Haven't we been here before?

A troubled young man goes to college, flees suburban life for the Bright Lights of the Big City, takes drugs, has various forms of advanced sex, lives very fast, does stupid things, needs money, gets involved with things WAY over his head, and finds true salvation in a "last resort" therapy, which he recommends to all who suffer. Only, this isn't happening in the Age of Greed, but in the sickly backwash of the early Nineties, where the commerce isn't junk bonds but junk art, specifically that of Mark Kostabi, his problem is mania, or manic-depression, not addiction per se (though alcohol and cocaine, along with various prescription drugs are used profusely), and the salvation is ECT, not AA.

Other than that, most of the tropes remain unchanged: the parade of conspicuous consumption, the joy of various kinds of rush, the horror of Getting Caught, and the relative calm of coming to shore after the raging straits of fever. Perhaps it's my world-weariness coming through, but the breathless assertion that he came into town and immediately scored a studio apartment with a 1200/mo rent on the Upper West Side that he intended to decorate in an Urban Country style with Country Pate brown walls fails to impress me. After all, in Wall Street, the neighborhood was TriBeCa, the rent was $2000/month, and the walls were done with flakes of gold leaf, from that crazy decorator, you know, that was played by that cute chick from Blade Runner? Oh, that was a movie, right...There's just something about all this that reminds me of tarantula venom, as opposed to regular amphetamines, that sharp edginess that makes it unpleasant, as opposed to just high.

I loved the font on the dust jacket, though. It was cool. I might steal it.

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