All the books I've read before that mentioned addiction have been about famous rock stars in bands - people who somehow seem one step removed from real life. Most of them were dead so it wasn't a first-hand account either. Ian's was the first one I read by and about a real person - a son, a partner, a "regular" guy. (It turned out he was anything but "regular!") It was staggering the level of risk taking he took - the large-scale drug trafficking - and the depths he sank to. The continual let downs his addiction caused for anyone he met along the way must have been hard to bear for those closest to him. Carrying on with the druggie lifestyle, despite his obviously declining health showed just how distorted life can become when drink and drugs take over. Quite how he broke out of that mess is nothing short of a miracle. If you want to find out more about how addiction affects "normal" people and the damage it causes to the person and those around them, rather than "glamourised backstage rock band antics", you'll find this book helpful.

Colette Mason