A topical, insightful investigation into a drug that has taken a ferocious grip on societies around the world — told by a man intimately acquainted with it.
Luke Williams was a freelance journalist and former drug addict researching addiction to crystallised methamphetamine (commonly known as crystal meth or ice) when the worst possible thing happened — he became addicted to it himself. Over the next three months, he was seduced by the drug and descended into psychosis.
This confronting and illuminating story charts Luke’s recovery from the drug, and his investigation into its usage and prevalence in Australia and the western world. In examining what led to his addiction, Luke also explores the social problems that surround ice, scrutinising whether its abuse is in fact an epidemic, with what we’re experiencing now merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg, or yet another moral panic about the underclass. Luke traces the history of methamphetamine from its legal usage in the early 20th century to its contemporary relevance as one of the most foreboding and talked-about illicit drugs in the world. His search for answers sees him exploring meth labs, interviewing addicts and law-enforcement officials, and witnessing firsthand the effects of the drug on individuals, families, and the healthcare system.
Combining memoir with reportage, The Ice Age is a vital, compelling first-person account, and an investigation into a drug that is fast becoming the subject of national discussion throughout the western world.
‘The Ice Age takes the reader deep inside the grim, delusional world of addiction, veering vertiginously back and forth between Williams' own story and his journalistic investigation … His slow, tortuous journey into self-awareness and recovery will confirm all your worst fears about what ice does to people and how hard the addiction can be to shake.’
Fiona Capp, The Age
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‘Compelling and horrifying …If your head has been buried in the sand about ice, it won’t be after reading this.’
‘The Ice Age finds a steady rhythm between the vivid, surreal, violent and sorrowful memories of what Williams experiences while addicted, and thoroughly researched sections on history, law, policing and psychology that qualify the book as an excellent reference work … At his worst, Williams could lie to himself and everyone else with a flair that may have been natural or drug-inspired, or a mixture of both. In this book, he reaches towards the truth. As both an ex-addict and a journalist, he appears to have found it.’
Sean Bell, Sunday Herald
‘A thoughtful and detailed investigation of the ice problem in Australia.’
Graeme Barrow, Daily Post
‘[The Ice Age] couldn’t have arrived at a better moment … Honest, detailed and, at times, shockingly raw.’ PICK OF THE WEEK
James Belfield, Dominion Post Weekend
‘In documenting his addiction, Williams thrusts the book into the realm of celebrated drug memoirs, from Thomas de Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium Eater, to William Burroughs’ novelized Junky and Hunter S Thompson’s part-autobiographical, part-fictional Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.’
Chris Harvey, The Daily Telegraph
‘[An] unblinking account … shot through with little slivers of acid humour.’
Andrew Anthony, The Observer