Book Review: The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star by Nikki Sixx

 

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First of all, yes I have been gone for almost 4 months which I think it is the longest I have ever gone without updating this little baby, and for that I apologise. I promise a post will soon follow with all the updates, and trust me, there has been some!

Secondly, I wanted to break the silence with this book, because it is not the kind of book I read- not because of the content, but because for some reason I have never really got into autobiographies…I know, call me weird.

This book was recommended by a friend who knew it would be something out of my usual read. As the tittle mentions, it is a series of journey entries written by Nikki Sixx (bass player and founder of Mötley Crüe) during the space of a year (1987). The journey entries are backed by commentary from the people who knew him back then, including drummer Tommy Lee, Slash, and Vanity (she later became Evangelist Denise Matthews).

The book is an easy read, in terms of structure as the book is simply short journey entries followed by commentaries from Nikki and those who knew him around that time. However, the content is not for the faint hearted as Sixx goes into a lot of details about his cocaine/heroin addiction and his lack of hygiene in general (side note: the fact that it is the latter that shocked me the most says a lot about me!) The book features a lot of pictures from that time which are edited into the book beautifully, along with lyrics and what can be said as satanic and goth drawings. I only read the book whilst on the train to work, and even then, I still finished it within a week.

If I had to criticise the book, then the only real thing that comes to mind is that some of the commentaries went on for too long, almost as page fillers and not actually giving the story much depth and context. Vanity’s pieces were in particularly too slow and repetitive. I feel like the book could have included the experiences of those who knew Sixx around that time and expanded the story a bit in more detail, and not just confirming what the diary was saying. Finishing the book I did feel like Sixx was a bit over-dramatic, but then that is my personal opinion. We all handle our issues with parents differently and I guess he was more receptive than someone like me, but still felt like the book was in a way, a justification for his past behaviour.

Would I recommend this book? I definitely would, just because it is most probably a different read altogether for a lot of people, and it does shed light into the world of addiction and music back in the 80s. It is also beautifully put together and it will make an ideal coffee book for any rock aficionado.

 

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