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Book Review: Only Mortals Can Be Heroes – A True Story about Drug Addiction by David J. Weaver

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Only Mortals Can Be Heroes is the true story of Adam, a teenage boy who fell to drugs when he was only twelve years old.

Told from the point of view of Adam himself, this is an important, frightening account of how young people and their families can be destroyed both emotionally and physically because of drug addiction.

Most of all, the story is about the power of drugs and the way they take control over someone’s will.

    Even though my resolve to change my life was firm, at some level deep in my being I sensed a weakness, as if the conscious part of me were being overtaken by a sinister subconscious force.

Adam first started taking drugs during the seventh and eighth grades. By the time he was twelve, he was already smoking marijuana and drinking beer. This, of course, led to stronger drugs soon enough, and by the time Adam was in his freshman year of high school, he was already experimenting with LSD, Ecstasy, cocaine, heroin, Ritalin, crystal meth, speed balls, pain pills, downers, uppers, and “everything-in-between”.

    With friends around for support, I would do whatever drug was put in front of me. Nothing frightened me.

What is really scary about this book is seeing all Adam does in order to support his addiction: lying, stealing, getting himself almost beaten to death, and going to jail. Yet nothing stops him; nothing is stronger than his desire for drugs no matter what his mind and his heart tell him to do.

    When you’re an addict, every waking moment and half your sleeping moments are occupied with just one thought – how I can get money for dope.

Everything else loses its importance: families, moms and dads, brother and sisters, best friends; everything becomes meaningless except the driving desire for the next high.

Another aspect of this story that is disturbing is the fact that Adam has a loving, caring family, stepparents and a brother who love him, making the reader wonder, what has made this kid fall into drugs? Try not fitting in with your peers and falling into the wrong crowds.  

I found the writing well suited for this book. It projects the voice of our teenage addict, at times with a certain subtle callousness that will leave readers cold. Though the book is from the point of view of Adam, it is in fact written by his father. The tale takes the reader from the beginning of Adam’s addiction to the time he reaches his later teens and is put into a hospital. The author leaves us with a glimmer of hope at the end.

Only Mortals Can Be Heroes is a real story that offers an important message to teenagers. I would make this book required reading at schools for the secondary and high school levels. It is also important reading for parents of teenage kids. The phrase, “Do you know where your kids are?” is not so well known for nothing.

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About Mayra Calvani

Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications such as The Writer, Writer’s Journal, Multicultural Review, and Bloomsbury Review, among many others. Represented by Serendipity Literary.
  • http://blogcritics.org Clarence Yu

    Very interesting to pick up. Thanks for this!