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Even the Dogs

by Jon McGregor

At first, these disjointed stories of drug and alcohol addicts might seem hard-going. But you get to see the human face behind the statistics and, as the characters find their voice, the tales coalesce and won't let you go. Gradually a picture emerges: the spiral which links the opium grower, the soldier in the killing fields of Afghanistan and the addict. Building to a stunning canvas, it makes for uncomfortable but unforgettable reading.

Extract

Waiting to feel the gear hit home, those long seconds between sticking in the pin and the gear doing what it does to your body and your brain and whatever else, your fucking, soul. Waiting for all that pain to just get taken away. Wiped away, washed away. Or waiting for the meth to seep into you and get rid of that rattling for a few hours more, get rid of all the things that come up on you with the sickness. To hold you for the few hours while you work on getting sorted again. To keep the troubles away. The fucking troubles.

Parallels

Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
 

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