My Fucking God Dopefiends Are Lit

A lot of motherfuckers are going to be wondering why I’m reviewing Donald Goines.  Believe it or not, Donald Goines is an indie.  Holloway House in his day wasn’t a big time imprint.  In fact they were just as infamous as Insomniac Press and judged harshly in their prime for publishing literature on the exploitative side.  Goines himself really didn’t achieve a high level of fame until after his murder as well, and probably because of it and that famous pesky heroin addiction he had. So that’s why Detroit’s highest is in this list. I also love the man’s work and don’t see it often discussed in proper context or whitewashed into shitty media, so there’s that fucking chestnut.

Dopefiend.  It’s a term of endearment we all know.  Donald Goines has fucked the ever lasting shit out of it, whored it out, and fucked it again just from personal experience.  This is that mind fuck book that you have to read just once in your life.  This is that mind fuck book that shows you what real crime and horror are.  It ain’t that crazy bitch possessed because her mom fucked the devil, and it ain’t no washed up party boy wrestler that gets their brains blown out.  No ma’am.  Dopefiend is the template for all the unholy in crime fiction and horror.  Once you read it you are never the fucking same.  Dopefiend is that mind fuck book you read that totally ensures you will never never never never EVAH try that china white or the Vietnamese brown, and if you have you will never fucking EVAH do the shit again.

Dopefiend should be on the top 10 greatest American novels and required reading in the 9th grade.

From jump we meet Terry and Teddy, the all American young couple in love with the world as their oyster. Terry comes from an upper middle class family that have provided for her to the point she knows the taste of the good life. Teddy comes from a great home but he wants more than just being a middle class laborer. The future looks bright and promising, until Teddy starts dabbling into selling heroin for this evil son of a bitch name Porky. Let me give you the tea on Porky – that motherfucker is literally the scourge of the earth and why I am all for abortion after the ninth month. He is evil personified and makes Jason Voorhes, Mike Myers, Leatherface, and the rest of the white horror icons look like chopped liver. That motherfucker there is the original 2001 maniac. Now Porky is a hater too, he hates the fact that Teddy is trying to be on his business, he hates he got a fine bitch like Terry, and he absolutely hates that Terry comes from the good life. Like he wants to drag her into the gutter, piss on her, and watch her get buried with a thousand pounds of fecal shit. Porky’s fetish on getting people strung out to have power over them gets him off.

Why?  Because he’s a sadistic motherfucker, that’s why.

Teddy starts dabbling with the heroin, but eventually he gets in too deep with the shit. Porky’s hating ass got plans for him.  I keep bringing that up but it is one of the driving forces of the plot.  Porky is uglier than a ugly ass book cover in the face, and he’s taken quite a liking to deriving power in his junkie fiefdom getting people hooked on the dope he peddling. Once they owe him trying to get high and stay high he gets off dogging them out and making them do unnatural shit. Teddy is like a deer in the headlights not seeing what’s happening with that, so he’s missing all the warning signs to leave Porky’s bitch ass alone. Teddy, being young, dumb, and full of himself gets to sampling that shit with Porky’s influence and intervention; what starts out as innocent harmless fun to party soon turns into the pit of acute heroin addiction, with the young lovers morphing into mainline dopefiends that can’t get a handle on their addictions. Pretty soon Teddy is constantly on that shit instead of selling it, which leads to a lot of experimentation between he and the curious Terry who he turns on to that poison.  He so fucked up that when Porky starts pressuring Terry to snort the heroin he pressures her too like a dumb ass.

The spiral of their ascent into junkie hell is slow, steady, and at an even keel with one fuck up after another. Teddy eventually gets in debt to Porky, which is when it really gets crazy for Terry, who is so strung out without her junkie provider that she starts hoeing with the help of strung out hoes indebted to Porky. Now I like all the junkie hoes – they know Porky ain’t shit and they really want Terry to clean her shit up before she winds up fucked up like they are – and trust me they are real fucked up standing in the center of trauma from Porky’s ass – and get herself together. There’s one hoe in particular who is very very much preggers that is like a junkie best friend/mentor that really shows her the ropes and gives her the low down on Porky.  But one tragic fucked up thing with her goes down and she kills herself, leading to the most graphic description of a pregnant woman hanging herself I have ever read that has haunted me for 23 years. Then there is the constant fuck fest with Porky’s dogs that he makes the junkies do just to demoralize them and feel all powerful, which just leads to another tragic oh hell no I don’t think I can finish this book thing when Teddy grown more and more desperate for money to get his fix, from stealing from his folks to robbing folks in the most fucked up manner conceivable, and in the end it doesn’t matter who gets out alive – the damage is permanent, heroin has a bullshit valued cost, and somebody is going to fucking pay.

Donald Goines knows all about that. You read this book and you know.

God bless Donald Goines for scaring the shit out of me and countless others writing the real unglamorized side of drugs, crime, addiction, and all that shit crime writers try to glorify and wrap in a pretty little bloody tampon. Dopefiend is a book that changes lives, because if the shit in this book which has been said countless times is based on the shit Goines lived through battling his own drug demons then fuck it, I just need to become a monk and live up in the mountains and stay the hell away from anything that gives a buzz. This book makes you sober up quick; I don’t even drink beer for months after reading this shit. Crack ain’t got nothing on 1970s Detroit heroin craze. My fucking God. If you’re going to read this, don’t read this first. Get one of the more lighter hearted ones like Black Gangster or Kenyatta, because this is heavy. This is Goines 2nd realest book, followed behind White Man’s Justice Black Man’s Grief, and preceding Never Die Alone. if you can get through the trifecta, the other books will feel like a PG rated stroll through the park in comparison.

If you know you know.