Long Road Full Speed Ahead by Emily Walker is the fictional account of one young woman’s descent into hell on the wings of crystal meth. It’s depressing but it’s marvelously well written and has the ring of truth.
Grace is ostensibly a student at college, being supported by her parents, but you’d hardly know it from the descriptions of her activities. Going to class happens exactly once in the entire novel. Instead, from morning till night, Grace goes from one sort of high to the next in an increasingly deadening ritual. Her part-time job as a waitress is punctuated by carefully planned trips to the ladies room to snort some more of her favorite drug until her jaw is grinding and her motor-mouth has gone into overdrive.
Grace’s focal point on the one hand is her abusive, loser boyfriend, who strings her along while endlessly hurting and demeaning her, and on the other her self-absorbed drug addict best friend Miranda, who likes “dirty sex,” e.g. sex in the woods with a rotting log for a mattress. With support from people like this, Grace’s plunge into a self-induced destruction is all but assured.
One website I checked claimed that there were more than 12 million users of crystal meth in the United States, more than either cocaine or heroine. It is easier to manufacture than those drugs, and just as addictive. Have a look on the internet for before-and-after pictures of users, and I suppose you yourself will never use.
But the fact remains a lot of people are falling victim to this drug, seduced by a lifestyle of least resistance and maximum high. Emily Walker has sketched this world with a devastating and haunting portrait that will make an indelible mark on you.
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Has meth touched your life, or that of anyone you know? Give them a gift. Give them this book.
A resident of Switzerland, Fred has worked as a teacher, language school manager and school owner. He has three boys and two cats and recently had to learn how to operate both washing machine and dryer. He makes frequent trips back to his native Chicago.
When not writing or doing the washing, Fred can be found walking along the banks of the Rhine River, sitting in a local cafe, or visiting all the local pubs in search of his lost umbrella.