Beam Me Up, Scotty

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Arcade Publishing, Jun 23, 1993 - Fiction - 243 pages
1 Review
In Crack City, U.S.A., when addicts fire up the white rock in the glass pipe that will transport them out of their misery, the prayer they intone with red-eyed reverence is "Beam me up, Scotty."
After several years of deep addiction, Ed T--- stumbles out of detox and heads home to his family. All he finds is an empty apartment. Sobriety is a lonely business. So he turns to Hard Drugs Anonymous, the twelve-step program designed to help sick and suffering addicts along the path to salvation. In a smoky church basement in Manhattan's East Village, Ed meets his new "family": Rachel, an actress and part-time dominatrix; Frank, an ex-cop busted for possession who still bleeds NYPD blue; Myron, really Myra, a reforming unleaded gas-guzzler saving up for a sex change. They aren't alone. Screwups and misfits of every race, color, and creed gleefully exchange self-help slogans and bubble with hope and encouragement. Fifth Avenue matrons mingle with cardboard box dwellers, and street hustlers hug corporate lawyers. Maybe there is a way out of the nightmare of the past, a power higher than crack.
Beam Me Up, Scotty is Ed's day-to-day - at times hour-to-hour - story of redempton and revenge, and he's holding nothing back. He takes the messages of Hard Drugs Anonymous to heart - then he takes them to the street. From Step One through Step Twelve, Ed works his Program and fights to stay clean while Scotty beams temptation on every street corner. But Ed is on a different kind of mission now: he's dealing salvation in lethal doses.
Michael Guinzburg's novel is as high voltage as a live wire and as impossible to let go; it seizes readers from Step One and holds them for the full count. As a novel, it is taut, gripping, and fast-paced. As dark comedy, it is scathing, chilling, and unremitting. As moral tale, it will both disturb and edify. Beam Me Up, Scotty invites comparisons to the finest works by Jim Thompson, Hubert Selby, Jr., and William Burroughs, and establishes Guinzburg as a brilliant new voice in dark comic fiction.

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In his first novel, Guinzburg, who hails from a publishing family (his grandfather founded Viking), has created a cynical, seedy look at life in "Crack City,'' where addicts chant "Beam me up, Scotty ... Read full review


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About the author (1993)

Ginzburg is an award-winning novelist and screenwriter.

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