Think you’ve got a dysfunctional family?
For 18 years, my family lived a normal life in a respectable suburb…
Until one day, my dad gave up his successful career, and unexpectedly became Britain’s most wanted crystal meth dealer.
This is our story. At times shocking, often unbelievable, and all 100% true.
Well then, this was quite the opposite of a dry and boring account about some drug baron. What a story! And to think it’s all true, you’d really think this could only be fiction at times. The beginning of James’ story alone is enough to hook any reader because his dad AND his mum each drop the big secrets they’ve kept for years on him on page 4 of the book already. They have nothing to do with drugs but as I see it, maybe the drugs were a consequence of this liberation for his father.
James Lubbock and Warren FitzGerald are great writers and I really liked the style the book was written in. James writes honestly and with such great wit about his life and his family. I can hardly believe we must be around the same age and that he had to deal with so much while I was hardly aware of the existence of drugs in a world far away from mine.
He doesn’t paint a picture of his father as a saint, he doesn’t make any excuses for him, and neither does he make him the biggest sinner there is, he’s just his dad who he loves with flaws and all. He shows his father’s ups and further along the line his downs too without flinching. I felt his worries, the care for his father and his reluctant acceptance that he couldn’t do anything more and that it would end badly for his father if he didn’t stop his drug habit and his dealing.
His father is certainly not the stereotype you might have in mind for a drug kingpin. He used to be an Earl Grey, opera loving father who didn’t smoke or drink and thought drugs were evil. He liked making deals and he was a good businessman though, so in hindsight it’s not even that big of a surprise that he saw an opportunity and tried to make money from it. He started small of course, but I guess he was quite good at doing business. I had to stop myself already halfway through this novel from googling and seeing the man in a picture for myself. But then I would also learn how it would end – although I had a fairly good idea about that already – and I wanted to see for myself how it would go.
There were 35 short and sweet chapters, most of them headed with a mono-syllabic chapter title that begged me for context and made me me want to dive right in and find out how they fit into the story. Even though Breaking Dad is a story of addiction and the becoming of a drug lord, you will never have read about a drug lord like this. It’s not like in the movies people, this is how it really is. Real people, real emotions, bad decisions… you’ll look at the headlines differently from now on, and with much more understanding for the person behind the headline and his family.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, Mirror Books, in exchange for my honest opinion.