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Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction

Average Rating 4.5
( 299 )
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5 Star

(161)

4 Star

(80)

3 Star

(39)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

I will recommend this book.

David Sheff did not miss a single experience of having a drug addicted child. He seconds guesses himself constantly, reads about it, asks questions, researches new and old treatment, loses sleep, deprives himself of other loved ones, sets aside his life over and over a...
David Sheff did not miss a single experience of having a drug addicted child. He seconds guesses himself constantly, reads about it, asks questions, researches new and old treatment, loses sleep, deprives himself of other loved ones, sets aside his life over and over again, is depressed, makes himself physically sick and the sinking feeling he would get when the phone rings and the feelings of hopelessness in getting help. He cannot turn to God. As a parent of a drug addicted son myself, Mr. Sheff didn't miss a beat. My son passed away 2 years ago and my family and I lived the life Mr. Sheff lived. I will always wonder if I could have done more or what did I miss from the very beginning. I had this book for over a year before I could bring myself to read it and I will give it to people going through this terrible experience.

posted by Linda58 on March 7, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Well written!!!

I couldn't put it down, its was sad throughout the book but very well written.

posted by mkgiannos on February 16, 2009

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  • Posted March 7, 2010

    I will recommend this book.

    David Sheff did not miss a single experience of having a drug addicted child. He seconds guesses himself constantly, reads about it, asks questions, researches new and old treatment, loses sleep, deprives himself of other loved ones, sets aside his life over and over again, is depressed, makes himself physically sick and the sinking feeling he would get when the phone rings and the feelings of hopelessness in getting help. He cannot turn to God. As a parent of a drug addicted son myself, Mr. Sheff didn't miss a beat. My son passed away 2 years ago and my family and I lived the life Mr. Sheff lived. I will always wonder if I could have done more or what did I miss from the very beginning. I had this book for over a year before I could bring myself to read it and I will give it to people going through this terrible experience.

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 5, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    Absolutely Stunning.. Beautifully Written.

    Being a Substance Abuse Intervention Minor I am constantly interested in seeing how families deal with addictions and this book provides such an amazing insight. I've actually read both Beautiful Boy and Tweak and I would recommend either to anyone interested in addiction.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Beautiful Boy

    Very informational for parents of teenagers. Very well written and devastatingly real.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 5, 2009

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    Eye Opening

    This was truly a perspective changing novel. My brother was a heroin addict when we were younger, and I did not effectively deal with the pain and self-blame that experience created in me. Hearing how David Sheff dealt with the issue surrounding his own son's meth addiction changed the way I perceived myself, as well as my role in my brother's addiction and recovery. The amount of research Sheff incorporated in this novel provided the evidence I needed to start looking at that time period in my own life and the life of my family as a whole in a completely different way. I always believed addiction is a disease that steals the one's we love and transforms them into people they never wanted to be. This novel showed that I was right in some ways and wrong in others. Any one who has dealt with addiction, whether crystal meth or others, will find this memoir enlightening and therapeutic.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Beautiful Insight On A Father/Son Problem! A Must Read!

    Not only was this book hard to put down, but it was an amazing perspective into what no parent would ever want to run into. David Sheff's problem came when he found marijuana in his 12 year old son, Nic, jeans. This was the first warning sign into what would become a serious drug problem. But with the trust that comes with being a parent, Sheff didn't believe anything more would happen when Nic told him that he would never do it again. Six years later though, Nic became an addict of methamphetamine. In this book you get the hard and raw truth of what it's truly like to be in the shoes of a parent trying to control a child's problem. Not in any other book will you be literally placed in someone else's life and feel the pain and distraught that David Sheff had felt with his son and his problem. I would recommend this amazing book to pretty much anyone because David Sheff nailed it. For me being a teenager, it really put me in a position of what a parent would be like because of how Sheff's voice and imagery in the book was so key to understanding the pain he went through. Sheff is very personal and open about every story he tells and what he feels like he did wrong on trying to stop and help Nic. It really sends out a message that the drug methamphetamine is a really serious drug and shouldn't be pursued by anyone. With having the feeling that you were in Sheff's shoes made you really think of what it'd be like to go through this problem and can really help you in the future with what and what not to do if you have children that could potentially have this problem. If you really want the other perspective of the story from Nic's side, you should read Tweak. It goes into detail of what Sheff did not, like the absences Nic had for week's at a time. This book was very well written and I give Sheff major props for being so open about a major problem. He didn't hesitate once with any of the stories of how it affected him or his family. I give this book five out of five stars because of the effort Sheff put into this book in researching and knowing every single detail that happened through Nic's stages of life.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    Beautiful Boy is an amazing book with a personal view on additions.

