"James Brown, already among the best memoirists in America, has surpassed his own high standards in Apology to the Young Addict. This superbly written book is about addiction, yes, but it is equally a book about courage, perseverance, love, desperation, recovery, and healing. More than anything, it is a book that reminds us, again and again, of the power of storytelling. In the pages of this heartbreaking but oddly exhilarating memoir, Brown deploys his narrative skills with precision, grace, complexity, and masterfully controlled intensity of emotion. What a fine piece of work."
- Tim O'Brien, author of The Things They Carried
Apology to the Young Addict is the last in a trilogy that started with The Los Angeles Diaries and continued with This River. Each is a reckoning with the misery of mourning, and each is a celebration of a life. Rarely is writing so hard-won, and rarely are the rewards this powerful.”
―Michelle Latiolais, author of She: Fiction
"Brown’s revelations have no smugness or self-congratulation; they reek of remorse and desire, passion and futility. Brown flays open his own tortured skin looking for what blood beats beneath and why. The result is a grimly exquisite memoir that reads like a noir novel but grips unrelentingly like the hand of a homeless drunk begging for help.”
—Publishers Weekly (Best Book of the Year)
Award-winning author James Brown gained a cult following after chronicling his turbulent childhood and spiraling drug addiction in The Los Angeles Diaries. This River picks up where Brown left off in his first memoir, describing his tenuous relationship with sobriety, telling of agonizing relapses, and tracking his attempts to become a better father.