From its demanding title, one quickly gathers this is no skip through the bluebells. More, Now, Again
is the latest instalment in the confessional canon of Elizabeth Wurtzel, the tortured, talented author of Prozac Nation
, who, by her own confession, has always pathologically "needed more". After her addiction therapist prescribes her Ritalin, a form of "mild speed" to take her mind off other drugs, and to help her "focus", she finds the pills lack the nasal intimacy of cocaine, so after a while, she starts pulverising them to produce something snortable. Suddenly she's on her way to another dependency, 40 pills a day, and another couple of years of strung-out, narcissistic desperation on the long and whiney road, bouncing between monomaniac spells in Florida and New York. It's not exactly for the pull-yourself-together brigade.
All of this would be unbearable for all concerned, were it not for Wurtzel's resilient, often bleakly humorous writing. Unashamedly exhibitionist, there is little she refrains from laying bare, including the obsessive tweezering of her legs to produce a mottle of sores and abscesses, ruthlessly playing on friendships to facilitate her habit and jagging her psyche until the only relationship she cares about is with the powder. Of course, when she finally steels herself, or fragments enough, to try rehab, she unravels something of her sense of "terminal uniqueness", as the lingo goes. Though before she can come clean there are to be countless relapses, criminal arrest, a torturous fixation on an alcoholic, a renewal of her cocaine habit, professional crises as she writes and promotes her previous book Bitch, and an abortion. The cumulative effect is less a cry for help as a suffocating Banshee-like squall. To come out of this blue period, to shift from Generation X to Generation Why, is achieved through will power and NA group therapy, 12 steps not to heaven but at least sobriety, and a determination to take personal responsibility for ending a familial legacy of abuse. At times you want to shake her, other times hug her, yet she remains one of the most savvy and provocative writers of contemporary non-fiction; how she handles happiness, though, may prove her biggest challenge.--David Vincent
The structure of this book, the narrative pace, the comic timing, the dramatic pacing and the neurotic self-awareness of the personal voice are virtually impeccable. (THE TIMES
Her writing is so smart and sussed and heart-grabbing. (SCOTSMAN
She is brilliant at describing the pain of loneliness... (DAILY EXPRESS
There is always the danger that reading about someone else's drug habit will be as boring an experience as being the only sober guest at a party, but Wurtzel is disarmingly honest about her increasingly bad behaviour. This self-awareness, coupled with he (DAILY MAIL