Let’s just start off by quoting one of my favorite drunk subway riders of all time: “Drugs is bad.” Never has that been as evident as in this memoir by Mr. Frey. Ignoring the fact that he’s now a TriBeca-loft-living screenwriter and novelist (although this fact is hard to escape), this story about his horrendous drug and alcohol addiction–and eventual recovery–is a very compelling and, uh, addictive read. Granted, some of the characters in the rehab center smack of fiction (the mafia boss, the boxer, the judge, the steelworker, the beautiful misfit, etc.), but who am I to question when it all ties together so nicely? More interesting than the story of his time in rehab (and how and why he ended up there) is his method of getting and staying sober. Poo-pooing AA and its twelve steps, he determines that these things inspire excuses and weakness rather than taking responsibility for ones actions and growing self-awareness. He basically strips down his addictions to their base level and confronts them in a very black and white manner: I am an addict and I need to stop. Nobody can make me stop or ask me to stop. I must do it myself through sheer force of will. Despite everyone telling him that this is impossible, he obviously managed to do it. This is not a humble man we’re dealing with here, so some of the heroics in the book seem a little over the top and self-serving, but it’s nice to see that despite the cliched ending that someone has decided to at least try to tell it straight.