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The Survival of the Coolest
The Survival of the Coolest


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The Divine Romance


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The Survival of the Coolest by William Pryor The Survival of the Coolest
by William Pryor
List Price: £9.99
Special price through this site: £9.00
Published in the UK 12 November 2003
210 x 140 mm 232 pages with 15 black & white photos Paperback 210×140 mm
ISBN: 1-904555-13-6
World Rights available
William Pryor, great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin, went through a near-fatal love affair with heroin and alcohol in the sixties. He grew up in Cambridge in the stifling bosom of privilege, was sent to Eton, which he loathed before becoming a dadaist beat poet in the company of members of Pink Floyd and the writer Alexander Trocchi. William was part of the avant garde counterculture in Parisian garrets, the London Acid scene, Greek tavernas and Indian ashrams – and even Trinity College Cambridge.
His experiences - and full recovery in 1975 - have given him a unique insight into the world of hard drugs and addiction, and his clarity of vision as to the way forward for all those involved in the fall out of the War on Drugs will be invaluable both to the victims and to those engaged in attempting to help them. An honest, often harrowing and wryly funny memoir of a heroin addict.
A fascinating insight into the world of money, privilege and unconscious cruelty and neglect of the landed gentry.
A compelling argument as to why dugs should be de-criminalised - The War on Drugs is no more successful than was Prohibition in early 20th century America!
William Pryor grew up in Cambridge; his father a leading academic, his mother the daughter of Gwen Raverat, the author of Period Piece, leading wood engraving artist and grand-daughter of Charles Darwin. Since giving up all mind-altering substances in 1975, Pryor has been a serial entrepreneur, co-founding Airlift Book Company, founding The Green Catalogue and pioneering music distribution on the Internet.
WHAT THEY SAY
The Survival of the Coolest makes essential reading for anyone who wants to understand why a War on Drugs and Just Say No can never work, and why some people become addicted to drugs while others do not. (Dr Dorothy Rowe, author of Beyond Fear)

I have just finished Survival. I can honestly say its one of the most remarkable books I have ever read and since I have read several thousand - probably tens of thousands - that’s not a cheap remark. Not only was it riveting reading and a very well told story but your honesty and analysis is a rarity that takes the book to another realm. Your final conclusion is, I think, spot on, and this book should be read by as many people as possible. I can only congratulate you on a superb book, which locked me in its grip from the start to the end. It deserves to become a bestseller. (Michael Mann, publisher)

Ever since Thomas de Quincey, the genre of the addiction memoir has tended to follow a set of unspoken but now very familiar rules. Pryor’s Survival of the Coolest breaks many of these rules, and by doing so offers something both much more enjoyable and much more profound than the standard my-drug-hell confessional.
He rejects the easy explanation that it was the drugs which made him do it, and instead embarks with courage and insight on a narrative which shows how drugs were, for him, the effect and not the cause of his malaise. This narrative unfolds vividly and eloquently against the relatively unexplored background of the early British beat scene, when heroin was to be found not on the streets but via medical prescription, and culminates in a fresh and clear-headed analysis of the tangled relationship between the drugs, the addict, the doctors, the treatment gurus and the law. (Mike Jay, editor of 1900, Artifical Paradises and The Underworld of the East, and author of Emperors of Dreams and Blue Tide)

I finished reading The Survival of the Coolest late last night, and I must say found it absolutely riveting. I was quite surprised at my own reaction. It is ultimately a very uplifting read about (obviously) Survival, redemption, forgiveness. And being seen.
I don’t know that I have ever read a book that quite so ruthlessly lays bare its subject, with a coolness and objectivity that takes all the pretentiousness, self-pity and selfishness of young William and makes them understandable, forgiveable, deeply human. Tout savoir c’est tout pardonner. You seem to hold a mirror up and say “Look, I am prepared to see myself in this – can you deny that you too have been pretentious, selfish, dishonest, but longed to be seen and forgiven?” (Norman Marshall, a trustee of Transform, the drug legislation consultancy)

Powerful, poignant, shocking and real, William Pryor’s Survival of the Coolest is an addiction memoir that not only tells a courageous and riveting story, but also penetrates to the very heart of the cause of addiction. (Mary Wallace, customer review on Amazon)

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Virginia Woolf and the RaveratsVirginia Woolf and the Raverats



Handmade
Limited Edition

It looks wonderful and I can see that I shall enjoy reading it. The illustrations are especially good. Warmest Congratulations!
Professor S D Keynes

Woolf & the Raverats arrived today in fine condition. We are very pleased with it and look forward to reading the lovely type on fine paper.
Jim Bishop

It's a fascinating and, of course, unique book.
Peter Kettle

The publication of these letters in one volume brings into focus an unusually compassionate aspect of Virginia Woolf. Jacques Raverat's lucid, unsentimental letters to Woolf are dictated to his wife, the artist Gwen, as he is dying in France. Very moving, they are a compelling read.
(Henrietta Garnett, great niece of Virginia Woolf and author of Family Skeletons)
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