Friday, May 12, 2006

Dope - Sara Gran

Among a half dozen other books, I'm reading Dope by Sara Gran . It's an odd experience. When I was growing up there was an abandoned building across the street that heroin addicts used as a shooting gallery. Saw my fair share of junkies everyday. Never saw any that were lucid enough to form complete thoughts - they were either itching for a hit and jittery or had just gotten their hit and so mellow you could light them on fire without getting much reaction. In fact, one summer, they kept leaving their candles on and that abandoned building must have had a half dozens visits from the fire department. They'd pull the burning mattresses out and wet them down.

Anyway, the detour is to say that Sara Gran imagines a world where junkies can speak coherently. Of course, she's writing about the 1950s. Maybe that explains things. My junkies were a mid 1970s vintage. If the main character were interviewing these people, she'd have to talk about a lot more drool and imaginary spiderwebs and a lot less personal hygiene.

Well written, lively story, almost a cozy through the first 120 pages - everyone knows each other and there's no sex or far. I'm liking it.


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