The author is Michael Stein and this is possibly the most interesting and engaging book I have read this year. The subtitle is “One Patient, One Doctor, One Year.” The ongoing dialogue between a doctor and his addicted patient defies excerpt but here is one small (non-dialogic) bit:
There is violence inside hospitals, and I am often surprised there isn’t more. In my experience it breaks out most often in the emergency room, the airport terminal of the hospital, the site of comings and goings, of transience, the stopover for travelers, the first landing for the already hurt. There is pain and fear, there is the anger and frustration that comes with bad luck’s arrival, compounded by the delays — for blood work and X-ray results — where it is clear that the staff is taking care of many people, where you aren’t the only one, just the one they are slowest to assist.
This book covers the notion of rational addiction, how and why people kick addiction, whether addicts are different in the first place, self-deception, the motivations of doctors, what doctors really do, how platonic yet romantic bonds develop, and many related issues. It is a memoir rather than formal science and it reads as well as masterful fiction, while being thought-provoking on many levels. Here is one very good review.
The bottom line: I just bought his other non-fiction book.