Opium Fiend by Steven Martin

Published by Random House, June 2012 *****

This fascinating book was not only a memoir about Martin’s bizarre decent into opium addiction, but a treatise on the history of opium smoking throughout the world.  His extensive knowledge originated with his obsessive collection of antique opium paraphernalia.  An expat in Southeast Asia, Martin had a curiosity for all things oriental, and he figured the subject of opium was esoteric enough to corner the market.  But amassing a huge collection of opium accoutrements inevitably means sampling the wares.  What began as “research” into technique became an addiction that ruled his life.  He luxuriated in the idea that the methods he followed were all but forgotten and he uses his experimentations in antiquity as an excuse to fuel his habit.  I thought Martin told his story very well, incorporating captivating historical tidbits and even some humor.  His experiences were certainly unique and he did a great job keeping me engaged.

I received a complimentary copy of this book via the Amazon Vine program.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s