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The Gilded Razor: A Memoir


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About the Author

Sam Lansky is an editor at TIME. He has written for New York magazine, The Atlantic, Esquire, Out, and Grantland.


"From the first page I was so staggered by this young man's extraordinary voice I burst into tears. The Gilded Razor is so exquisitely crafted, so devastatingly moving, so brutally honest I found myself torn between overwhelming admiration and seething jealousy that I didn't write it. This is far from your average addiction memoir. It's just a goddamn brilliant book."--Kristen Johnston, New York Times bestselling author of Guts: The Endless Follies and Tiny Triumphs of a Giant Disaster
"Sam Lansky is a beautiful writer. If he weren't an addict, his first book would be about something else, but I have no doubt it would be great, as is his memoir The Gilded Razor. But Sam Lansky is an addict, and he has made something fine and useful and lasting from his struggle. His account of using, hitting bottom and getting sober at an astonishingly young age is a powerful addition to the literature of active addiction and recovery. I look forward to seeing what more he makes."--Bill Clegg, New York Times bestselling author of Did You Ever Have a Family and Portrait of the Addict as a Young Man
"In this wonderful, compelling book, Sam Lansky has created a charismatic teenage narrator who shows that addiction is no respecter of class, education or intelligence. If you're a parent this book will scare you, even as you enjoy its charming, spritely brilliance. The Gilded Razor is one of the best portraits I've read about the implacable power of addiction." --Susan Cheever, bestselling author of Drinking in America: Our Secret History
"Sam Lansky in his memoir The Gilded Razor--a peripatetic tale of pills and promiscuity--turns Manhattan into a kind of Bret Easton Ellis Island. Lansky guides us, with a voice all his own, through the chaos of his addiction into a clearing where sobriety awaits him. It is a book filled with, to quote Lansky at one point in his narrative, 'too many beautiful people doing too many ugly things.' Yet, through the beauty of Lansky's writing, the ugliness subsides and a kind of hard-won hope takes its place. 'You're a miracle, ' his mother tells him at one point. He is." --Kevin Sessums, New York Times bestselling author of I Left It on the Mountain
"Sam Lansky is too young to have lived through all he's lived through--and too young to have written about it with such insight. The Gilded Razor takes the reader on a painfully evocative journey from which too many never return. With virtuosic prose, he shows you how he tries and fails and tries and tries until he finally survives--at age 19. His story moves and compels, but it's the writing that keeps you reading."--George Hodgman, New York Times bestselling author of Bettyville
"The Gilded Razor is Lansky's searing, savagely honest memoir of his wild days... harrowing throughout -- and undeniably hopeful in the end." --The New York Daily News

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