By the age of 15, Cat Marnell longed to work in the glamorous world of women’s magazines – but was also addicted to the ADHD meds prescribed by her father. Within 10 years she was living it up in New York as a beauty editor at Condé Nast, with a talent for ‘doctor-shopping’ that secured her a never-ending supply of prescriptions. Her life had become a twisted merry-go-round of parties and pills at night, while she struggled to hold down her high-profile job during the day.
Witty, magnetic and penetrating – prompting comparisons to Brett Easton Ellis and Charles Bukowski – Cat Marnell reveals essential truths about her generation, brilliantly uncovering the many aspects of being an addict with pin-sharp humour and beguiling style.
Charting Marnell’s life (so far!) and her journey from misunderstood and rather spoilt child to New York fashion editor and drug addict, this is a really compelling and interesting read.
Marnell seems to have everything going for her and yet seems determined to ruin it all, to throw it all away. This would normally put me off, but she is so honest about herself that you just can’t help liking her, and while you want to shake some sense into her, you also want to give her a good meal, some clean clothes and a hug.
At first I found the writing style a little irritating – all the exclamation marks and the, at times, childlike tone, but as I read further into the book it became obvious that this is the author’s authentic voice. She really is overly enthusiastic and dramatic and she couldn’t write any other way.
The degradation, the misery, the utter loneliness that she goes through is sometimes hard to read, but Marnell isn’t looking for sympathy or understanding. This is the story of her life, of what she’s experienced and who she has encountered along the way. And she tells it really well. Not always enjoyable, and often uncomfortable, this is, however, a really important account of what it’s really like to be an addict.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a free review copy