Saturday, May 12, 2012
Spoonful by Chris Mendius review
Michael Lira has a problem. Living in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago during the late nineties, he sees everyone else getting ahead except for him and his friends, a bunch of junkies, artists and has-beens. Between slamming dope and slipping away for trysts with Lila, a free-spirited painter who strips to pay the rent, Michael has what he needs but it s not enough. He wants to make a real move. When he meets two frat boys from Northwestern University looking to score, Michael sees his chance and takes it. With the help of Sal, his partner in crime, Michael pulls together a bundle of money. After getting the hard sell from a shady broker, he puts it in the stock market. Everyone else is getting rich. Why can t he? One hot tip leads to another until it all erupts in a bloody confrontation that will change his life forever.
Spoonful follows Michael and his best friend Sal. The two are roommates who share an addiction to heroin and aren't above the occasional illegal activity to score some cash to support the habit. When they are introduced to some local college kids who are looking for a drug hookup Michael decides to start dealing and begins to make pretty good money. A fight at a party results in Michael and Sal getting arrested where they decide to get clean and focus on improving their lives. A customer of Michael's is a stockbroker and convinces him to invest a portion of his profits, promising huge returns. He decides to take a chance and gives the guy some cash which immediately starts to grow. Things are really looking good for the two friends, but what goes up must come down....
The beginning of this book really reminded me a lot of the movie Requiem for a Dream. The similarities of some friends who begin to sell drugs and turn their lives around is the big comparable point. This book is really well written and sucked me into the dark world of drugs in Chicago. Mike and Sal both seem like pretty decent guys overall who would probably be pretty stand up if not for their need to score heroin. They are fiercely loyal to their friends and not afraid to risk bodily harm while standing up for each other. The book really took some unexpected turns in the second half and had me reading as quickly as possible in order to see what was going to happen. The end of the book really took me by surprise I really had no idea that what happened was coming.
This book isn't for everyone for sure. It features a lot of graphic drug usage and there is a fair amount of sex as well. It is however well worth a read for people who aren't overly offended by those kind of situations. Finishing the book really made me think about life in general and how easily life can be changed.