Cocaine by Philip Strongman

I found this book on our bookshelf the other day. I’m really not sure how it got there or whose it is. Maybe that was why it got my attention. Or maybe it was because it had the word ‘Cocaine‘ emblazoned along the side of it. Either way i decided to plunge on in and give it a read.

The story centres around a young but somewhat burned-out freelance journalist by the name of Pete. Pete isn’t a particularly bad lad but then again he isn’t particularly good either. He’s regularly out on the town soaking up as much free drink and drugs as he can and writing pretty much as little as he can get away with. And there’s loads of both booze and class A’s to be had in London town as long as you have a few connections and know which parties and openings to attend. And somehow Pete does.

As we follow’s Pete life it careers around as his descent into cocaine abuse becomes more rapid. At some point along the way he has a small moment of clarity and he has the idea to write a music industry expose that will blow the lid on all the corruption and backhanders that take place just to get the latest up-and-coming band into the charts.  And without spoiling anything that’s about all you need to know…

I quite enjoyed the pace of this book and found the general tone (and accounting of life in the music industry) to be somewhat believable. There are a few amusing moments and our hero’s assertion that he’ll be giving up the coke any second is like a mantra throughout the book. My main problem is that the plot really just plays second-fiddle to the drugs whilst we move from one chemically-induced problem to another but maybe that’s the point. Despite his dubious intentions Pete is really just treading water and has a hard time moving his life forward – and all the coke and booze certainly isn’t of any assistance. Worth a read if you like this sort of thing.

6.5/10

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Filed under Books, London, review

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