FIRST PRINTING 1954
COVER ART BY DERRICK SAYER
On his own prescription, a doctor obtains the drugs for which he craves. This story of a drug addict is told with intense frankness, maturity and realism, indicating autobiographical origin. Michael Louviot, a French Army doctor, finds himself cooling his heels in Algiers during the last war after the fall of France. Even the arrival of the Allies does not bring him active participation in the war and slowly he succumbs to the stagnant hopelessness of waiting. In the course of a love-affair with a colleague's wife, a drug addict, he injects himself for the first time and is set on the road he is to follow with tragic persistence. His decline and gradual disintegration are described vividly, yet at no point is the reader wholly alienated or made unsympathetic, for the the man's personality is not completely destroyed, even by degradation. A twilight world of intoxication is brilliantly conveyed, giving the book complete authenticity and making its reading a memorable and lasting experience.