    Beautiful Boy is an amazing (and sad) journey that David Sheff describes about his son Nic and his addiction with Methamphetamines. This book provides a personal parent's point of view of the rollercoaster life that his family and his son endured during his son's drug addiction.
    This book was so easy to read and understand coming from a family who has endured drug additions.
    I didn't want the story to end when I finished the book. I wondered what happened to him and his son. Have they been able to get through these past years? Is Nic still struggling with addition and recovery? I look forward to reading Nic's book, "Tweak" to see the other side of the story.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    Well written!!!

    I couldn't put it down, its was sad throughout the book but very well written.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 12, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This is a powerful and honest examination of the author¿s relati

    This is a powerful and honest examination of the author’s relationship with his addicted son Nic as well as the journey and decisions the author and his family made to get Nic clean and off drugs. Though the subject can be difficult to deal with and read, I appreciate the honesty and transparency of the author.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2013

    Shelby

    Hey everyone

    1 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 29, 2011

    A Beautiful Book and Rewarding Read!

    David Sheff¿s novel, Beautiful Boy, focuses on his relationship with his son Nic, a meth addict who is struggling to turn his life around. Sheff takes us through Nic¿s early years and how he coped with the divorce of his parents, a new stepmom and dad, and the birth of his two half-siblings. As a child Nic was always exceedingly clever and creative, he was very involved in high school, partaking in swimming and water polo, in addition to writing for the school newspaper. His future looked bright until he started getting involved with drugs, more than just the occasionally hit of marijuana. Eventually Nic was introduced to meth, the most addictive drug out there and he was hooked. David writes about how he attempts to deal with his son¿s addiction, and the countless recoveries and relapses that go with it. He confesses that, no matter how many people tell him otherwise, he still blames himself for Nic¿s tragic life. The major theme in this novel is the love of a parent can be so strong that it will never allow them to give up on their children, no matter what situations they are faced with. I loved how Sheff included so many of the memorable experiences he has shared with Nic over the years. I think if he hadn¿t I wouldn¿t really be able to sympathize with him about his anxiety over Nic¿s wellbeing because I would see him as just another screw up addict. This way I was able to really start to care for the bright little boy Sheff described and those tender feelings for him remained as he grew up throughout the book. One dislike I had about this novel was that the author included a lot of statistics and numbers in certain parts when he was trying to explain the medical effects of methamphetamine, and this was a little distracting. He also used a lot of medical diction that I had to frequently look up so that was also the slightest bit annoying. This is a very deep read so I wouldn¿t recommend picking it up if you are looking for something happy and light-hearted. But, if you don¿t mind the numerous life lessons and the fact that it¿s saturated in emotion then I think you will find the book to be very touching, eye opening, and above all rewarding. I also recommend reading Tweak, by Nic Sheff, which is Nic¿s own recount of his experiences with hard drugs. I read Tweak first and then Beautiful Boy and it¿s really interesting to see the same story from two very different perspectives. Beautiful Boy is truly a beautiful book and I give it a solid five out of five.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2010

    Highly Recommended? Definitely.

