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Go Ask Alice [Paperback]

4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Dec 1991
This is the story of a 15-year-old American drug addict. Based on the pages of her diary, it tells how Alice discovered drugs, sex and the kind of freedom her parents only disapproved of. Sometimes she worries about what is happening to her; sometimes she resorts to subterfuge to avoid worrying her family; and sometimes she confides all her anxieties, joys and sorrows to the one friend she can trust - her diary.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 174 pages
  • Publisher: Mandarin; New edition edition (5 Dec 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749310545
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749310547
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 393,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"A book that all teenagers and parents of teenagers should really read" (Boston Globe)

"An extraordinary work- a document of horrifying reality" (The New York Times Book Review)

"It shows the awful pressures which plague even the 15-year-old who needs all her energies to cope with growing; the isolation of one who wanders off the track and, alone, finds it impossible to fight her way back" (Guardian) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

The harrowing true story of a teenager's descent into the seductive world of drugs. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
Yesterday I remember thinking I was the happiest person in the whole earth, in the whole galaxy, in all of God's creation. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I read this book when I was 14 and at school and could really relate to what Alice was saying.In fact I was sneaked a copy as it was felt that the content was too adult for me. What a joke - after all it was supposed to be relating the life of a contemporary. After 20 years I found the painful honesty of Alice's diary writing as she tries to 'make it' in both the drug and straight worlds just as poignant. The world may have moved on but life for teenagers continues to be as daunting today just as it was then.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! 19 Jun 2000
By A Customer
I have read this book over and over again since I was 14. Each and everytime I find something new and understand it just that little bit more. To me Alice's diary demonstrates the pressure on teens now, haven't changed in any real way at all, to what it was like then. There are still people pushing drugs, kids still despise what their parents say and it just keeps going on from one generation to the next. This book made me think a lot more about every decision I made and how it might affect me. I think about Alice at the most unusual times like when I'm shopping as if she was my friend and I actually knew her. Growing up is hard enough but to try and do that and quit drugs at the same time would be torture. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone no matter what age. Parents will appreciate it because it will remind them of just how hard it was to be a teenager. For teenagers it'll be a bit of a wake up call that will show you just what drugs will do to you and that you have to choose your friends wisely. This is a book that you will read over and over again as if each time was the first.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars heartstoppingly good 19 May 2002
im 15 and read this book in a day because i couldnt put it down. i didnt stop reading all day and did no work in school and spoke to none of my friends. the book shows emotions no one could ever speak to you it helps you understand the highs and lows of drugs, the freedom they give you but can then take away. deffinately a book every teenager should read!!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alice in a 2002 context 8 Oct 2002
By A Customer
As a drama teacher in some of the most drug ravished schemes in Glasgow, I found this book to be more than just a concience tugging read. It has been a life line to so many young people who have to make uninformed decisions on a daily basis that drastically alters their lifes. Alice is a real person who reaches the highs that few people in education are willing to admit exsist.It also, without predjudice and vindication, makes the reader horrifyingly aware of the lows. In a society where education cannot compete with pop culture, Alice has a voice that touches and penetrates with a message few could so convincingly sell.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocked 8 Oct 2005
By A Customer
When you think all is going well, it isn't truely shocking to the end. A good insight to a teenager, nice read although harrowing
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46 of 53 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A curious work of fiction 14 Oct 2003
By A Customer
Go Ask Alice is definitely a most bizarre book. When first published in the early seventies it was presented as an actual diary of a fifteen-year-old drug-user, later it turned out to be written by a middle-aged, mormon woman by the name of Beatrix Sparks. This definitely could explain some of the more puzzling aspects of the book. Within days of having her coke spiked with acid at a party, Alice is shooting speed and is launched into the degenerate world of drugs which consists of rape and prostitution, vindictive peers and (gasp!) homosexuality. Alice finds it impossible to get out of the vicious circle where junkies are constantly throwing free drugs at her. (Who would have guessed junkies were so generous with their suplies?) Alice almost makes it back to a happy, normal life with the help of her family, who are like characters out of a fiftie's sitcom (She even has a little brother named Tim), but alas, what kind of ending would that have been?
It is important for kids and adults alike to have good information on drugs (and the misery that often go with them) but if you're looking for a realistic book, this ain't it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Left me somewhat numb. 15 Mar 2013
By Roxie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'd heard a great deal about this book and figured I should give it a go. A hell of a lot slimmer than the books I'm used to and not really a subject I need much schooling in. This kinda snapped my heart in two. Normally I read these stories and think, "I knew someone just like you and they were insufferable." For once I felt myself connect with the main character, it was wonderful when she was happy and heart wrenching when certain things happened, (I really don't want to give too much away) You should read this, no matter your age. It's not the most accurate portrayal, nor the best written, but it's worth your time.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Totally Unconvincing 7 July 2013
By Booker
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is a shameful con when someone, whom we now know to be a middle-aged Mormon woman, publishes a book that purports to be the tragic diary of a teenage girl lost in drug addiction. The style of writing makes it so blatantly obvious that these are not the words or thoughts of a teenage girl. This is particularly transparent when she mixes archaic sounding literary language with 'street talk'. Ever heard a 16 year old say, "It is a difficult lost vacillating time. ....... because surely I would not have the strength or the fortitude to get through that number again." or "It's a prodding, colorless, dissonant bare existence. It stinks.".

Issues concerning drugs and drug addiction need to be discussed openly and honestly. For someone who is clearly trying to establish that drug taking inevitably leads to immoral behaviour and a complete undermining of an individuals ethical foundations, it seems somewhat hypocritical to employ this kind of deceit to further her ends. I regret buying this book because: a) it's awful, b) I hate the thought of any of my money going into the hands of the person who wrote it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
such a good book!
Published 2 days ago by Nicole
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish !!
Absolute rubbish didn't even finish it because it was that boring. Very ha rd d to believe the character was a drug taker at all, felt very fictional and badly thought out. Read more
Published 16 days ago by PLW X
5.0 out of 5 stars A thought provoking and weirdly inspiring book!
Many people say that things are amazing but this book truly did amaze me. It's relate able even if you haven't experienced the actual problems within the book and it's a must read... Read more
Published 19 days ago by Chloe :D
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read.
This book is tragic and amazing. My whole family read it. Its such a good book, a real page turner.
Published 1 month ago by em
5.0 out of 5 stars inspirational
Very inspirational, teenagers and adults should read this book to get an insight of the minds of an adolescent and relate.
Published 2 months ago by Nasreen Amalina Binti Abdul Razak
4.0 out of 5 stars A GOOD QUICK READ
It was very clever and it really showed some deep emotions and the most shocking thing was that it was true. Read this
Published 3 months ago by Tracey Paris
4.0 out of 5 stars First person perspective gives this tale its weight
Being written from the perspective of Alice is what makes this book work, but I'm sure that a lot of people who've grown up over the last few decades can relate to many of the peer... Read more
Published 3 months ago by GM
4.0 out of 5 stars You do know it's fake right?
Go Ask Alice is a memoir that follows the diary of a teenage girl during the late sixties. Everything seems normal at first, but that soon changes when she is enticed into the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by IamKirstieKins
1.0 out of 5 stars Patronising and out-dated
I found myself irritated by the third page and struggled to find any credibility with this book that feels as though it's written by committee. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr. Alistair H. Baird
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocked at the epilogue.. the ending
I thought the ending was going to be good since she said 'I'm stronger than I was. I know I am.' and that she had her parents,friends and Joel. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Zoey
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