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Permanent Midnight: A Memoir [Paperback]

Jerry Stahl
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 11.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

7 Jan 2005
A searing confessional infused with the darkest humour, Permanent Midnight chronicles the opiated abyss of a Hollywood screenwriter and his formidable climb into society. Made into a major motion picture starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, Permanent Midnight is revered by critics and an ever-growing cult of devoted readers as one of the most compelling contemporary memoirs. From the author of the hugely popular I, Fatty.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Process (7 Jan 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976082209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976082200
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 552,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
I used to think that there was no way out, that I would just have to kill myself. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
A witty and scary book that delves into the mind of a serial drug abuser, how it affects his family, friends and work. Jerry was the defining force behind the childrens television show A.L.F. He writes from a fresh perspective reflecting on the self abuse and on how easy it is to give in to drug lust and addiction. Enough to scare most people away from trying Heroin or other hard drugs. You must buy this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Permanent Midnight - Fantastic Book 8 Aug 2005
I am not much of a reader at all but i've got to say that this book (to term a cliche) was unputdownable! I love this type of story which takes him and you; the reader to hell and back. I bought the book when it first came out in the mid nineties and read it then. It was great then and seems even better now. If there was a story that could get kids/adults etc off drugs then this is it!! Am looking forward to getting the movie and reviewing that too.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  48 reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Droll 9 Jun 2000
By buddyhead - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was my favorite of a long string of [auto]biographies I have read about (at least in large part) substance abuse (including Basketball Diaries, Blow, Disco Bloodbath, Long time Gone (about David Crosby), A Drinking Life, etc.). I enjoyed Stahl's writing style a great deal- he's got a dry wit, and writes a droll account. However, his "hipness" did leave me in the dust a few times. He facilely rattles off names and movies by way of analogy and metaphor, and I am either too young or watch too few movies to understand them all. The book is through and through Hollywood in its groovy tone; even when Stahl inveighs against Tinseltown's excesses and characters, you can see that he is a part of the scene (e.g., he was killing himself with smack yet was a staunch vegetarian and long distance runner). Still, the book is hilarious, especially if you like things viewed through a sardonic lens.
Permanent Midnight is as objectively recounted as I suppose can be, and while Stahl doesn't seem to ask the reader for pity, I felt he tried to paint his environment as bleakly as possible, so as to lead one to think his drug use was inevitable. Truth be told, Stahl didn't seem to have it so bad, and fell blindly into a series of enviable career positions that probably only led to drugs because of the capital it gave him with which to feed his habit.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast, Dangerous, Sad and True:Addiction and the Human Spirit 23 Jun 2000
By Azen - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book reads as a wonderful and contemporary account of Hollywood, television, drugs, and most importantly, the life and drama of one lonely man. This man also happens to be an incredibly intelligent and brilliant writer, who is able to not only re-tell strange, funny, and sometimes disturbing tales from his years under the gun of heroin, but at the same time, provide subtle insights into the nature of addiction, and the faults and lies which are an inherent facet of modern American life, (something junkies tend to do all too well). An excellent read for someone looking for realism, humor, and insight into the mind of a fairly ordinary guy. Also would be a valuable asset to someone contemplating the personal challenge of a memoir.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brillaintly written, darkly hilarious, honest as hell 30 Jan 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is as well-written a memoir as I've ever read and the subject matter is utterly fascinating. While I enjoyed the film they made of this book, the book itself does far more to illuminate the dysfuntional aspects of Stahl's life and the reasons behind the self-loathing behavior. The bottom line for readers, though, is that the book is a page-turner--as entertaining and gripping as the best suspense novels and as hilarious as the best comic novels. The fact that all this actually happened makes the book even more haunting. A classic of our time.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best memoir I have ever read! 28 Dec 1999
By Helene Hoffman - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read this book over four years ago, and still think about it often. I love to read well-written memoirs, and this is the best-written one I have ever read. Stahl is incredibly funny, and articulate, yet the description of his devastating life with drugs is nothing short of amazing. If you know little about drug addiction, this book will educate you like no book can. This blows the stereotype on junkies - here is a White, professional , well-educated (Columbia Univ. grad), whose world explodes over and over again due to his heroin and cocaine use. There were times reading this book where I nodded my head and said "he can't possibly survive this addiction, it's so deep-seated; it's his whole life". Yet he manages to. I only wish he would write a sequel. I have not had a drug problem myself, yet I work with people who are addicts, and this book educated me better than anything else has about their behavior, and their world. Stahl has done what no one else has - He has shown us the life he has lead, and he leaves no stone unturned, even if it reveals some horrifying things about him (like taking his infant daughter along literally to a den of hell in order to buy drugs). Don't pass this book up.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little too narcissistic for my tatstes 13 Mar 2002
By P. Zrimsek - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
First let me say that Jerry Stahl is a good writer. This book does not disappoint because Stahl can't get his point across clearly or in an entertaining way. It's just that he covers the same ground again and again and again. He tries for self-depracating humor which works early on, but by the half-way point the reader knows what's coming next. More self-loathing, more flashbacks to a cruddy childhood and more platitudes about loving his child while simultaneously shooting up. Apparently, Stahl finally kicked his addictions, but he doesn't ever really explain his enlightenment. I give Stahl an A for realism and showing that the life of an addict sucks, but I give him a C for redundancy and a C on his self-analysis.
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