This will be either the most interesting or the most boring addiction memoir you’ve ever read. I can’t promise it ever gets “harrowing,” but I can promise that I tried- I really tried- to make it funny.
In the mid to late 1990s Patton Oswalt, who had recently moved to Los Angeles, had a debilitating addiction. It wasn’t booze or drugs but it was equally crippling- Movies. More specifically, although not exclusively, classic films; he had five ‘encyclopedias’ of Film Noir and Cult movies that he would use to track the date and place he saw each film. If it was in more than one book he couldn’t skip it- couldn’t. He lost a girlfriend, left parties early, sped across town to fit movies into his stand up schedule and even missed tapings of Mad TV (who he was a staff writer for) in favor of film.
Besides a look into several of the films Oswalt saw during his addiction phase he also talks about his early breakthroughs into stand up comedy. He harbored a desire to write and direct his own movie, a fact that the owner of the New Beverly Cinema calls him out on four years into his addiction which helps lead him out of his haze. *His tribute to the New Beverly Cinema owner, Sherman Torgan, is really sweet. I listened to the audio book, read by the author, and spent a funny, breezy couple of hours looking in to the life my father probably would have had if my mother, my sister and I weren’t around.
“Take what you need from [films] and get out of the dark once in a while. You’re going to have more of the dark than you can handle, sooner than you think. The thing about the dark is it can never get enough of you.”