1000 Books In 10 Years; Vol. 44: Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous, (aka Beatrice Sparks)

go-ask-alice

So here’s the deal. Beatrice Sparks is a Mormon youth counselor who writes faux diaries illustrating her complete ignorance on themes like drugs, Satanism, AIDS and other topical subjects. Other “diaries” like It Happened To Nancy is about a girl who gets raped and turns up HIV positive two weeks later! Seriously? I think we all know its takes months for HIV to show up, let alone turn up symptoms. Jay’s Journal is about a kid who falls in with a group of Satanists. Another novel details a would-be rapper who dabbles in drugs and the occult? Apparently that’s how kids are earning their street cred these days? Go Ask Alice is about a young teen who becomes addicted, yes ADDICTED to Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD). It is slipped into a drink one night, she loves it, uses it frequently, does some uppers, downers and pot (she also becomes addicted to pot). Stays clean after a couple relapses and then dies of an overdose. Overdose on…..? Sparks doesn’t make that clear, but since her drugs of choice were LSD and pot, it is likely Sparks is just ignorant. LSD is not addictive and there is a rapid tolerance build up of the drug which the body develops that discourages frequent use. Coupled with that, there are no known instances of death caused by overdose of LSD (there was one, non-confirmed in 1975 where somebody supposed stuck 3000 times the average does into their rectum, but it was never properly documented). It IS possible to overdose, but it has never happened. As for pot, it has also not been proved to be addictive. The funny part is, the MOST addictive drugs used in the book, heroine, is used only once and the protagonist and she never even considers using it again. The scary part, Sparks has a PHD. You’d think she’d do some research into her subject matter.  I mean seriously, this shit ranks up there with Reefer Madness!  If you want to read some good fiction on drug addiction, check out William S. Burroughs’ Junky, Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting, or Donald Goines Dopefiend.

William S. Burroughs' novel Junky has far more to offer than Go Ask Alice in terms of representing addiction.

William S. Burroughs’ novel Junky has far more to offer than Go Ask Alice in terms of representing addiction.

Rambler About Rambler

Jason John Horn is a writer and critic who recently completed his Master's in English Literature at the University of Windsor. He has composed a play, a novella and a number of short stories and satirical essays.

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