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Top Ten Books About Addiction


This morning’s top 10 books list on The Guardian is a good one – top 10 books about addiction. There are some obvious choices like Irvine Welsh’s darkly funny, tragic and often really gross (that toilet scene…!) novel Trainspotting, and the surreal nightmare that is Requiem for a Dream by Hubert Selby Jr, but also some more thoughtful interesting choices. For instance. The Shining by Stephen King. Funny how I’ve never considered before that it is a novel about addiction, but of course it is. I was too immersed in the murdery, isolated horror of it to think about the catalytic part that alcohol addiction plays.

The Basketball Diaries by Jim Carroll is another solid choice. And don’t think if you’ve seen the filmn you needn’t read the book. Both are quality, and nods to Leonardo DiCaprio for his excellent portrayal of Carroll, but the book is strangely beautiful. Carroll’s poetry, longing and ache for beauty really come through eloquently in its pages. It’s a haunting, wistful and very uncomfortable read.

Here are the Guardian’s picks for the top 10 books about addiction – click through to see what they had to say about each title:

1. The Life and Loves of a She-Devil by Fay Weldon
2. The Shining by Stephen King
3. Choke by Chuck Palahniuk
4. Gordon by Edith Templeton
5. Love Junkie: A Memoir by Rachel Resnick
6. Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
7. Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia by Marya Hornbacher
8. Requiem for a Dream by Hubert Selby, Jr
9. The Basketball Diaries by Jim Carroll
10. In My Skin by Kate Holden

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