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The Fix

The Fix [Kindle Edition]

Damian Thompson
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Product Description


‘Blackly funny, intellectually serious and compellingly readable.’ FIVE STARS – MICHAEL GOVE, Mail on Sunday

‘Fleet-footed, frighteningly up-to-date … an argument with real force and substance’ – Washington Post

‘Thompson’s book is a tour de force, written with wit and élan, but more than that, it is a delicate dissection of what it means to be addicted to something; what it is to feel out of control and beholden to something to anaesthetise you from the realities of your life. It’s agonisingly honest and personal in parts but without ever seeming mawkish or self-pitying, drawing on his personal experiences of addiction to give texture and insight.’ FIVE STARS – MAX PEMBERTON, The Telegraph

‘Thompson’s key thesis is that addiction should be thought of as behaviour, not disease. I am a practicing clinical psychologist – professor of clinical psychology at the University of Liverpool – and this is a philosophy with which I profoundly agree. Thompson has been able to put into words – to explain – not only why we tend to get addicted to harmful things, but also how we've got our collective thinking about these issues so wrong for so long. It's a book I wish I had been skilful enough to write. … The Fix is an excellent read. It’s bold and confident and, pretty much, right.’ PROFESSOR PETER KINDERMAN, Head of the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society at the University of Liverpool

Product Description

Addictions to iphones, painkillers, cupcakes, alcohol and sex are taking over our lives.

Our most casual daily habits can quickly become obsessions that move beyond our control. Damian Thompson, who has himself struggled with a range of addictions, argues that human desire is in the process of being reshaped. Shunning the concept of addiction as disease, he shows how manufacturers are producing substances like ipads, muffins and computer games that we learn to like too much and supplement tradition addictions to alcohol, drugs and gambling. He argues that addictive behaviour is becoming a substitute for family and work bonds that are being swept away by globalisation and urbanisation.

This battle to control addiction will soon overshadow familiar ideological debates about how to run the economy, and as whole societies set about “fixing” themselves, the architecture of human relations will come under strain as never before.

The Fix offers a truly frightening glimpse of the future and is essential reading for fans of Naomi Klein’s ‘No Logo’, Oliver James’s ‘Affluenza’ and Francis Wheen’s ‘How Mumbo-jumbo Conquered the World’.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 392 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Collins (24 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006I1AE10
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #108,869 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can he fix my problem 31 May 2013
Several things made this book stand out for me. First he nailed the issue of addiction: availability. The reward centres in our brain will always be triggered but those are kept at bay if we don't have the availability to satisfy them. Modern-world abundance means temptation will always be available. Our "thing" will be on tap, with companies going out of their way to entice you. Second, he attacks the 12 Steps route out. That states you have a disease and that you'll never be cured: hence the "I'm John and I'm an alcoholic" statement at AA meetings. His view is that the 12 Steps route ties you to your addiction. Really, you just need to understand how your brain deals with temptation (via cues) and the near-instant formation of habit, and availability. It has helped me resist those sugary snacks I like - just by knowing what's going on. I've always been pro-business, but I do wonder whether it's morally right for companies to tailor their offerings to make them so addictive: Thompson certainly opened my eyes in this respect. It's also a great read.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A 260pp Feature Article 1 Nov 2012
By William Cohen VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm fascinated by addiction and this book is written well, but very much in the style of a newspaper article. When Mr Thompson wants some thoughts on low-fat alternatives, he goes to see his mate Henry Dimbleby. Indeed most of the expert opinion comes from his acquaintances. Much of the stuff is lurid, but I liked the author's confessional style.

I've researched AA a bit, and whereas I can see the validity of his criticisms, the point is that AA is a path to take for those who have reached an impasse, and whether alcoholism is a disease or not is not so important as does it work as a way to beat the booze? It offers a fellowship of men and women who share a goal.

The point that we can be tempted to choose things over people is a good one. I read this book in about three days, so while it might not be a masterpiece, you'll probably get to the end of it.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Raises Important Issues... 25 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There's no doubt that people consuming much more of various things than is good for them is a major health issue: huge and rapidly-growing numbers are suffering liver damage from excessive alcohol consumption, the most perfunctory glance around shows the number of severely obese people is rising rapidly to give two obvious examples.
What Telegraph journalist and former alcoholic Damien Thompson argues persuasively is that in addition to the more traditional image of the addict injecting heroin or drinking alcohol first thing in the morning many other people are being drawn into addictive patterns of behaviour by skilful manipulation of brain chemistry, leading to games, gambling, pornography, electronic consumer goods, foodstuffs all developing - indeed being consciously designed to have - addictive qualities.

