Sirens To the short list of genuinely great addiction memoirs we can now add Sirens a searing and at times hilarious account of Mohr s lost years in the dive bars and gutters of San Francisco Like Mary Karr

  • Title: Sirens
  • Author: Joshua Mohr
  • ISBN: 9781937512347
  • Page: 428
  • Format: Paperback
  • To the short list of genuinely great addiction memoirs we can now add Sirens, a searing and at times hilarious account of Mohr s lost years in the dive bars and gutters of San Francisco Like Mary Karr and Jerry Stahl, there is no line Mohr won t cross, either in his erstwhile quest for self immolation, or his fearless honesty in reporting back from that time But what se To the short list of genuinely great addiction memoirs we can now add Sirens, a searing and at times hilarious account of Mohr s lost years in the dive bars and gutters of San Francisco Like Mary Karr and Jerry Stahl, there is no line Mohr won t cross, either in his erstwhile quest for self immolation, or his fearless honesty in reporting back from that time But what sets this book apart is Mohr s unwillingness to traffic in pat notions of redemption Ron Currie, Jr This isn t your average recovery memoir Mohr s honesty in this book is astonishing and necessary, his candor about hitting bottom and relapsing deeply moving and important It s a hell of a compelling read Cari LunaAcclaimed novelist Joshua Mohr provides a captivating and complicated account of his years of substance abuse and culpability in his non fiction debut Employing the characterization and chimerical prose for which he has been lauded, Mohr traces his childhood swilling fuzzy navels as a latch key kid, through his first failed marriage, parenthood, heart surgery, and his everyday struggle against relapse.Joshua Mohr is the author of Some Things that Meant the World to Me, one of Oprah Magazine s Top 10 reads of 2009 and a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller Termite Parade, an Editors Choice pick at the New York Times Book Review Damascus, called Beat poet cool by the New York Times and, most recently, Fight Song and All This Life He recently moved with his family to Seattle, Washington.

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    About "Joshua Mohr"

    1. Joshua Mohr

      JOSHUA MOHR is the author of five novels, including Damascus, which The New York Times called Beat poet cool He s also written Fight Song and Some Things that Meant the World to Me, one of O Magazine s Top 10 reads of 2009 and a San Francisco Chronicle best seller, as well as Termite Parade, an Editors Choice on The New York Times Best Seller List His novel All This Life was recently published by Counterpoint Soft Skull.


    1. Those who know me know that I don't typically go in for non-fiction or memoir but this is Joshua Fucking Mohr, one of my major small press author crushes. Being asked to read Sirens was like being given a backstage pass into Mohr's mind - how could I turn down the opportunity to roam freely inside his head as he breaks down his long and complicated relationship with drugs and alcohol? This is not just a story of recovery, but one of acknowledging that the demons never die. And of celebrating eve [...]

    2. The long journey of conducting a life of debauchery from every barstool in SF’s Mission District to trying to get clean and sober, relapsing, tremulous relationships, fathering a child, and a heart-attack—this book is a heavy emotional rollercoaster ride of harsh realities amid the consequences of the recovering alcoholic’s life. Josh Mohr’s Sirens ushers in a new generation of addiction/recovery memoirs—do yourself a favor and read this book!

    3. You knew that Joshua Mohr had spent time in bars after reading any of his previous work, but how bad was it exactly? Here you get the confessions of a young man addicted to chaos who found his logodadelus and emerged from the wreckage. The structure of his telling will remind you of that time in your own life, too, if you've indeed moved on from it and found new addictions like the joy in your daughter's laughter, love reflected in your partner's eyes, and solidarity in a literary community or a [...]

    4. Very intense. Examines addiction plus the perils of toxic masculinity. The prose itself has a bloody quality to it. Like it's the stuff in your veins, in your soul. Poetics in every paragraph and the pacing just goes, goes, goes. The siren metaphor is never strained. It combines classical themes with hard-edged realism. I will warn people: some parts are heartbreaking. Mohr reminiscing about his alcoholism can wither your soul a bit. It makes one wonder what we have to do to change our hearts to [...]

    5. Sirens was among the books I most looked forward to read, and it did not disappoint. All the more because it is memoir, and I imagine the toughest sort of writing to produce. Inventive, emotional, heartfelt. A page turner.

    6. To be clear, I know Josh as he was the last professor I had for workshop at USF. Having said that, I've enjoyed all his books thus far. They've all been easy reads, which is not to say they are simple. While all his books contain a raw nature to the prose, I feel like this one has the most teeth because it is the most true of all of them. There are a lot of mirrored moments here that accurately portray much of my own 20s in Kansas City. Maybe that's why this one stuck so easily in my craw. I'm s [...]

    7. The horrors of addiction tapered only by the poetry in this memoir. Mohr intertwines insight with anecdote with philosophical questions. A tenderly constructed time capsule of a man questioning his worth.

    8. Holy cow. Just this afternoon I finished the great Josh memoir and my husband and I spent dinner talking about parents and kids and perceptions and transformation and forgiveness. Holy shit.The thing that's so amazing (well, one of the things) is the subtlety. Of composition and of complex thought processes and an emotional journey and language and, and, and. Wow.I thought I'd come out of it with a better understanding of a close family member, who overdosed (for the 10th? 15th? time) at 35 and [...]

    9. Such an intense and honest memoir. No romanticizing of substance abuse and addiction here. Just gritty, raw honesty and great writing.

    10. This is a harrowing terrifying look at addiction and the ultimate redemptive qualities of hope and fatherhood. Mohr is in his element with the language of this memoir. There are no boring accounts of events. What Mohr does instead is use his provocative and image rich prose to bring his scenes to life. The tales he recounts are powerful metaphors drenches in emotions. This is a must read for anyone who is a fan of Mohr's work, but also for readers in search of why and how we can fall so far away [...]

