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Opium Fiend: A 21st Century Slave to a 19th Century Addiction

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Opium Fiend: A 21st Century Slave to a 19th Century Addiction Cover

ISBN13: 9780345517838
ISBN10: 0345517830
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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A renowned authority on the secret world of opium recounts his descent into ruinous obsession with one of the world’s oldest and most seductive drugs, in this harrowing memoir of addiction and recovery.

 

A natural-born collector with a nose for exotic adventure, San Diego–born Steven Martin followed his bliss to Southeast Asia, where he found work as a freelance journalist. While researching an article about the vanishing culture of opium smoking, he was inspired to begin collecting rare nineteenth-century opium-smoking equipment. Over time, he amassed a valuable assortment of exquisite pipes, antique lamps, and other opium-related accessories—and began putting it all to use by smoking an extremely potent form of the drug called chandu. But what started out as recreational use grew into a thirty-pipe-a-day habit that consumed Martin’s every waking hour, left him incapable of work, and exacted a frightful physical and financial toll. In passages that will send a chill up the spine of anyone who has ever lived in the shadow of substance abuse, Martin chronicles his efforts to control and then conquer his addiction—from quitting cold turkey to taking “the cure” at a Buddhist monastery in the Thai countryside.

 

At once a powerful personal story and a fascinating historical survey, Opium Fiend brims with anecdotes and lore surrounding the drug that some have called the methamphetamine of the nineteenth-century. It recalls the heyday of opium smoking in the United States and Europe and takes us inside the befogged opium dens of China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos. The drug’s beguiling effects are described in vivid detail—as are the excruciating pains of withdrawal—and there are intoxicating tales of pipes shared with an eclectic collection of opium aficionados, from Dutch dilettantes to hard-core addicts to world-weary foreign correspondents.

 

A compelling tale of one man’s transformation from respected scholar to hapless drug slave, Opium Fiend puts us under opium’s spell alongside its protagonist, allowing contemporary readers to experience anew the insidious allure of a diabolical vice that the world has all but forgotten.

About the Author

Steven Martin was born and raised in San Diego. After four years in the U.S. Navy, he moved to Thailand. A freelance writer, he has written articles for the Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, and the Asian edition of Time. He has also contributed to guidebooks for Lonely Planet and Rough Guides. Martin has gathered one of the world’s largest, most diverse collection of antique opium-smoking paraphernalia, and has written an illustrated book on the subject, The Art of Opium Antiques. His expertise has led to consulting work for museums and films, most recently for HBO’s period drama Boardwalk Empire.

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Reina Cady, August 12, 2012 (view all comments by Reina Cady)
When I picked this up I had my version of the "Romance of Opium". Steven Martin, goes into the his own experience with the strange modern world of addicts of opium. This was an easy read that has provided me with an entirely different perspective of even the word “pipe”.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780345517838
Author:
Martin, Steven
Publisher:
Villard Books
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Biography - General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20120631
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
7-10 ILLUSTRATIONS/PHOTOS THRU/OUT; ONE
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
8.56 x 5.78 x 1.23 in 1.24 lb

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History and Social Science » World History » 1650 to Present
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Opium Fiend: A 21st Century Slave to a 19th Century Addiction Used Hardcover
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