ME AND THE DEVIL by Nick Tosches
It is as raw and blazing an account of a descent into hell and return that you will ever read.
It's a vampire story of a kind, but with none of that silliness. It's about mortality, and how people feed on each other, and what is immortal. The story puts Nick himself at its center: a writer nearing the end of his life, alcoholic, dejected, his powers ebbing, who learns accidentally that a taste of blood restores him. He begins looking for women who want this exchange as part of sex. The danger of these encounters is enormous, in ways both mundane--he is nearly arrested when he accidentally cuts a partner's femoral artery and has to take her to the emergency room--and spiritual. He loses his mind and one day wakes from a suicidal stupor to find the devil sitting at the end of his couch.
Nick Tosches is like the leopard in the novel's pages and on its cover, one of the last wild things in our over-cultured and over-safe world. He uses everything from his life--his history as a writer and a drinker, his love of downtown New York City, his friendship with Keith Richards and Johnny Depp, his New Jersey childhood, his rages and prejudices, his love of food (some of the meals described here will leave you slavering)--in the service of his story. He uses all the forbidden words. It will certainly offend some readers. We think he has set out to capture all of life, from its darkest, vilest desires to its most sublime quests for beauty and wisdom, to show that it is all one thing, and to capture the things that truly last.
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