978-1-904555-00-1 / 9781904555001

Survival of the Coolest


Publisher:Clear Press



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About the book:

The Survival of the Coolest is the story of a great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin's death-defying journey into the interior of heroin addiction in the 1960's and back out again. William Pryor's privileged Cambridge background, growing up on the edges of the Bloomsbury phenomenon and in the bosom of the Darwin dynasty, was no proof against addiction to heroin and other psychosomatic substances. Coolest is a compelling, lucid and honest account of a descent into addiction by a privileged beatnik manning the counter-cultural barricades with the likes of Alex Trocchi, Syd Barrett and Viscount Billy Bolitho. Brought on by a police sting as he tried to run a bohemian bookshop in Torquay, Pryor's subsequent crash-landing at what Alcoholics Anonymous describes as 'rock bottom' marked the end of his addiction in 1975. Twenty-eight years later and still clean, William Pryor throws some much-needed light on the nature of addiction and recovery and on the mythologies, folklore and downright lies that surround a condition that affects a large proportion of the population. Dorothy Rowe, the psychologist and author of over 40 books, said The Survival of the Coolest is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand why a War on Drugs and Just Say No can never work, and why some people become addicted to drugs while others do not. Norman Marshall (a director of Transform, the drug legislation consultancy) wrote: I must say found it absolutely riveting. it is ultimately a very uplifting read about (obviously) Survival, redemption, forgiveness and being seen. I don't know that I have ever read a book that quite so ruthlessly lays bare its subject, with a coolness and objectivity that takes all the pretentiousness, self-pity and selfishness of young William and makes them understandable, forgiveable, deeply human.

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