Title: Hammered: Memoir of an Addict
Author: Geoff Brown
Released: March 2012 (Revised and expanded edition March 2019)
Paperback: 180 pages (2019 edition – approximately 260 pages)
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 inches
Pre-order print version from the author (signed)
Hammered: Memoir of an Addict by Geoff Brown
Geoff led a life of addiction and slow decay. Drugs, crime and ennui pervaded every part of his day-to-day alienation. He dragged his way out of the pit without resorting to God or alcohol or any of the other crutches people commonly use. Here is his story. Pray your children don’t make the same mistakes…
A foreword by Kris Saknussemm
This is a painfully sharp account of a life that turned around. It avoids the clichés of memoirs of addiction that are “inspiring” and “redemptive”, although it is that finally, in spades. Along the way though, and what I admire about it most, it’s that it’s gutter truthful about the simple, brutal waste of innocence that drug dependence is—on the hour. Most importantly, and what moves this story into a higher register and the realm of larger social concern, is it’s recognition of the insidious nature of self-denial, which is the most dangerous and widespread drug there will ever be. Neil Young laid it down, ‘A little part of it in everyone.’
Because of the nature of the drug life involved, many people will find connections with the writing of people like William Burroughs, but I actually see an older linkage to the work of Malcolm Lowry, who wrote so poignantly of alcoholism, lost hope and hope regained.
Geoff is a writer who stays out of both his own shadow and light, and lets you decide which best suits. The message is that this all could happen to you, or to someone you know and love. It’s actually remarkably easy to go down slow—because that’s the way it happens. Maybe we all can survive our wrong turns.
I’d add that we are given here a finely edged portrait of a special and complex part of the city of Melbourne, which is well worth reading in its own right. As Sly Stone, one of my countrymen who has had more than a little trouble with drugs would say: “You can’t get to it if you haven’t been through it.”
This is a hard journey well shared and a book that risks real sadness to tell its human truth.