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

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

by David Sheff
4.2 298

Hardcover(Library Binding - Large Print Edition)

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Overview

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

Sheff's story is a first: a teenager's addiction from the parent's point of view—a real-time chronicle of the shocking descent into substance abuse and the gradual emergence into hope. Before meth, Sheff's son Nic was a varsity athlete, honor student, and award-winning journalist. After meth, he was a trembling wraith who stole money from his eight-year-old brother and lived on the streets. With haunting candor, Sheff traces the first subtle warning signs, the denial (by both child and parents), the three A.M. phone calls (is it Nic? the police? the hospital?), the attempts at rehab, and, at last, the way past addiction. He shows us that, whatever an addict's fate, the rest of the family must care for each other too, lest they become addicted to addiction. Meth is the fastest-growing drug in the United States, as well as the most addictive and the most dangerous—wreaking permanent brain damage faster than any other readily available drug. It has invaded every region and demographic in America. This book is the first that treats meth and its impact in depth. But it is not just about meth. Nic's addiction has wrought the same damage that any addiction will wreak. His story, and his father's, are those of any family that contains an addict—and one in three American families does.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781602852945
Publisher: Center Point Large Print
Publication date: 10/28/2008
Edition description: Large Print Edition
Pages: 464
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

DAVID SHEFF is the author of several books, including the #1 New York Times best-selling memoir Beautiful Boy. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Playboy, Wired, and many other publications. His ongoing research and reporting on the science of addiction earned him a place on Time magazine's list of the World's Most Influential People. Sheff and his family live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit David at DavidSheff.com, and on Twitter @david_sheff.

 

