Review of Heroin & Sugar-Cane: They all call me baby by Giana Angelillo

Heroin & sugar cane: they all call me baby is a raw, explicit documentation of the life of an addict, the scrounging and the longing preserved so perfectly within the text. It is profoundly female, mildly unnerving, and psychologically enticing. Each behavior is noted in alluring and poetic detail. It is in a stream of consciousness format, each page rich with truth. The way in which it is written is choppy, but in a complementary manner, it all seems to be filtered by the unspoken narrator’s consciousness throughout a drugged perception, slowly bracing detox. There is no straight sugar coating here, and that’s what makes this book a masterpiece, a graphic tribute to the illicit context. The style here could be described as the lovechild of both William Burroughs and Aurora Linnea, but it gives forth an entirely modern twist with the vocabulary utilized. The way the format is gives this piece an inexplicable depth, with a voice that remains ringing in your ear after reading. Sensory details from texture to smell exude from the text painting a gruesome but realistic picture - the imagery perspiring from the page with various fonts and defining images. Words are written as though they are quickly fleeting from the mind awaiting permeation. Any addict will be able to empathize with the text, and feel as the writer was feeling. It is an intense journey of recovery all through out, and if you are unfamiliar with the mind of a struggling junkie and wish to be educated, what better than to read such gritty material? What must be acknowledged are the various symbols of hope, that only strengthen towards the end, the repetitive nature of affirmations, words like mantras. It is an incredibly emotional piece, I personally grew emotionally attached to it, all through out at different flux. Towards the end you will question even your own sobriety.

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