    11. Joshua Mohr's "Sirens" should come with a warning label. Smart, beautiful, gritty, Mohr's memoir of substance abuse, recovery and relapse will shatter you with its honesty. Mohr's prose has a corporeal presence, and you read it with your whole body, rather than just your mind. Which makes his openness about the fragility of his own recovery feel incisive. It points to a greater truth about mortality we may recoil from, but should allow ourselves to feel.

    12. Sirens is many things: a brutally honest and stridently original approach to the addiction memoir; a love song to a San Francisco that doesn't exist any more; a coming of age story with Fernet and special K. But if you've ever thought about crossing over to the sunny side of the street, Sirens is essential reading.

    13. I really wanted to love this memoir, but something about it just didn't quite click for me the way that it did for other readers and it was overhyped in the reviews I've read. What I loved: the non-linear narrative that braided in three different eras of Mohr's life kept the story moving, was interesting, fresh, gritty, and echoed the chaos of what it's like to be an addict. I appreciated the way that the author was so shockingly honest and real about the shitty things he had done. And yet, disa [...]

    14. This book gutted me on a lot of levels. It’s very possibly the most beautiful book I’ve read in the last couple of years. I found myself in so many of the stories Mohr shared—being an addict/alcoholic, being a writer, being the parent of a small child (and a parent who finds that situation frequently challenging), being a struggling artist in San Francisco. I felt like I gave a huge sigh of relief as I read every single section. OMG, I’m not alone! Someone else has gone through these thi [...]

    15. What amazes me most about this book is how Mohr moves back and forth in time, flawlessly weaving together events of his childhood, his recovery from addiction, and the present moment. As with his other books, Mohr's brutal honesty and unique imagery in Sirens keep me engrossed. I read the book in a couple days, but continue to go back, rereading the passages I loved. Mohr gives us the highest of the high points of human existence and couples them with the lowest of the lows. All I can say is wow [...]

    16. Four times last night I tried to put down Sirens to fall asleep. I lay awake in the dark, my pulse a notch too fast, thoughts racing. I passed midnight, then 2AM, flicking the bedside lamp back on, haunted by curiosity of what would happen next. I found myself rooting for a husband and father whose actions at times appalled me. I could taste the acrid nasal drip; hear his infant daughter's screams. Thank you for your honesty, humility, for sparing no detail. It was a wild ride.

    17. This book sucked me in, and I couldn't put it down. Mohr's writing style shows agency as he tells his addiction story—he is not a victim, and yet we empathize for him anyway. Whether we have physical addictions or not, we all have sirens of some sort. I highly recommend this.

    18. I feel weird recommending this book, and yet I do so, wholeheartedly. Why? To whom would I suggest it? I wouldn't wave this kind of soul-baring at just anyone because, as sharp and compelling and artful as the writing is, it's also at times (as it damn well should be) difficult and wrenching and frustrating. All I can say is, this account feels true. It FEELS true, and that's important to me. I reach for books like this not infrequently because I've lost people I loved so much to addiction. Ouch [...]

    19. Startlingly honest. Joshua Mohr cracks open his heart and allows the reader to explore inside. Each sentence is a lesson in style for other writers and I read SIRENS, studied SIRENS, as though I were back in Joshua's classroom. Simply put, SIRENS is stunning.

    20. "I'm glad I embarrassed myself all those nights,” author Joshua Mohr (All This Life, 2016) writes at the beginning of his rich and fragmented addiction memoir, Sirens, “because I learned what shame was.” Mohr’s life in San Francisco’s Mission District reels with lyrical and enthusiastic drug use until parenting and a health scare inspire his sobriety. Though he had long endeavored to block addiction’s siren song, seeing his daughter in peril cuts away his pretense and sends him from [...]

    21. Brutally honest. Poignant without sentimentality. Devastating in its depiction of Mohr's struggle with recovery.

    22. From the beginning to the end, the author slowly peels back layers of his skin and walks around naked in plain sight. Through stories of his past and stories of his present, he allows us into his everyday struggles and struggle. Friendship, love, parenthood, and addiction swarm the pages with brilliant prose, metaphors, similes, and analogies. This is the type of book I could read again and again when I just need somebody to talk to.

    23. 100% worth the readAs a previous student of Josh Mohr at USF, I was excited to read this book. It was my first of his and didn't disappoint. His honesty gives insight to who he is as a teacher and as a human being- it's truly refreshing and inspiring

    24. Josh cuts his heart wide open, and shows you how flawed it is flawed all our hearts are, and how mostly we're all just doing our best in this bear-hug of a memoir. Equal parts cautionary tale and recovery yarn -- all of it splendidly done with a novelist's eye for heartbreak and redemption -- Sirens does what a good memoir should: it makes everyone more human to us. This is a damn good memoir from a damn good man.

    25. Harrowing and hopeful, Sirens is a great read in every sense. A terrifying tale, beautifully told. It's the story of a former addict with a hole in his heart - no, really - who somehow finds a way to fill it with meaning. Mohr's story has no cheap fixes or unearned epiphanies, and it soars."Do I want to end up alone and alcoholic?No of course not.Yes, of course."Tough stuff. Reality. And reality is weird; also sometimes lovely. And Mohr's prose is always, always true.

    26. This memoir spoke to my heart about why we as human beings do the crazy things we do that make us lose the very things most important to us. Ulysses' desire to hear the Sirens provides a great theme that Joshua builds on. This is a the voice of a gifted writer speaking about drug addiction, recovery, and the importance of love.

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