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Nicholas KulishThough the exact veracity of Salant's tale would be difficult to determine (he explains in an author's note that the work "derives primarily from my memory"), it at least has none of the macho posturing of James Frey's Million Little Pieces. Salant goes out of his way to remind the reader that he is only posing as a tough guy among violent, paranoid cons. He makes his mark by telling his tale plainly and well; there's no self-aggrandizing. While there is plenty of sex and violence, Salant shines in less lurid moments, like his painful conversations with Megan, the 9-year-old daughter of a fellow junkie, and in small details, as when, riding in a rental car with his visiting parents, he observes that it has been months since he's "driven in a single car whose check-engine light was off."
—The New York Times