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Long Past Stopping by Oran Canfield

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Long Past Stopping: A Memoir is the deadpan account of how Oran Canfield became a circus performer, unicycle riding juggler, drummer, graphic artist, and heroin addict.

Being the son of self-help guru - motivational speaker, Jack Canfield, creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul franchise did not make Oran immune to low self-esteem. Chapters covering Oran's often hilarious odyssey through addiction - relapse - revolving door - "Rehab" Centers - finally culminating in a breakthrough Ibogaine Detox treatment - are interspersed with flashback accounts of his childhood. Included are his observations about his mostly absent parents - his mom, a counter-cultural psychotherapist jazz pianist, who always seemed to be going through something "heavy", leaving her two sons to be raised by strangers. And his dad, who ran off with a masseuse when Oran was a year old and his mother was six months pregnant with his brother, Kyle. Oran tells of his habit of sitting silently on the steps, withdrawing from social interaction, and the fun times attending various anarchist academies, hippie clown school, and performing in fringe bands.

An interesting side note: Oran seems to have made peace with his father, but his mother claims the book is entirely fictional, and has legally banned her name from being used in, or in association with Long Past Stopping. If you enjoy Canfield's memoir, you might also like Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs or the more flamboyant, British, Dandy in the Underworld: An Unauthorized Autobiography by Sebastian Horsley.

Deb H @ Bay View

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