My plan is to eventually look at every book I’ve rated on Goodreads over the last several years, starting with last rated first and going up to the most recent book I reviewed. I’m hoping it will give a more accurate picture of the way I feel about the books I’ve read and help me identify which ones might be worth a reread.
Title: The Pursuit of Oblivion: A Global History of Narcotics
Author: Richard Davenport-Hines
Genre: Nonfiction / history
Original rating: 5 / 5
I read this book when I was 19; I got it out of the Santa Cruz library because I thought it looked interesting. As my original rating indicates, I thought it was very interesting! I remember being quite impressed with its extensive references at the back.
What I remember about the book: One of the things that really stands out for me almost 10 years after reading it is how the author argues that intoxication is a natural state for humans, who have used mind-altering substances for as far back in history as we can reach. It also talks about the history of the drug war(s), which is good information that I still think people should know.
How I felt about it at the time: I loved it! I remember it making a big impression at the time.
How I feel about it now: I still remember it fondly, as being informative as well as well-written and easy enough to engage with.
Verdict: I think I’m going to let my original rating stand for this one, especially because I think it is important information. I would be interested in rereading it at some point, although it’s definitely not a priority. I could do wish a refresher on some of the finer points of the history, I’m sure, but at this point I don’t think it would be eye-opening enough to justify its hundreds of pages.
Original rating: 5 / 5 Updated rating: 5 / 5
My original (four-sentence review) under the cut.
|I learned so much reading this book I don’t even know where to begin! It was such a fun read; it was packed full of information that was well organized and presented cleverly. Although I’ve been anti-prohibition for a long time, this book really solidified that feeling. It’s got tons of information, it’s extremely well researched, and I would recommend it to anyone who doesn’t know a thing about the drugs debate or culture.|