Junkie Love Book reviews


Author(s): Joe CliffordDownload  


From the cow fields of Connecticut to the streets of San Francisco, Joe Clifford’s Junkie Love traverses the lost highways of America, down the rocky roads of mental illness to the dead ends of addiction. Based on Clifford’s own harrowing experience with drugs as a rock ’n’ roll wannabe in the 1990s, the book draws on the best of Kerouac & the Beats, injecting a heavy dose of pulp fiction as it threads a rollicking narrative through a doomed love triangle, lit up by the many strange characters he meets along the way. Part road story, part resurrection tale, Junkie Love finds a way to laugh in one’s darkest hour, while never abandoning its heart in search of a home.

Some Reviews: 63 in Goodreads.com

Rasmenia Massoud

Rasmenia Massoud rated it      

There’s not much I can say that I feel would really do justice to this book. This book, it’s the kind of book that before you’re halfway through it, you’ve already resolved to read everything else ever written by this author. It’s the kind of book that by the time you read the final sentence, you’re reminded why you love reading and you feel like now you know what it would be like if Jack Kerouac had been a junkie in 1990s L.A. The fact that Clifford survived his heroin addiction is a triumph… the fact that he can recount the tale for us with prose this alive is another. Even if you haven’t struggled with heroin addiction, it’s still a story so human that it’s hard not relate to certain aspects of it. Feeling broken, that you’ve failed at being human or let down those who love you – many of us struggle with these things, but few of us are able to find the beauty in them, or the courage to talk about so honestly. The story is a bit of an emotional roller coaster ride – one that is absolutely worth taking.

Joe Faust

Joe Faust rated it     

Boy, what to do with this book. It deserves five stars, but it’s not the kind of book I want to read again. But there’s a good reason for that. This is a raw and unfiltered account of Joe Clifford’s (no relation) hitting bottom as a drug addict and his eventual climb into sobriety. Not much time is spent on how he got there, but that’s not the point. The point his how far down the bottom is and how high the price of redemption. It’s a must read, albeit a brutal one.
Avoid reading Jerry Stahl’s forward, which gives away a crucial moment of the narrative, until after you’ve finished the book.

Ava Black

Ava Black rated it      

I am in love with this book. The writing is so powerful that you feel the cold rain sliding down your skin as the needle goes into your own vein, even though you’re in snuggled under the warm covers with your loving dog. This piece captures the mood and tone of the time in which it was written and presents a highly-relateable main character who personifies the sense of rejection and loneliness that we all sometimes feel. But this story has an ending that you’ll want to read…and will make you want to read the whole book over again.

Matt Peters

Matt Peters rated it      

Junkie Love chronicles what life is like, and how rough it is, for a junkie at the end of a 10 year habit. It’s not one of these books that glamorizes the life of a junkie. In fact, Joe Clifford is very clear that reading those type of books and believing the Rock N Roll, Heroin Chic mythology is what lead him to think he could control his habit and landed him in hell.

Over all, it is a very informative and enjoyable fictional memoir in that better-him-than-me sense. One of my favorite reading experiences, getting to life a unique and dangerous life without having to actually live it! I’m satisfied and disturbed!

It is difficult to cover 10 years in 200 pages, but Clifford gives just enough back story and history to understand how he got there, but not so much that it bogged down the drama of his final year or so as a junkie.


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