as an LA resident I liked the fact that it was a step by step guide to the city's drug subculture, and only a handful of locales have been disguised! And as a fan of the Brian Jonestown Massacre it was interesing to get an insiders account of a stint in that particular group.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Youth, Blood and Heaven 11 April 2006
By sicksixseven - Published on
Yeah, Jesus came back from the dead, but then what did he do? Always easy to talk about hell, but not so with heaven. Digging The Vein sticks out as a tale of addiction that explains why the highs are so worth it. Easy for recovery manuals to talk about why people "fill a void inside them with alcohol or heroin or sex or TV." But why are hard drugs so worth the agony? O'Neill spends a little more time on the highs-you have a youth in LA in a band that is close to making it big. That in itself is a high. When he begins using heroin, one high transforms into another. The descriptions, though quick and witty, are still more concrete than you usually get. The way he describes the highs of various drugs, you finally see why someone would want to go through all the pain in order to have them.

It seems reviewers these days often have to talk about what separates a certain piece from its predecessors-a different kind of serial killer; good girl scholar's double life; and my favorite, werewolf/ vampire/ wizard/ demon meets gumshoe detective. Hey man, whatever pays the bills. So I suppose with Trainspotting and Naked Lunch out there, one does feel like one should say why Digging The Vein expands rather than repeats the genre. I think the difference lies in the character-rather young, 22, and playing in a somewhat successful band. This author has seen scenes that most people have not, and has gone further at 22 with music than many struggle to for decades. I enjoyed this portion of the book for these experiences alone. Not only that, but the events that followed were written relatively close to the time they occurred, and in a bullet-ricochet style that keeps the pages turning. Few artists can merge all the above factors into prose that exudes youth like a warm summer evening, strains said youth into liquid drugs that can reproduce the feeling again, even if you're really surrounded by trash, urinals and other junkies.

And yet O'Neill maintains the shadowplay wist of a Jane's Addiction melody without the immediate "Hi, I'm a commodity" feel that so much dark culture has made of itself. The narrator comes off as truly interested in the late nineties alt-pop scene he describes without sounding snobby or too cool. This nurtures the reader's curiosity, makes you wonder why this one, and not the others who seem so phony, succumbs to the slavery of the needle...

...and that's the question that makes you read to the final scenes, makes you wonder what kind of heaven has the final say over this young man's life.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the real thing 30 Mar 2006
By Mike Segretto - Published on
While drug memoirs are a dime a dozen, they all seem to follow the same, exact structure: the joy of experimentation leads to addiction, which leads to disintegration. Then there's usually a "moment of clarity," as Jules said in "Pulp Fiction," and then a grueling recovery resolves in some sort of "clean and sober and loving it" rap just in time for the final act. Well, forget all that spoon-fed, 12-step bullsh*t and read "Digging the Vein" to find out that it ain't always that easy.

With equal amounts of humor, humility, honesty, and exhilaration, O'Neill describes his own bout with addiction, while never resorting to the kinds of simple answers or pat resolutions that are so plentiful in other drug books but so rare in the real world.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A smooth ride 16 Oct 2006
By calmly - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Tony achieves the impossible: he writes smoothly about the most harrowing amounts of drug ingestion I've ever encountered. It's like watching "Leave it to Beaver" except the family is all shooting themselves up and each other up and yet it has all that tidiness of a 50's American television show. It is just because Tony has such a good command of the language. He obviously had a lot of trouble controlling his drug usage, it almost killed him.

So what does a fine writer like Tony do after writing this book? I mean, is there a market for a book that isn't about ingesting lots of drugs?

I want Tony to do well because his writing is just, well so pleasant. And that is despite the first chapter of this book having more drugs ingested than I've known of being ingested anywhere else in my entire life. Fortunately for me the pace of drug usage slowed down in subsequent chapters or I would have overdosed from the reading.

Tony is a founding member of the Riot Lit Collective, a small group of writers who have banded together on the Internet. Keep an eye on them.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First novel success 19 Jan 2007
By B. McGettrick - Published on
One man's account of addiction and his encounters with dealers, pimps, prostitutes and musicians - told with dark humour, style and, above all, honesty.
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