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The Gilded Razor

A Memoir
Narrated by: Cole Ferguson
Length: 8 hrs and 6 mins
4 out of 5 stars (133 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Sharply funny and compulsively listenable, The Gilded Razor is a dazzling and harrowing memoir from debut author Sam Lansky.

The Gilded Razor is the true story of a double life. By the age of seventeen, Sam Lansky was an all-star student with Ivy League aspirations in his final year at an elite New York City prep school. But a nasty addiction to prescription pills spiraled rapidly out of control, compounded by a string of reckless affairs with older men, leaving his bright future in jeopardy. After a terrifying overdose, he tried to straighten out. Yet as he journeyed from the glittering streets of Manhattan, to a wilderness boot camp in Utah, to a psych ward in New Orleans, he only found more opportunities to create chaos - until finally, he began to face himself.

In the vein of Elizabeth Wurtzel and Augusten Burroughs, Lansky scrapes away at his own life as a young addict and exposes profoundly universal anxieties. Told with remarkable sensitivity, biting humor, and unrelenting self-awareness, The Gilded Razor is a coming-of-age story of searing honesty and lyricism that introduces a powerful new voice to the confessional genre.

©2016 Sam Lansky (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Annoying, Privileged Teenager Tells his Story

I did not enjoy this book at all. I finished 1/3 of the book before I gave up. The primary reason being: the main character is not likable. He is a self centered and self important teenager at the beginning of this book...and a serious drug abuser. He is very impressed with his elite prep school, his rich friends, his dinners at fancy restaurants, etc. At one point he tells his father that his current, temporary apartment is not acceptable for him and demands to go to a luxury hotel... and off they go. When he started describing his obsession with getting into Princeton, I thought I must have missed part of the story that would explain why his teachers or parents thought he was a candidate for one of the most elite universities in the world. But , no, I did not miss anything. There were no indicators that he was a candidate for Princeton...which seeks out highly intelligent, accomplished and well rounded students.This is just one example of his over inflated ego. I knew that this book was not for me when I found myself getting angry that he might actually get into Princeton. I found myself ,not only, not caring what happened to this "brat" but, hoping that he would be knocked down to earth.
Also , the author's vivid and graphic descriptions of his sexual encounters did not add to the story and I found these parts of the story to be quite gratuitous.
Lastly, I feel as though I have heard this same story many times in books and in movies. There was nothing here that seemed unique.
I looked closely at a lot of the previous reviews here, and on Amazon, trying to figure out why it received quite a few glowing reviews. I did notice that many of the reviews are from people who have only ever reviewed one book: this one. I am weary and suspicious of these type of reviews. I should have looked more closely at the reviews before purchasing this book.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • KR
  • Salt Lake City
  • 02-14-16

Eye opening, heart wrenching, especially for those with loved ones struggling.

It's hard to not know exactly what users are feeling or mental state is. This book opened my eyes on what the process is for them. It was sad yet had a sense of humor which I enjoyed. I loved that he opened up so many hard a painful emotions. I wish he would have spent longer about his last battle with crystal meth and the mindset he was in as well as the struggles associated with. That chapter was so short yet something I feel is very prevalent and needs to be opened up and discussed so we are better able to help those suffering. Overall it was awesome and I finished listening to it in one day!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Ferguson brings Lansky's work to life

This isn't an easy book by any means. But I would shove this in the hands of everyone I know. Lansky writes with a rawness that I haven't seen often, and it's what makes this book a must read for me. He's open and vulnerable and pulls no punches.

I was sucked in my how open he was, right off the bat. He talks about his eating disorder, addiction, proclivity for sleeping with older men, all of it. I appreciated his candor and how he doesn't seem to shy away from anything. I especially liked seeing his growth when it came to the addiction, from trying to blame it on his father, to fighting rehab, and ultimately to dealing with it.

I will say, some reviews have suggested that it might be a funny novel, and while it's not necessarily all dark and depressing, I wouldn't suggest that it's funny in a ha-ha way. There's definitely some parts that made me chuckle, but if I'm being honest I think it was more from feeling kinship with some of what Lansky went through. Especially some of the older men he "dated," and I use that term loosely.

I can tell this is a book I'll come back to again and again, and of course I have to say how much I loved it on audio. Cole Ferguson does it again folks, I am telling you.

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great book

loved this book. Having family that had to face both addictions and them get through it.

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  • AF
  • 08-15-16

So good

Reader was wonderful. The story had me gripped. I heard an interview with the author. He is captivating.

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great

Super well written. So lucky Sam survived. Not many that lucky. One day at a time

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Dire proposition

Kept hoping Sam could clean himself up/ I doubt that happened/ he seemed damaged in too many ways

1 of 4 people found this review helpful