Sharply funny and compulsively readable, The Gilded Razor is a “powerful addition to the literature of active addiction and recovery” (New York Times bestselling author Bill Clegg) from Sam Lansky.
The Gilded Razor is the true story of a double life that New York Times bestselling author George Hodgman called “virtuosic.” By the age of seventeen, Sam Lansky was an all-star student with Ivy League aspirations in his final year at an elite New York City prep school. But a nasty addiction to prescription pills spiraled rapidly out of control, compounded by a string of reckless affairs with older men, leaving his bright future in jeopardy. After a terrifying overdose, he tried to straighten out. Yet as he journeyed from the glittering streets of Manhattan, to a wilderness boot camp in Utah, to a psych ward in New Orleans, he only found more opportunities to create chaos—until finally, he began to face himself.
In the vein of Elizabeth Wurtzel and Augusten Burroughs, Lansky scrapes away at his own life as a young addict and exposes profoundly universal anxieties. Told with remarkable sensitivity, biting humor, and unrelenting self-awareness, The Gilded Razor is a coming-of-age story of searing honesty and lyricism and “one of the best portraits about the implacable power of addiction” (Susan Cheever, bestselling author of Drinking in America).
There is much in this memoir of addiction that comes off as stereotypical, from the socialite party girl best friend to the loving-yet-absent divorced parents. Yet despite the been-here-read-it-before feeling, there is something in Lansky's story that wait for it can be called addictive. An editor at Time magazine who has written for countless A-list publications, Lansky is more than another journaling junkie. Maybe its because his downward spiral only lasted a couple years in his late teens, but Lansky tells his tale with a rapid pacing that perfectly apes the speed at which he was careening out of control. But despite this flat out writing style, Lansky's command of language never wavers as he alternatively bears his soul and pokes fun at himself with prose that's incisive and witty. When he asks questions like "Do I need a green Dior trench coat in rehab?" there is no doubt that some will find him "fucking ridiculous," as one treatment center patient called him, but even those who find another addiction memoir a bitter pill to swallow can't deny Lansky's writing chops or storytelling skills.
A honest story.
The gilded razor
Loved the book. Very well written with brutal honesty.