Not too long ago, Sam Lansky carried a crack pipe in his pocket, a bag of crystal meth in his wallet and worked briefly as a paid escort. Today, he’s the clean and sober deputy culture editor at Time magazine.
With a life trajectory like that, it’s easy to understand why a publisher agreed to publish the memoir of a 27-year-old. The Gilded Razor is out today. From Sherryl Connelly’s recent preview piece in the New York Daily News:
It was his [Dwight School pal Jesse] – all names have been changed – who did him a real solid, introducing him to a doctor supposedly recommended by the school. In the waiting room he ran into a fellow student whose father was the president of a major media conglomerate. The classmate exited looking quite pleased.
Lanksy made some general complaints about being restless and unhappy, worried that he wouldn’t be able to realize his full potential. He left with a sheaf of prescriptions and a bright eye on a perpetually stoned future, Lansky wrote.
He was “rapidly subsumed by the mundane glamor of Manhattan, a breathless circus of coke lines at Bungalow, white-gloved doormen in funny hats, tiny dogs in quilted coats.”
Lansky was at The Strand bookstore last night to sign copies and speak with Out magazine editor in chief Aaron Hicklin. Among those providing launch-phase reviews for The Gilded Razor is Kevin Sessums:
Lansky turns Manhattan into a kind of Bret Easton Ellis Island. Lansky guides us, with a voice all his own, through the chaos of his addiction into a clearing where sobriety awaits him. It is a book filled with, to quote Lansky at one point in his narrative, ‘too many beautiful people doing too many ugly things.’ Yet, through the beauty of Lansky’s writing, the ugliness subsides and a kind of hard-won hope takes its place.
[Jacket cover courtesy: Gallery Books]