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"H.": Autobiography of a Child Prostitute and Heroin Addict Paperback – 21 Aug 1981


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi; New edition edition (21 Aug. 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552117722
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552117722
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 10.8 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 460,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Christiane F. was a young prostitute in Berlin. In a two-month interview with two journalists from the news magazine Stern, Kai Herrmann and Horst Rieck, she told her harrowing story of life with drugs and prostitution that she and other teenagers in West Berlin experienced.

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Franz Bieberkopf on 19 July 2007
This book was originally based on articles by two journalists working for "Stern".They started by investigating teenage prostitutes,both male and female("babyflesh")working at Bahnhof Zoo in what was then West Berlin and then started interviewing Christiane about how she came to be there.
You'll need a strong stomach for some of it.No holds are barred in it's descriptions of kinky sex,heroin withdrawal and the nightmare of being trapped in a world without hope.The first few chapters,talking about how grim life was for working-class Berliners and their children in West Berlin-like their counterparts in most of Western Europe,decanted into high-rise developments on the city's periphery and then being left to rot-are very well done too.
The end,when Christiane and her mother make it out of Berlin to the then West Germany,is well done too,The authors wisely avoid any attempts to try for a happy ending,and let Christiane explain that a life without heroin is not without it's pitfalls and downside.
I've worked with addicts in a detox unit for six years,and this is by far the best depiction of the world of addicts and addiction I've read.You may need to grit your teeth,but it's well worth the effort.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "mandiwright" on 14 Jan. 2006
I have owned this book for over 20 years and it is one that you can return to time and time again, providing you have a strong disposition! Whether you are just interested in reading torrid tales of teenage drug abuse or are approaching the subject matter from a sociological/historical perspective, this book has something for all. The narrator, Christiane F, is helped to recount her years as a child prostitute and heroin addict by two German journalists who became interested in the dramatic rise of pre-teen heroin addicts and related deaths in Berlin in the 1970's. Written mainly from Christiane's viewpoint, it also includes interviews with various professionals and Christiane's mother all of whom express despair at the lack of support and treatment options available to Christiane and her friends. As you might expect from the title it pulls no punches, telling it like it is and documenting the many casualties along the way. For those as gripped with the tale as I was, an underground film of the same name has also been made which features tracks from Bowie. There are also many websites that build on Christiane's turbulent life following the publication of this autobiography. Despite the glut of books that now deal with this subject matter in a sensationalist manner, this remains one of the most honest accounts of the downward spiral into drug abuse that I have read. You will definitely run the full gauntlet of emotions whilst reading this book but I guarrantee you won't want to put it down!
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By The Truth TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 May 2010
My mum read this book first, and then gave it to me to read when I was about 13 or 14; the same age as the girl the book is about.

It details the story of her life as it spirals into drug addiction, crime and then child prostitution - heavy reading for a 13 year old you might think, but I loved it at the time (it was cool, sexy, taboo and dealt with adult themes) and it made clear to me just how some drugs and lifestyles can slowly lead to places you never expect. This book showed me just what a 'slippery slope' some choices can be - it taught me an important lesson as you can see every link in the chain, every small increment that lead from something that started out as a bit of a laugh turning into something that ruined a life.

I was far from an angel in my youth, but after reading this book I must say I was never tempted to ever try 'The Brown Horse', that's for sure. It certainly doesn't glamorise the drug or the lifestyle in anyway and it's a book I still remember to this day. It certainly had an impact on my life and in a positive way too, I think.

I'm not recommending you go out and buy this book for your kids to read - but buy it, read it, and make a decision on that yourself. But I think this book serves as a better warning and would do more to steer kids away from drugs than any government or anti drugs campaign could ever hope to achieve.

And while you're here - I'm not sure why you're thinking about buying this book, but I read another book recently which reminded me very much of this one. You might like to check it out or buy it too. In my opinion it's not nearly as good as 'H' and has nowhere near the same 'power' but it deals with a similar subject matter.
Most people who have read it love it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael Desmond on 22 Aug. 2012
Probably one of the most prolific books ever read. Utterly disturbing, fascinating, engaging, sorrowful, crazy, youthful and downright scary, true stories to put you off drugs for life.

In essence it's a bleak love story about two young impressionable teenagers Christiane and Detlev in 1970's Berlin and their attempts to cope with the downward spiral of drugs that eventually led into the steely grip of heroin.

Again it is truly shocking how quickly they can descend from two quirky rebellious teenagers who are into the cool underground scene of Berlin into bleak, hopeless, ghost like forms that must prostitute around Bahnhof Zoo station to feed an unquenchable addiction. Overall the book chronicles her life from 1975 to 1978 when she was just aged twelve to fifteen years old and told in the first person at all times from the Christiane's point of view.

The whole description of the pre-reunification era drug scene is utterly spot-on and set against a 1970's Bowie backdrop, and overall you feel you are living amongst the trials and tribulations of the characters albeit of the latter there are few experiences.

A hard book to get hold off since it's out of print, but why no kindle version!! In my opinion though any price is worth paying for this once in a lifetime read.

[...]
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