cover image Long Way Home

Long Way Home

Cameron Douglas. Knopf, $27.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-5255-2083-2

In an unblinking, meticulously detailed memoir, Douglas—son of actor Michael Douglas—discusses his crippling “liquid cocaine” and heroin addiction and recovery. Born in California in 1978, Douglas grew up surrounded by wealth but often felt neglected by his parents, especially his father, who once hired a busboy to serve as his son’s nanny and “more constant male influence.” The book jumps back and forth between Douglas’s troubled years as a teen (he began smoking pot at 13) and desperate adult, as he became increasingly unhinged on multiday benders. “Every shot, I want to take myself right to the brink of overdose,” he writes. He shot up in his closet; robbed a motel for cash; sold crystal meth and coke; and was arrested on drug charges in 2009. Douglas charts his seven years at various prisons, into which he smuggled drugs (“[i]t has been a revelation to me just how much contraband the lower bowel can accommodate”) and where he eventually kicked his habit. Douglas ends with a hopeful overview of his post-prison life beginning in 2016, during which he started a family and began acting. Douglas’s raw examination of addiction and prison life serves as a cold reminder of the destructive power of drugs. (Oct.)