by Chris Mendius
Anything Goes Publishing

"Before you know it, the birds are chirping and the garbage trucks are rolling. You're out hundreds of dollars and for what?"

Taking to heart the old bit about how no one ever wants to grow up and do drugs, this tale of Chicagoland vice brings an interesting twist to the classic junkie trope. Michael Lira does drugs out of boredom and dissatisfaction with the American dream, and sees nothing wrong with making money off his habit as well. Not your typical dealer, Michael comes from a good home in the suburbs, which gives him plenty of guilt at family functions. Surrounded by similarly disaffected pals like his best friend Sal and stripper girlfriend Lila, why shouldn't the good times roll on forever? But even as Michael begins to consider a respectable future and take steps to do the right thing with his dirty dollars, the life he is planning suddenly implodes. Both money and the smack disappear overnight, leaving Michael and his friends desperate. Jail, rehab or death seem to be the only options, with side orders of crime, dope sickness, and visits to the ER adding to the misery. Though the book's climax and cliffhanger ending leave readers wanting more, they also provide a fitting end for a book about the uncertainties of scoring. Will Michael leave his old life behind, or will he die in the gutters like just another junkie? The patterns of the lifestyle and all the behaviors that go with it aren't easy to shake, and just another spoonful is always on the horizon. This is a wild ride from a reformed addict.

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