Go Ask Alice
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse
By Linh-Chi Nguyen, Courier Music Editor
The 1971 release of Go Ask Alice directs the reader into the life of an adolescent female who undergoes the melodrama of a drug-induced time period where the influence of drug usage reigns supreme and the plight of withdrawal deems control.
The diary's creditability is questionable as it was published anonymously, but it did reach a worldwide audience of readers and spread the actuality of such behavior.
An anonymous fifteen-year-old girl begins the diary as an attempt to deal with ordinary teenage issues such as weight loss, relationships, sexuality, relating to her parents and peer acceptance. She writes in her diary to express the difficulties of having no social companions, while dealing with moving to a different home. This then escalated to a life that even fate could not predict.
Eventually she begins to wreak havoc on her life after she is introduced to LSD by her “friends”. This spurs the beginning of a life of drugs and the constant lapses that she desperately tries to overcome. As she continues to become sulked into the drug scene, she shares the riveting and traumatizing experience of dealing with her addiction, enjoying the highs and facing the lows.
Although controversy has risen about the nonfictional prose of the diary, it still speaks true to the reader. Any teenager—or adult, for that matter—is able to plunge his or herself into the work and be aware of its surrealistic nature, despite the fact that it may be slightly altered or completely fabricated. It is an honest portrayal of the reality of the allurement of drugs and its consequences.
Factual or not, the piece of work is engrossing and haunting. Even though the diary may falsely purport to be nonfiction, the story should still receive validation for the authentic feeling it yields to any reader. Significantly, the diary is a testimony for anyone—the drug-afflicted, the downtrodden or the gawky bookworm—with a story that takes the reader on a chronicle, from her attempt at escaping the terrorizing effects of the drug sub-culture to divulging right back into the same labyrinth.