Comments: 6
Portable Magic 6 years ago
Given my experience being tied to an alcoholic, I doubt I could deal with reading a story from this character's perspective. Which is too bad, because I love the idea of urban exploration and that aspect would appeal to me very much.

I'm familiar with the Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells - it has a fascinating history. Last year, we spent the night at a supposedly haunted house across the street from it. The "ghosts" manifested themselves, but unconvincingly.

Another interesting case is the old Dallas High School (Crozier Tech), which deteriorated right downtown for decades in a dispute over its historic building status, but has finally been restored as part of a multiuse development.
Mike Finn 6 years ago
I can see why you wouldn't want to read this. Even when she's at her nicest, when she's most disgusted at the people she used to be friends with and the things she used to do, the main character can't fully see what she's doing to the people around her or can't bring herself to care enough to change the behaviour.

Thanks for sharing your Urban Exploration experience. I'd find it fascinating to do. Even the abandoned drive-in haunts me.

When I was a child, the building I now have an apartment in in Liverpool was a derelict Victorian dock, dark and dangerous but still magnificent in its way. Now it's one of the city's tourist attractions but there are others that haven't been brought back to life yet.

I love the traces of use that old buildings carry. All the things people invested in them, physically and emotionally seem to have an impact on the stone.

The idea that, in a huge, relatively low-density population State like Texas, these things stand abandoned and alone like driftwood on a beach fascinates me.
Portable Magic 6 years ago
Yes, the character you described is a little too real for comfortable fiction, for me.

Your building - and the neighborhood in transition - sounds amazing. We have so little tangible traces of history here. Even the oldest buildings still standing aren't much older than your apartment building. We've done a poor job of preserving historic buildings, because it is cheaper to tear them down and build new. Most of the abandoned buildings that were in your link are either in rural areas where there's little incentive for developers or are publicly owned buildings where, again, it's cheaper to build new on the relatively abundant available land than to spend money to even tear down an old building requiring asbestos abatement.

There are a few historic preservation societies that desperately try to tag old buildings with historic designation when they are bought by developers, but they aren't always successful, or like in the case with Crozier Tech, the developers decide to just sit on the property and let the buildings decay until they can argue that it's no longer salvageable.
Great review -- now I'm curious. Christiane F.'s story (which I read in high school -- CF is my age) scared me out of ever even going near drugs of any kind myself, but I used to work for a recovering alcoholic once, so I know the struggle is real and will remain so for the rest of the addict's life.

As an irrelevant but seasonal aside, this would fit the book definitions for the "New Year's Eve" square of 24 Festive Tasks.
Mike Finn 6 years ago
Thank you. I've never done drugs. I'm too addicted to control to let myself try them. I had someone close to me who was an alcoholic. She hid it so well we'd didn't know about it until she died - way too young. That's why I was glad to see this woman manage to be vibrant and curious even if she missed cocaine every day.

But it was the urban exploration aspect that made the book for me, together with the main characters voice.
Yes -- it was the loss of control aspect (and the obvious danger of damaging my brain) that most scares me as well. And I know from my former boss how important a sense of purpose in your life is to stick to recovery ... I love the idea of translating curioisity into urban exploration in aid of the path to recovery.