The 10 Best Addiction Novels

There are numerous examples of classic fiction—from Burroughs to Selby and Thompson—that focus on addiction. Here are our top 10 contemporary favorites that are (somewhat) off the beaten path.

The Absurdist Take

bookThe narrator in Wake Up, Sir! A 30-something writer who hasn’t written in years, is simultaneously hapless and knowing; over it all and desperately wanting to be a part of it, whatever it is—a push-pull persona that many addicts are all too familiar with and a brilliant character crafted by Jonathan Ames(perhaps best known as the creator of HBO’s Bored to Death). After accruing money through a slip-and-fall accident, Blair hires a personal valet named Jeeves to assist him with day-to-day tasks like waking up and reminding him to shave. It’s absurd and that’s the point. By elevating Blair’s self-importance to the nthdegree, Ames allows for broad comedy that, at times, is laugh out loud funny, especially as Blair gets kicked out of his relatives’ house and heads to a writers’ colony populated with other ridiculous characters. Yet alcoholism is the firm anchor that grounds the book and as Jeeves only reacts to Blair’s drunken scrapes with a non-committal Very good, Sir, the reader can’t help but wonder whether Jeeves is real or just the inner voice of an alcoholic in active denial…Read for More….

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