Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Gilded Razor (A Memoir) by Sam Lansky...

How I Heard About It:  I read a review of this book in People magazine where Sam had been an editor and now works at Time.  That same day I was at the local bookstore and saw the title on the new release table.  I read the inside cover and thought it sounded like a fascinating story.  It had been awhile since I had read a memoir so I thought it was time to add one to my list of books read.

What It Is About:  Sam lives in New York City with his father and his father's girlfriend.  His parents are divorced and his mother is out in Oregon where he grew up.  It is Sam's senior year and he has started to apply to different colleges.  His dream school is Princeton.  There is just one problem.  Sam has become addicted to drugs.  During high school he began using pills.  After the pills he ventured into the world of harder drugs.  Sam also knew that he was a gay teenager and wanted to create a type of "fantasy" world for himself.  He began to find older men in the city where they would supply him with drugs and fill a void with sex.  After not getting into Princeton, Sam ends up at Vassar.  The drugs and men continue and he finds himself spiraling out of control.  Sam's father finally intervenes and sends him to Aspen.  It is a wilderness program out west.  Sam spends time there and then finds himself a bit lost because he isn't quite an adult for further rehab, but not young enough for a teen program.  Sam works hard to find himself, find out why is needs drugs and men to fulfill his life, and begin a path of clean living.  He learns though this isn't as easy as he wants it to be.  

What I Thought Of It:  After reading this memoir, I realized I should include them more in my reading life.  I also enjoy them and get so much out of a person's story.  This memoir grabbed me from page one and I couldn't put it down.  Sam's is an excellent writer and told of his experience with truth, grace, and a bit of edge.  It wasn't always easy to read about his experiences, but I know many people in our world suffer with the use of drugs and also looking outside of themselves to find true happiness.  The story was honest and raw, but I appreciated this technique.  There were so many times while I was reading the book that I just wanted to jump into the pages and help him out.  I could completely feel the out of control feeling Sam had and the pain he was going through.  

Who Should Read It:  This is definitely a read for high school and adult readers.  I think it could be helpful to people that are struggling with addition of any kind.  Many times we think true and "deep" addition occurs in the 20's and 30's, but this story shows it can happen to our high school and college kids.  If as a reader you enjoy reading memoirs, then this is definitely a story you should experience.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars

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