What's Left of Us by Richard Farrell Summary
"Blunt and honest. . .A stunning piece of work." --T.J. English "Deeply moving. . .What's Left of Us is a rush of blood to the head and heart, the kind only true art can deliver." --Andre Dubus "An amazing story not just of survival, but redemption." --Mary McGarry Morris Richie Farrell grew up in a working-class Irish neighborhood in Massachusetts. To overcome a birth defect, his father pushed him to become a star athlete, grooming him for Notre Dame. Sometimes, he would use a belt as a learning tool. Once, he used an electric carving knife. . . The headline read Crippled at Birth: Farrell Now Grid Star. A month later, I tore up my knee and fell in love with pain medication. By time he was thirty, Richie was a heroin addict, stealing from friends, shooting up during visits to his children, living in abandoned mill buildings, running from the shameful secrets of his family. Hopeless and in pain, he attempted suicide. When that failed, he was ordered to detox. He looked at me. "Be honest," he said, "or you'll be on the street in 15 minutes. Jail, death, or honesty. You choose." In this harrowing, astounding memoir, Richard Farrell chronicles a life of desperation, violence, lies--and the pure oblivion of heroin. A gritty, hauntingly written tale of a descent into hell and a slow, uncertain climb out of it, What's Left Of Us is a true story of redemption: of how low a man can get, and how hard he must fight to escape a shattered life. . . "[Farrell] carries you on this rollercoaster ride of ugliness and beauty. Don't miss it." --Phyllis Karas Richard Farrell is an author, filmmaker, teacher, journalist, and adjunct professor of English at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell. His documentary, High on Crack Street, was aired on HBO and received Columbia University's duPont Award. He is the co-author of A Criminal and an Irishman: The Inside Story of the Mob-IRA Connection. He is the screenwriter for the upcoming film The Fighter, and makes his home in Milford, New Hampshire.