Alert readers will have noticed Mr Thompson being referred to as a former alcoholic rather than the more common usage "recovering". That is quite deliberate. The book has an ambivalent attitude towards the orthodox perspective on addiction offered by the 12 Step philosophies (Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and variants thereon.) While the author has used them and gained benefits from them he is also critical of the "disease model" which they use and which has become the most common method of understanding addiction.

It is rather surprising to find no reference to Herbert Fingarette's
... Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Important reading 28 May 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you're feeling beseeched from all sides by a life you're not entirely sure you wanted, this book offers a few ideas of how you might have got there. Essential reading for those of us who live in a 'western' culture, whether you're happy with it or not, it offers some guidance through the potential pitfalls of modern living.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary but lots of fun 22 May 2012
By TY Wong
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book joins the dots between all sorts of addictions - to internet porn, computer games, prescription drugs and cup cakes. I liked the clear and simple explanation of why our brain chemistry link these things together. Thompson is a witty writer who even persuaded me that eating disorders have their funny side, but overall the message is an alarming one that rings very true. So this gets five stars from me.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't put this book down! 17 Jun 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well, somebody had to use this as a title for a review of a book about addiction, so I thought I would get there first.

I wouldn't describe myself as addicted to anything. But I have noticed addictive tendencies in myself as I go through life and so this book caught my eye. Damian accurately unveils the wrong-thinking behind the so-often heard phrase, 'I couldn't help myself'. It is something we have always known deep down - and is both a frightening challenge and a wonderful release to see the truth laid bare.

We really can choose. And calling 'addiction' a 'disease' is an oversimplification.

One of the key evidences of his argument is the addiction and subsequent spontaneous curing of US heroin-addict soldiers returning from Vietnam. If they were really suffering from a disease then the majority wouldn't have kicked the habit so easily when they returned to the States where opportunity and need were both massively reduced.

Although to a far lesser degree, this related to my own experience - where opportunity and emotional need drive behaviours that are less than ideal. He highlights the variety of ways that modern life - from junk food to the internet and to booze - provide those easy opportunities for little 'pick-me-ups' but then lead us to be disappointed in ourselves, harm ourselves and our relationships, or just destroy ourselves. He talks a lot about dopamine which I kind of followed, but there's an awful lot of uncertainty about the science, and it is very difficult to draw distinct and objective lines of causation in all this. There are several chapters on alcoholism, internet porn and drugs that show the continuum of addiction has some horrific extremes. He is more honest than I would be.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, wide-ranging, a book for our age
Damian Thompson really lays it all on the line. Anyone who has been engaged in living in reality for the past 50 years will have wondered at some point about every issue that he... Read more
Published 2 months ago by minty
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written, informative, insightful but not very helpful
This is an easy book to read, with many anecdotes to support its insights. It looks at the increasing place of addiction in modern society, going beyond traditional alcohol and... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Matthew Henson
3.0 out of 5 stars Melodramatic, journalistic and with a skewed concept of addiction, but...
Thompson seems to have a 'soft' interpretation of addiction that blurs having a problematic dependence with simply really,really liking something. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ciaran O'Connor
2.0 out of 5 stars A newspaper article, not a serious book....
Thompson has tackled a potentially very interesting and important subject; how technology and sales manipulation may be altering human behaviour, and possibly, even the wiring of... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Manofmode
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for feeding my kindle addiction
Reading on my kindle has become a bit of an addiction (which I'm not complaining about as it helps to displace other less noble addictions) and this book gave me the kindle buzz... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Alassio
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read....
Good no nonsense information which is easy to digest. Essential reading for anyone who is involved with, or interested in, addiction issues
Published 16 months ago by Mr R A Hammond
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating insight into today's evolving world of addictive behaviors
Well it was by chance I picked up this book in Bangkok airport, it was the book I thought may help me to understand why people could no longer focus or pay attention to anything... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Jan
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
A somewhat vapid affair, Thompson states the obvious and the book barely scratches the surface of what could be an enlightening area. It goes nowhere.
Published 17 months ago by Dan Proxy
5.0 out of 5 stars Gotta get through this!
I love this book because it is well thought out and chooses to look at the phenomena of addiction through modern eyes...... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Phil Smart
4.0 out of 5 stars Modern life and all it's pitfalls
A thoroughly compelling and cautionary book which is convincing, worrying and thought-provoking in equal measures. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Pompom
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