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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

This is a very powerful book, based on the real experiences of a teenage girl so isolated from those around her she can only talk to her diary. When Alice finds a group of friends who accept her she also finds drugs, which become her only escape from an increasingly unbearable reality: 'Nothingness', she writes, 'is a lot better than somethingness.' This is a very mature and lucid account of her experiences, far from being just a stream of consciousness. Alice has a strong command of language. The passages where she describes the effects of drugs on her body and mind are vivid and frightening, but at the same time they show quite graphically the seductive nature of drugs. The psychiatrist's report at the end on Alice and her situation balances the more intimate, personal style. Exactly how real the story is is still in doubt - it is so well written and the horrors so graphic that it reads more like a brilliant work of fiction. But however true or imaginary, this is a harsh, disturbing account of the effects of alienation which has sold over a million copies since its first publication in 1972, and has not dated at all. Necessary reading for all teenagers and their parents.
First of all the owner of the diary is UNNAMED, she is not Alice. The only Alice in the diary is another runaway that she met in Denver. I know there is a lot of contoversy sorrounding this book. The Authenticity is being questioned, either way, it's still pretty damn good and the scenarios she vividly wrote really happened sometime in the 60's and for all we know it is still happening somewhere. Reading this reminds me so much of Edie Sedgewick (refer to Sienna Miller's character in my favorite Factory Girl or the movie Ciao! Manhattan- you cannot find it in an ordinary store though, as this is underground 60's movie). The Diary was so sad, it all starts with a game that involves 10 drinks laced with LSD. I found myself wishing that she could stop and that she could say no, until eventually she's already addicted. It is definitely a mind opener, our future kids should read this when they reach the 4th grade so they'll find out the inevitable consequences just in case they are thinking of engaging. I have interviewed a lot of people that do drugs but none of them came as close to what the main character felt everytime she have a "trip". A must read.

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