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Thomas De Quincey's highly charged and hauntingly accurate account of laudanum addiction is considered the root of all drug novels - from Baudelaire to Burroughs, Confessions of an English Opium Eater paved the way for later generations of writers. Initially prescribed as pain relief for a chronic condition, De Quincey soon found himself compelled by the opium experience, with his dreams recounted here in every hallucinatory detail; threatening Roman armies, sunken cities and German mountaintops, De Quincey's vivid memories will evoke wonder and curiosity in the listener.Show more
In 1804, while a student at Oxford, Thomas De Quincey was looking for relief from excruciating pain when a college acquaintance recommended opium. "Opium!" De Quincey wrote. "Dread agent of unimaginable pleasure and pain! I had heard of it as I had of manna or of Ambrosia, but no further: how unmeaning a sound it was at that time!" Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, De Quincey's best-known work, is an account of his early life and opium addiction, in prose that is by turns witty, conversational, and nightmarish. The Confessions involve the listener in De Quincey's childhood and schooling, describing in detail his flight at age sixteen from Manchester Grammar School, his wanderings in North Wales and London, and his experiences with opium, which developed into a lifelong dependency.Show more