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Customer Review

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good writer, and a deeply unlikeable man, 8 April 2014
This review is from: Confessions of an English Opium-Eater and Other Writings (Oxford World's Classics) (Paperback)
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In the introduction this this edition, Will Self, who has himself dabbled, suggests that this book adds to the debate about addiction and narcotics, and that the reader might come away with a greater sympathy and understanding of those who find themselves in the grip of opiates.

Well, I tried, I really did, but by the end I genuinely couldn't stand de Quincey. I've read his essays on murder and found them to be extremely entertaining and well-written, but his Confessions are so self-indulgent that I couldn't summon up enough sympathy to truly enjoy the book. We get a lot of passages along the lines of "I have oftimes beguiled a golden afternoon in the ingle-nook of my cottage, the blessed fields of sun-drenched pasture stretching before me in a reverie so perfect and wondrous that I was loath to awake; but awake I did, and there before me stood my children. Their faces pinched and hungered, they gazed up on me with silent, imploring eyes. Their feet were bare - my children lacked even shoes! My heart was torn within me, and my soul filled with guilt for my many failures. And so I went and took some more opium."

So de Quincey could write, but really by the end I couldn't help but feel he would have really benefitted from a good, hard slap.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Jan 2015 07:59:19 GMT
Mikey C says:
Pure genius! I have no doubt that your "good, hard slap" cure for addiction will be taken up by caring agencies across the world and will end this curse on humanity forever.

Or there again, maybe not.
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