Chancers

Chancers

Addiction, Prison, Recovery, Love: One Couple's Memoir

Book - 2016
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In this powerful memoir of addiction, prison, and recovery, a reporter and a photographer tell their gripping story of falling in love, the heroin habit that drove them apart, and the unlikely way a criminal conviction brought them back together.

Books for a Better Life Award Finalist * LitHub Best Book of the Month

When Susan Stellin asked Graham MacIndoe to shoot her author photo for an upcoming travel book, she barely knew him except for a few weekends with mutual friends at a summer house in Montauk. He was a gregarious, divorced Scotsman who had recently gotten sober; she was an independent New Yorker who decided to take a chance on a rough-around-the-edges guy. But their relationship was soon tested when Susan discovered that Graham still had a drug habit he was hiding.

From their harrowing portrayal of the ravages of addiction to the stunning chain of events that led to Graham's arrest and imprisonment at Rikers Island, Chancers unfolds in alternating chapters that offer two perspectives on a relationship that ultimately endures against long odds. Susan follows Graham down the rabbit hole of the American criminal justice system, determined to keep him from becoming another casualty of the war on drugs. Graham gives a stark, riveting description of his slide from brownstone Brooklyn to a prison cell, his gut-wrenching efforts to get clean, and his fight to avoid getting exiled far away from his son and the life he built over twenty years.

Beautifully written, brutally honest, yet filled with suspense and hope, Chancers will resonate with anyone who has been touched by the heartache of addiction, the nightmare of incarceration, or the tough choice of leaving or staying with someone who is struggling on the road to recovery. By sharing their story, Susan and Graham show the value of talking about topics many of us are too scared to address.

Praise for Chancers

"Stellin and MacIndoe, in entries sometimes akin to fighters in the ring, tell the story of their lives as MacIndoe rides a roller-coaster life of drug addiction and prison. . . . It is a remarkable nine-year parallel journey that forced them to bare their innermost thoughts and feelings, forced them to distance themselves and, finally, forced them to recognize that a life, even in the depths of despair, merits saving. . . . [ Chancers ] grabs in a voyeuristic way and propels page-turning to find out what happens next in a saga no soap opera could create." -- The Buffalo News

"Emotionally resonant and evenly structured, their tandem chronicle resists overly romanticizing their bittersweet interactions to focus on the dedication and devotion necessary to make their already-complicated relationship survive the fallout of critical hardships. An emotionally complex and intensely personal binary memoir of addiction and sustainable love." -- Kirkus Reviews
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, ©2016.
ISBN: 9781101882740
Characteristics: xvii, 422 pages :,illustrations ;,25 cm.
Additional Contributors: MacIndoe, Graham 1963-- Author

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MplsTA
May 30, 2017

Great reading. I finished it in a day or two.

Chapters alternate between the user and the author. The user boyfriend struggling to kick drugs and the girlfriend author who can't quite pull out of the relationship.

The book is a great caution to those who unknowingly get involved with someone who is hooked on drugs. The author was shocked to realize this man she was in love with was a street-drug user. By the time she found out, their relationship was well underway.

r
runningbeat
Nov 06, 2016

Loved this book, couldn't put it down.
So much to learn from this story.
A must read as there are so many different kind of addictions and this book could apply to any of them.

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r
runningbeat
Nov 07, 2016

runningbeat thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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