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Book details:
Junkie Love

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  junkie love

by Phil Shoenfelt

illustrated by Jolana Izbicka

Set in Camden Town, London, during the late 1980s, Junkie Love is a study of addiction and loss, a nihilistic love story for the blank generation. Focusing on the psycho-pathology of addiction, it takes a look at what happens when hope disappears and hedonism turns to despair and self-loathing. The characters in this tale are rootless and adrift, dislocated from their pasts with no belief in the aims and aspirations of a materialistic society. Instead of turning to politics or religion, they embark on a course of self-destructive sex and manically obsessive drug abuse, a journey to the end of the night from which many do not return. Largely autobiographical and leavened with irony and perverse humor, Junkie Love follows the protagonist into the heart of this morass to the point where corruption and dissipation coalesce into something approaching transcendence.

Firecracker Alternative Book of the Year Award for 2002


Junkie Love — a nice, nasty read. I enjoyed it a lot.

— Nick Cave

A fine, gutsy, spare rendering of the drug underworld.

— Will Self

I’ve read quite a few rock-and-roll memoirs and most of them are interesting to read but not particularly well written. Shoenfelt's book was different. ... Shoenfelt's psychological observations are precise and astute – so much so that it's a book I'd recommend to anyone who has difficulty understanding why addicts behave the way they do, doing the same thing over and over when they know it will result in heartbreak and ruin.

— Jim Ruland, San Diego City Beat

Filled with refreshing graveyard humour, Junkie Love is a gripping soldier's story of the times when the junkie's worst worries were himself and the badly cut drugs.

— Iva Pekarkova

This book is tough love. Junkie Love shoots straight frm the gut, puts the picture in your face, what a junkie faces from moment to moment, through each night, through each day. That Phil Shoenfelt, the author, is well today to tell it, is a triumph of a soul in its struggle to the light. The art of Jolana Izbická draws a haunting line through Shoenfelt's story, ending with a spiral upward.

— ruth weiss

Shoenfelt brings a sure, cold, almost empirical precision to his
descriptions: ever-descending scenes of brute squalor, self-inflicted wounds and abjection. Ultimately though, what's revealed is an underlying compassion for the characters . . . A trenchant, cautionary tale, that successfully avoids the self-righteous tone of the “recovered”...

— Michael Gira (author of The Consumer)

The best book about heroin since Junky. An essential read!

— Nikki Sudden

A modern evocation of classic fin de siecle literature, complete with classy illustrations and parchment-style paper. This love affair between a man, a woman and a needle goes the same tender, heartbreaking was as Hubert Selby Jr.'s Requiem for a Dream. From the warm glow of kindred spirits binding with the chemical mix of love and heroin to the suppurating end, Junkie Love is as beautifully written as it is presented.

Bizarre Magazine (London)

Beautiful. A great story of drugs, sex and trying to figure things out in our fucked up world . . . neurotic illustrations depicting the psychosis going on in the character's head . . . complimenting the written word.

Cherry Bleeds

Shoenfelt's vivid descriptions of the junkie's daily journey from low to lower are accompanied by the stunningly scary line-drawings of Jolana Izbicka, and constitute essential reading for anyone interested in how things go wrong.

The Financial Times (London)

The author is a musician, writer and reformed heroin addict in the mould of Nick Cave, which is to say dark and lyrical, and he achieves a rare thing in the wake of Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting, which portrayed substance abuse as cool. Shoenfelt has written a heartfelt novel based on his own experiences in London's filthy underbelly without glorifying the drug scene . . . His descriptions of drug culture — the trade on the streets and in the swirling squats behind closed doors — are vivid and at times disturbing. The romance which forms the book's backbone is gritty and tragic with no saccharine resolution. Shoenfelt brings reason and a strong literary voice to the usually hip genre of the drug novel.

— Lewis Crofts (author of The Pornographer of Vienna), The Bulletin (Belgium)

This is one of the best works of fiction I've read in a long time.

— Jessica Powers, NewPages.com


ISBN 9788086264172
148 pp.
13.5 x 20 cm
softcover with flaps
9 pen & ink drawings
fiction : novel
RRP: $14.50 • £9.50

release date:
November 2001

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foreign rights:
UK : Ebury Press
Czech : Mat'a
Greece : Elektra
Italy: Arcana/Fazi Editore
German: Moloko Print

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