    This book reminded me of a story about a mother, daughter and of all things a rock in the book, "When God Stopped Keeping Score." As a parent, we all want the best for our children, this story is the ultimate tale of a father's love. I'd also recommend that you buy "When God Stopped Keeping Score." an intimate look at the power of God and forgiveness. You will be so glad that you did.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 23, 2010

    Beautiful Boy

    Beautiful Boy David Sheffs heartwarming story of the fight against his son's addiction touches families everywhere. His story consists of the childhood of his son Nic. Growing up in California; Nic became a surfer and a frequent flyer due to his parents separation. Sheff tells his story of his dedication to his first child, and later his two others. He describes how he experimented with drugs but only tried meth once and still feels he's at fault for his son's addiction. He covers how his whole family is effected by his sons addiction and how they work together to overcome it. He pursues to reach out to others and educate them about meth and the after effects. I enjoyed this book because you could hear Sheffs voice all the way through. There was neither a moment of doubt nor a moment when I didn't want to know the happy ever after I could only hope would be waiting for me at the end of the book. The way He carries the reader through Nics life only connects you more to the family. You feel as if they are family friends who you are watching a crises take over. I loved how we got to know the young college student returning home before we met the young man addicted to meth. We got to know Nic as a normal everyday man instead of a crazy man on the streets hooked on a terrible drug. I didn't like however, how I was waiting for it to turn bad through all the happy stories. I was getting to know Nic while in the back of my mind wondering when was going to flip his life upside down. After wrapping up this book, i already find myself in the story from Nic Sheffs point of view. I recommend reading New Dawn Transmission by Nic Sheff. Everyone should read this and pass the story to everyone important in their lives so the purpose of his story is achieved.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2010

    Blinders....get your blinders here....

    I found this book to be annoying, almost whiny. I don't know how any parent could see their child through such a totally uncritical lens; no child is so completely golden as Sheff believes his was. His contention that this came out of left field means to me that he was simply not paying attention, absorbed as he was in some fantasy version of his chid. The effect of his divorce on Nic is shrugged off; when Nic starts exhibiting the classic signs of drug use Sheff is very busy looking the other way in preparation for some heavy-duty handwringing later on. I'd be interested in reading Nic's book, hoping for some balance.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Father vs. Writer

    Disappointment although I know the writer is an intelligent man this book that should have been so personal lacked feeling for me as a parent. He also skipped over many details about his sons' addiction. There were times that I did cry but those occasions were far and few between and most of the time it read like a text book. I have had addiction in my family and the book just left me lacking feeling

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 5, 2009

    Enlightening, Heartbreaking read. Couldn't put it down!

    Saw father and son at a conference a year ago and read the book immediately. The book is very educational for professionals and families. It is easy to read and understand the heartbreak of mental illness and substance use disorders. A clinician I know uses the father's book as a part of education for those in therapy. Everyone should read this to truly undersand.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 4, 2009

    An incredibly good read.

    It was as if David Sheff had been a fly on the wall in my own home, the way he recounts the conversations he had with his son. They were so like the conversations (yelling matches?) I had with my teenaged son. Poignant, heartbreaking, hopeful. All of the above. Plus, the entire time I was reading, John Lennon's beautiful melody floated through my head.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing

    I really liked this book alot, i felt as though he was able to capture his love for his son and addiction in a ways that could make anyone understand the difficulty of loving an addict.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Beautiful Boy is an amazing journey

    David Sheff and his familys story is heart-wrenching and scary to think of when you realize it's all true and could happen to anyone. Once you pick it up you can not put it down. I laughed at the irony and the silliness of a young father and eventually a single parent. I cried at the loss felt at having to make descisions that went against how a person is taught to raise a child knowing it was the only way to save the child that is loved. This is an amazing journey of a man and father and family.

    It took courage and love to write the story and then to have it published and printed for all to read. Every parent should read this book... Especially those who think it could never happen to them.

    You must read the son's perspective as well and then wrap your head around the entire experience. These books will move you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing book!

    This book was such an insight into the web of addiction. I work with juvenile offenders who sometimes have addictions of their own, and to be able to read what parents go through provides an idea of how life must be like for those parents. The decisions David had to make as a parent as far as helping his son were nothing short of dedication and devotion as a parent.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2014

    Great book

    Poop

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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