Local author J.R. Helton signing Drugs
A modern homage to William S. Burrough’s classic Junky, J.R.
Helton’s novel Drugs is a sparse,
unassuming account of one man’s life of drug use.
A fictionalized memoir, Drugs, is told in masterfully wry, spartan prose with no apologies for a drug-user’s lifestyle, and instead looks back on it with clever insight and an appreciation for everything felt and observed. With self-awareness and conviction, Helton avoids the sensationalist commentary so common to drug memoirs and instead favors the honest details, the effects of each drug on his body and on his soul. The result is a sincerely told tale of adventure, debauchery, and absurdity.
J.R. Helton has published a number of short stories, as well as the memoirs Below the Line and Man and Beast. A French collection of his work, Au Texas Tu Serais Deja Mort, was published in March 2011 by 13e Note Editions in Paris.
“This guy Helton could be the next Bukowski.”
—Terry Zwigoff, director of Crumb and Ghost World
“J. R. Helton really speaks to me—starkly honest, darkly funny, acutely observant,
and captures the tragic absurdity of human life. . . . [H]e’s right up there with the
best of them.”
“Helton . . . writes with passion, clarity, and fairness.”
—Harvey Pekar, author of American Splendor
“Just when you think there’s nothing to new to say about drugs, Drugs marches out
whole new ways to fuck up your brain, your life, and basically anyone insane or
unlucky enough to cross your path. This is a truly riveting, mind-altering read,
not to be missed.”
—Jerry Stahl, author of Permanent Midnight
"Appearances can be deceiving—JR Helton’s wonderful book is not so much about “Drugs” as it is about growing up in America as viewed through the prism of our national past-time. Funny and poignant, Helton has delivered a book that would make Mark Twain proud—it’s hilarious, true and subversive—a perfect piece of modern American writing."
—Tony O'Neill, author of Down and Out on Murder Mile and Sick City
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