The Curious World of Drugs and Their Friends: A Very Trippy Miscellany

The Curious World of Drugs and their Friends does not endorse its subject matter, per se. Some of the more frightening consequences of drug use revealed in its pages include the guy who allegedly gouged his own eyes out under the influence of PCP and the drug dealer who went on a 13-day trip after swallowing his entire LSD stash during a drug raid. Nevertheless, this compendium justifies a place for intoxicants in literary, philosophical, political, and pop culture through the ages. Those who received a career boost from drugs include Ken Kesey, Andy Warhol (who combated weight gain and fatigue with the equivalent of Adderall), and Sigmund Freud, who recommended cocaine as a therapeutic treatment for morphine and alcohol addiction -- the use of all three undoubtedly influenced both the spectrum of his dream life as well as his sense of its importance. Rock stars, of course, inhabit a place of honor, from David Bowie (whose cocaine use, according to a Berlin transvestite, caused him to give off a particularly foul odor) to Amy Winehouse to the seemingly immortal Keith Richards (whose admission that he once tried to snort his father?s ashes mixed in with a line of cocaine is as inscrutable -- and hilarious -- as ever). Those looking for alternatives to drug use might investigate fasting, running and hyperventilating; or, much less advisably, trepanation (the act of drilling a hole in one?s head). This slim volume is quite useful as a guide to the state of altered states -- though what use one makes of it is, of course, entirely voluntary.

April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.