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Memoires of a Heroinhead Watch

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    There's a marvellous blogger called Shane Levene, he's an absolutely fascinating character. He's a heroin addict who lives in France, he's a punk and his father was one of the victims of serial killer Dennis Nilsen. I truly believe he's one of the finest writers of his generation, few writers move me so that I want to cry or punch the air.

    One of this best posts is To the end of rotten love

    There's been a murder, a young girl, and now I can't sleep.

    It happened a little over four hours ago. I woke up to a symphony of banging and screaming coming from the upstairs apartment. In the dark, I lay on my bed, listening to the ruckus. It was a wrestling match. Two bodies tumbling around, kneecaps and elbows making blunt thuds overhead, then someone scrambling to their feet and bounding heavy-footed across the floor, screaming. I lit a cigarette and blew the smoke out like the bored.

    From within the melee above I could make out two voices. One was that of a young girl and the other a man. The girl was hysterical, sometimes shouting insults and at other times shrieking as if desperate to to be let loose. The man made mostly angry sounds, like something driven mad. His only comprehensible words were: “WHORE! SLUT! WHORE!” Both voices were ruined with alcohol, a hateful rasp that writhed through their insults.

    Woken for good, my eyes adjusted to the dark. On my back I concentrated on the fight, following it back and forth across the ceiling while trying to work out which part of whose body had hit what. At times the thumping and screaming became so bad that I was unsure of just where the fight was coming from. It was as if my neighbours to the left, right, behind and above were all going at it, like the entire apartment block had gone insane and all the occupants were participating in some surreal, early morning, communal bust-up. My bedsit quaked. From the far wall a painting worked loose from its fixing and fell like a dead-weight. It hit the floor standing and stayed there. In a rage I hurled a shoe at the wall. That fell and stayed there too.
    (more on the blogsite, obviously)
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    There are more amazing short stories (true ones)

    http://memoiresofaheroinhead.blogspo...catalogue.html

    Which is about his time growing up, about poverty etc

    http://memoiresofaheroinhead.blogspo...l/Afghan%20war

    Which is about the Afghan War and the great heroin drought of 2001.

    I can't emphasise how much amazing writing there is on his blog, I haven't read everything and I'm still discovering buried treasures. If you love amazing writers, you will like this.
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    Wow, that's phenomenal literary ability.
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    (Original post by Venomilys)
    Wow, that's phenomenal literary ability.
    Isn't it?

    The Argos Catalogue is also well-worth reading.

    The toughest thing about being poor was having no curtains. It meant the other kids could see in; could see the bare floors, the beat-up TV, the mouldy sofa, the wallpaper torn back and hanging loose, the crazy dog of bones which **** as it spun cartwheels up at the window. But worse than what they could see was what they couldn't: no video, no furniture, no lampshade, no ornaments. We had no nothing, and when the evening came, and the light went on, we had even less.

    On page 24 there were curtains. Thick dark red ones.
    Above all else they were my biggest ''want'
    That was my thing, you see, covering up what was going on inside.
    I jabbed my finger at them on the page and shouted “WANT!”
    My brother and Sister followed
    eager to point out their picks
    “Want!”
    “want!”
    “Want!”

    Dad sat in the middle holding the Argos catalogue
    He'd wet his middle finger before leafing over each new page
    You could smell the glossy print and the glue of the bind
    It smelled like commerce itself
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    (Original post by MostUncivilised)
    Isn't it?

    The Argos Catalogue is also well-worth reading.
    "It smelled like commerce itself"

    Very nice
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    (Original post by StarvingAutist)
    "It smelled like commerce itself"

    Very nice
    There's more, I'm just posting the first few paragraphs as a taster.
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    (Original post by MostUncivilised)
    There's more, I'm just posting the first few paragraphs as a taster.
    Thanks for that, it's been bookmarked :yy:

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    (Original post by Venomilys)
    Wow, that's phenomenal literary ability.
    I found my way here after searching this writer/enigma Shane Levene to try and find out more about him and other writing or books I can find by him (other than his main site). l was initially put onto his work after a friend described having been at a small reading the writer performed in London last year and by all accounts it was a mythical and intense experience, something my friend says he'd never experienced at a reading before (let alone by an unknown writer (as my friend was there for the headlining artist not the writer).

    Now after having read Levene's writing myself I can only agree with the original poster (and the quote above) and add that for me this writer is hands down the greatest I've read in many years (and I read an awful lot). If the title puts you off I strongly advise you ignore any preconceived ideas of such writing:

    Levene is at times brutal and jarring, at others wistful and romantic. The kind of autobiographical self-reflection, typical to the memoir genre, that usually adulterates the graphic immediacy of the narrator’s experiences, is noticeably lacking in these vignettes.

    I guarantee you, even if drugs are a theme throughout the writing, you will not come away feeling like you've read a memoir of addiction and self-abuse: Levene's writing isn't that. I can't put my finger on exactly what his writing is, but it's something much deeper and more powerful than genre writing.
 
 
 
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