Thursday, December 27, 2012

Review: Zoo Station: The Story of Christiane F.

Zoo Station: The Story of Christiane F.
Zoo Station: The Story of Christiane F. by Christiane F.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Six year hold Christiane F. learned many lessons after moving to Berlin. One – there are rules about everything. Two – kids are punished when rules are broken. Three – if you are going to get punished, you mine as well have fun along the way. This philosophy stayed with her into her pre-teen years as she acted out in school and began to hang around with older people. Although the clique was protective of their “baby,” Christiane F. continued to experiment with drugs. She started with hashish and alcohol, moved on to Valium, Quaaludes and other pills, and was finally addicted to heroin.

Zoo Station is a new translation of Christiane F’s tragic memoir about life and drugs in Berlin during the 1970s. Christiane F. was in constant denial about the extent of her addiction and although she could see the effects of heroin on those around her, she continued to believe she could stop at any time. While I had not read the original translation, did not see the movie made in the 1980s and was not familiar with this story at all before reading this book, I was still able to fully experience the drama and tragedy that was Christiane F’s life. The reader will be pulled into the scene with Christiane F. and mourn the loss of her friends and her innocence. Readers of Go Ask Alice will find a satisfying read in Zoo Station.

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