NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
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.
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A Look Inside Opium Fiend
|Opium smokers in an opulent private smoking room in San Francisco’s Chinatown, photographed by I. W. Taber in 1886. These men are reclining on a “bed” especially made for the purpose of opium smoking.||Complete layout of paraphernalia for opium smoking from the author’s collection. The components date to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and were crafted in China. (Photograph by Paul Lakatos)||The author smoking opium at his Bangkok apartment in 2007. During this time he was nursing a twenty-pipe-per-day opium habit. (Photograph by Jack Barton)|
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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Descripción Villard, 2012. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Estado de la sobrecubierta: New. First Edition; First Printing. 8.30 X 5.60 X 1.30 inches; 416 pages. Nº de ref. de la librería 47486
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Descripción Villard. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 0345517830 New. Nº de ref. de la librería Z0345517830ZN
Descripción Villard, 2012. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0345517830
Descripción Villard, 2012. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110345517830
Descripción Villard. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 0345517830 New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW6.1109848