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Beautiful Boy 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 298 reviews.
Linda58 More than 1 year ago
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.
Rapunzel0321 More than 1 year ago
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.
JMU2010 More than 1 year ago
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.
baby4 More than 1 year ago
Very informational for parents of teenagers. Very well written and devastatingly real.
Sunflower6_Cris More than 1 year ago
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.
iMAC18 More than 1 year ago
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.
menomm26 More than 1 year ago
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.
madmom98146 More than 1 year ago
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.
Profe More than 1 year ago
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.
ubgrad More than 1 year ago
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.
Lockwood More than 1 year ago
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.
mkgiannos More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put it down, its was sad throughout the book but very well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would highly recommend this book to any family going through the anguish & heartbreak of a chemically addicted member. The author is fortunate that he had the means to afford all the intervention programs his son attended. The son is fortunate that he has a family that still cares after they have been let down and betrayed time & time again. Although I gained a lot of insight on a very destructive problem, I would not wish this nightmare on any family.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although this book taught people whom have read it about the struggles and discomfort of a father dealing with his sons addictions and struggles of many  families in this generation, I thought this book was  rather boring, bland, and easy to predict. I say this because it was also quite repetitive as to how Nic would go into rehab, come out, and was back in soon. I did enjoy the book though!! Dont get me wrong. It was just a little bit grey on the color wheel, acceptably given the story. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book for my English class and wasn't sure if I was going to like it because it wasn't a topic that i could relate to. But the book was so well written that it kept me engaged. It is a great story about compassion, hard times, and family. I really did end up enjoying the book and while it is hard to get past what Nick is going through and the choices that he is making, it was also easy for me to be understanding of what was happening and that is just a testament to David Sheff's writing abilities. Overall it was a great book (although rather repetitive, but then again I guess addiction is repetitive too) and I would highly recommend for anybody and everybody to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an amazing book! It was heartbreaking, touching, and emotional.  The overall tone of this book was hopeful which showed a great balance of the good and bad that the family went through. The story of a father being addicted to his own sons addiction is admirable because he never gave up on his son no matter how many relapses  his son went through and how many promises were broken. David Sheff didn't leave out a single detail in this story  he exposed all the good and  the bad moments he and his family went through and more importantly he showed that he cared for Nic so much to never give up hope on his own  son did whatever it took to help Nic get better even though the ride was bumpy and hard for him making him depressed. This book is a good story for anyone to read who has any relation to addiction or knows someone with an addiction because it is a great example to remind you that your not  the only one going through a similar situation  and that there is hope. This book shows that there are other families that go through situations with addiction.  I will read this book and pass it along for others to read who may find it interesting or relatable. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
MariahEllis More than 1 year ago
It was quite interesting to read about David Sheff's take on his son's addiction, especially having already read Nic's memoir. David's story is heartbreaking, but I did not entirely enjoy his story. Much of it was very repetitive, focusing more on the facts (that though they came from different sources were very much the same), rather than David's experiences and emotions (which were present in the story, but rushed). Things also felt very disjointed, going from Nic's actions, to facts about meth, to David's childhood. I often struggled to understand the connection between specific things I was being told. Though this book did have problems, I wouldn't necessarily say it was a bad book. I did definitely appreciate David sharing his journey with me and countless other readers. If you haven't already, I would suggest reading Nic's memoir (Tweak) either before or after reading Beautiful Boy. It is rare that we get to see both sides of an event in such a way as we have the opportunity for with this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautiful Boy was an exhausting story about a father and his drug-addicted son. The book itself was well-written, packed full with tons of information about meth, and included the different angles of which experts try to combat this “disease”. The book has an interesting viewpoint from the father, which sheds light on the effects drugs may have on the user and the loved ones around him. Although the reader can get a clear sense of David’s anguish and may benefit from the immense amounts of information, the story is lacking. Like David’s internal struggle between his son and his family, the story finds conflict between plot and facts. Often we see whole chapters dedicated to the explanation of methamphetamines. This tends to break up the story line, and often resulted in a disinterest in the book as a whole. Furthermore, I found the story to be exasperating, as it often repeats the same issues: Nic goes missing, David is upset, Nic is found, Nic goes to rehab. Repeat. Then the story tapers off at the end. It didn’t need to have a perfect ending, but it should at least feel conclusive. In the end, I recommend this book to someone who might be having similar issues, and would like to find information and solace in one convenient book. Or I recommend reading this along with Tweak, a book by Nic Sheff. It would be an interesting experience to have both viewpoints.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Spoilers May Be Present (Have not decided yet): Beautiful Boy is a book about a man' s son who becomes addicted to meth (I guess you could consider that a spoiler).  The author starts the beginning of the book with Nic arriving home from college, showing him playing with his younger Siblings. This  is chosen as the start of the book because it shows Nic as more than just a drug addict, but a real person. David, the author, continues the story by  taking about Nic's childhood to show him as a good kid, just like anybody else's. Early on in the story David talks about his son's depression caused by the his divorce. This depression leads Nic to try drugs, always seeking the high to make himself feel better. The rest of the story consists of Nic going in and out of rehab.
76Trombones More than 1 year ago
This book is a great story of a father reaching out to his child in an attempt to save his life from the world he once knew. David Sheff does a great job conveying his feelings in an organized and clear format. It is painful to watch the choices that Nic makes through this book and you want him to listen to his fathers advice. I had some troubles connecting with the book though, most likely because I have never struggled with drugs or seen anyone close go through these ordeals. This book can be a great help to those that need a foundation in their lives.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey through His Son’s Addiction, David Sheff explains his story of the toughest time in his life. In this best-selling memoir David describes his son’s addiction to meth and how his family chose to deal with it. The book starts out with Nic’s childhood and how he was raised. It’s hard to believe he went down this path because of his normal, healthy childhood. There were no signs that Nic would go down this path. Throughout the multiple relapses and break-ins to their house by Nic, David realizes he has an addiction too. He is addicted to his son’s addiction. Every moment David has is spent worrying about where his son is, and whether or not he is alive. This puts a huge strain on David’s relationship with Karen and the kids. David eventually find a way to not only think about Nic. He starts to focus on his family and other priorities too, and is finally able to kick his addiction to his son’s addiction of methamphetamine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Blackhawks88 More than 1 year ago
Just amazing as Tweak was. 
YayNook More than 1 year ago
This is an incredibly moving book with a unique perspective - the voice of a parent of an addicted child who allows the reader to experience the heartbreak as he experienced it. Without "hindsight narration" of his son's addiction, and it's impact on the family and himself, David Sheff forces us to go along on this ride instead of passing judgement on every choice made. In between the lows, and highs, Sheff includes well-researched information about the damages done by drugs, especially meth. A phenomenal read.