By Marti MacGibbon
Stay Strong Publishing, 369 pages, $15.95
Addicts act less like people and more like animals. They misplace thoughts of self-preservation with a need to find the next fix. The book, Never Give In To Fear follows Marti MacGibbon’s descent into her own personal hell, filled with loss, regret, and drug abuse. She moved to San Francisco in the early 1980s to pursue a stand-up comedy career. She even had a chance to be on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Unfortunately, Marti’s recreational drug use quickly became a full-scale addiction. In the book, Marti’s spiral downward takes us from the Russian River people, to her imprisonment in Japanese prostitution ring, and a meth-fueled drive to Nebraska. While the overall tone of the book is dark and seedy, Marti’s natural humor and storytelling help balance out the book into a symmetrical tale of both hurt and healing.
I had to remind myself that Marti is going to survive each encounter in the book. That thought gave me an emotional safety net. Some of the places the book travels to are so fantastical and dangerous that it is a miracle that Marti survives. The narrative was the best part of the book. It felt like there were two narrators telling the story. There is the Marti of the story, the plucky young woman that had to live day-to-day getting high. There was also Marti, the writer, whose voice added much-needed levity and humor to the book’s overall tone. The book is successful as a motivating tool and touching story.
In the end, her saving grace comes in an unlikely form, and it almost brought a tear to my eye. Never Give In To Fear is a book everyone needs to read. This is not only a story about the danger of drugs, but about the power of the human spirit.
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