Book-A-Like: Chasing The Scream & Ice Age

Confronting and illuminating, the war on drugs is highlighted in all it's ugly glory in today's QBD Book-A-Like.

True and shocking stories of people across the world whose lives have been affected by drugs feature in both of these absorbing books. 

Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari:

It is now 100 years since drugs were first banned. On the eve of this centenary, journalist Johann Hari set off on an epic three- year, 30,000-mile journey into the war on drugs to uncover its secrets - and he found that there is a startling gap between what we have been told and what is really going on. As strange as it may seem at first, drugs are not what we have been told they are; addiction is not what we think it is; and the drug war has very different motives to the ones we have seen on our TV screens.

In Chasing the Scream, Hari reveals his startling discoveries entirely through the true and shocking stories of people across the world whose lives have been transformed by this war. They range from a transsexual crack dealer in Brooklyn searching for her mother, to a teenage hit-man in Mexico searching for a way out. It begins with Hari's discovery that at the birth of the drug war, Billie Holiday was stalked and killed by the man who launched this crusade - while it ends with the story of a brave doctor who has led his country to decriminalize every drug, from cannabis to crack, with remarkable results.

Chasing the Scream lays bare what we really have been chasing in our century of drug war - in our hunger for drugs, and in our attempt to destroy them. This book will challenge and change how you think about the most controversial - and consequential - question of our time.

Ice Age by Luke Williams:

A topical, insightful investigation into a drug that has taken a ferocious grip on societies around the world — told by a man intimately acquainted with it.

Luke Williams was a freelance journalist researching addiction to crystallised methamphetamine (commonly known as crystal meth or ice) when the worst possible thing happened — he became addicted himself. Over the next three months, he was seduced by the drug and descended into psychosis.

This confronting and illuminating story charts Luke's recovery from the drug, and his investigation into its usage and prevalence in Australia and the Western world. In examining what led to his addiction, Luke also explores the social problems that surround ice, scrutinising whether its abuse is in fact an epidemic, with what we're experiencing now merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg, or yet another moral panic about the underclass. Luke traces the history of methamphetamine from its legal usage in the early 20th century to its contemporary relevance as one of the most foreboding and talked-about illicit drugs in the world, and his search for answers sees him visiting meth labs, interviewing addicts and law-enforcement officials, and witnessing firsthand the effects of the drug on individuals, families, and the healthcare system.

Combining memoir with reportage, The Ice Age is a vital, compelling first-person account, and an investigation into a drug that is fast becoming the subject of national discussion throughout the Western world.