Friday, 17 January 2014

Bevel Down: The Absurd Tragic Memoir of an Okie Meth Head

*This book was sent to me, but I will give an honest review. *

Goodreads Summary 
This is the story of Todd, an intravenous meth addict that lived in Logan County, Oklahoma in the mid 1990's. Written in his own words, the story chronicles the intense events surrounding the tragic climax of his life when he was only nineteen years old. It is an edgy tale of crime, friendship, and love. He relays his story with dark humor and unflinching candor. Some of it is to be believed, some of it surely is not. All in all, Todd paints a stirring and brutal picture of poor young people striving to get by in a world where the odds are stacked against them. He even fancies himself to be a bona fide outlaw, a renegade philosopher among a population of sheepish sycophants. However, his care free philosophy is no match for the harder realities that must inevitably accompany this lifestyle. Everything and everyone will collapse around him, even the woman he loves, until Todd must finally face his demons or be consumed by them. Such is the life of a junkie.

So What Did I Think?
When I first finished this book I wasn't really sure how I felt about it. I knew I liked it, but it wasn't without its flaws. It isn't the typical book you see on my blog. This isn't a boy meets girl story or a young adult novel by any stretch. This is a gritty memoir about a group of young addicts. The reader gets to a chance to see inside the mind of a methamphetamine user.  And before you get all Million Little Pieces on him, the author says up front that not all of the story is 100% true.

When we first meet Todd he is removing the nuts and bolts on a convenience store window so that he and a friend can come back later to rob the place. He's on a five day drug binge at this point. Todd and his friends need money to feed their addiction, so they do what's necessary to make that happen. Is that the right thing to do? No, but they weren't really thinking rationally. These characters are flawed, but that's what made them interesting. They didn't have the best upbringing and maybe that played a part in how their lives turned out. Todd seems to blame society at times. "All too often I found myself dwelling on the injustices of the world. It fed my addictions and provided validation for all of my actions." 

 In the end I found that I wanted more. More Todd. More of his story. We see such a small time frame that I would have loved to know how his addiction started. I just wish I could have been a fly on the wall of this story for just a little bit longer.


 I wonder if Desmond really did get clean; I hope so. 
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