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Speed-Speed-Speedfreak [Paperback]

Mick Farren

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Book Description

1 Oct 2010
Whizz, gooey, pink champagne, base: the recreational and pharmacological use of ''Speed'', from Amphetamine Sulphate to Crystal Meth is a cultural habit which has existed since the early 1900s. Although considered a cheap and somewhat filthy habit, amphetamines have tempted an array of celebrities, including Elvis Presley, Truman Capote, The Beatles, Jack Kerouac, Johnny Cash, JFK and Adolf Hitler: All were at some point - to be blunt - speedfreaks. SPEED-SPEED-SPEEDFREAK traces the cultural and criminal use of amphetamine and its unholy growth.

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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mick does it again! 17 July 2010
By Mohair - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Another brilliant read from the pen of Mick Farren and it's a topic he knows very well from his time spent as both a consumer of illicit substances and an observer of the carnage speed has left and is leaving from the 60s, the 70s punk scene, the rave scene and to the present.
From the original synthesis in 1887 and the hope that it would be able to help asthma sufferers to its use by the Hilter and the Nazis, Elvis, Johnny Cash, the Warhol crowd, trailer park meth labs, the gay scene, the DEA and what is yet to come this is a completely compelling - and indeed - speedy read.
I suggest you hold on tight though cause you'll be grinding your teeth and sharing the nightmares right alongside the wreckage.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Farren delivers the goods. 8 Nov 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In Mick Farren's latest book, he examines the history and sociological significance of amphetamine and discovers (not too surprisingly) that the use of speed is woven throughout the tapestry of 20th century culture. Invented initially as a bronchodilator at the beginning of the industrial age, it didn't take long before Benzedrine became the fuel of the burgeoning entertainment industry, the assembly line industrial model and the war machines of governments across the globe.

In Farren's inimitable gonzo journalistic style, he reveals the untold history of the one of the most influential forces on human development- how amphetamines were invented, how they found there way into mainstream culture, and how they remained legal while other drugs suffered from political prohibitions. The history of speed, it turns out, is the history of power.

In 206 fast-paced pages (the book itself is shaped like a "black beauty") Farren rarely misses a beat and keeps the reader engaged with a mix of historical detail and political intrigue, topped off with an insiders look at the effects of speed on the psychedelic 60's, biker culture and the punk scene. Farren, as the lead singer of "The Deviants" and one of the godfathers of punk rock experienced that story first hand, and tells it with a survivor's sense of humor.

Mick Farren is the author of 23 science fiction novels and 11 non-fiction books, including The Hitchhikers Guide to Elvis, The Black Leather Jacket, and Give the Anarchist a Cigarette (his autobiography).
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read 1 Sep 2010
By Alan Burridge - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have been a Mick Farren fan since The Tale of Willy's Rats in 1975, so if he wrote a book about creating a dog poo wormerie, then I would buy and read it.
So, not a speed-freak myself, I have to say the detail and history in this evaluation is, as is Farren's forte, nothing short of exhaustive and second to none. As a historical document, this book is unique and leads the way for other such opus' to be written. Heartily recommended, very interesting, extremely well researched, and an excellent read.
3.0 out of 5 stars Bathroom Reading 5 May 2013
By Wayne J. Samiere - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you want something interesting to read, though don't care to get too much into depth, this is perfect. It is definitely a fast history, mostly about amphetamine use, they skim the surface of the pharmakonetic side of it, which was disappointing. You'll probably learn some interesting things that you didn't know.
5.0 out of 5 stars A sober look at the world's most demonized drug - speed 22 Jan 2012
By Greg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The first thing you notice about Speed-Speed-Speedfreak is the design - it is literally a giant Dextroampethamine capsule. The second may be the author's name, Mick Farren. As leader of The Deviants and Pink Fairies, Farren has first-hand knowledge of the subject at hand.

It is well known that Hitler was a speedfreak. But we never hear about JFK, who reportedly was addicted as well. As Farren shows, the whole post-War, New Frontier era was all about speed. Over the counter, pharmaceutical-grade amphetamines such as Benzedrine are what really what made the engine of the U.S. economy roar in those years.

Mick Farren goes to great lengths to point out that he is not advocating drugs, or even legalization. Meth isn't pot; it is a very serious drug. And I have to absolutely agree with him that in 10 years, there will be a new "biggest" threat to our nation's youth.

Not only is Mick Farren a cult-hero in the world of music, he is one hell of a great writer. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. But that should come as no surprise, as it was published by Feral House. With the creative shape design, and well-reasoned writing inside - this is one of the finest books about the most demonized drug in existence right now.
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