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Clean Reviews

Clean by Michele Kirsch

Clean

A story of addiction, recovery and the removal of stubborn stains

Michele Kirsch

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Short Books Ltd
Publisher: Short Books Ltd
Publication date: 7 Mar 2019
ISBN: 9781780723815

This is a remarkable, powerful, and often unbearably funny memoir in which cleaning and getting clean intertwine as a strange and magical form of redemption.

  • Daily MailBook of the Week
5 stars out of 5

"Rarely can a dark memoir have been so comic, or a comic memoir so dark"

Michele was six when her father was killed in a train crash. ‘There were two casualties: my father, and a nun . . . All I hoped was that he was asleep, and that the nun was, too.’

Thus begins Michele Kirsch’s extraordinary memoir of drug addiction, alcoholism and domestic cleaning. Rarely can a dark memoir have been so comic, or a comic memoir so dark... Just another depressing memoir of drug and alcohol addiction? Well, no. This one is enhanced, made strangely hilarious and given a refreshingly different kind of poignancy, with its 26 ‘cleaning’ interludes. These appear between most chapters, in a different font, and I found myself savouring each one.

Reviews

3 stars out of 5
Alastair Mabbott
23 Mar 2019

"Kirsch is conscious of all the ironies in her life, poking fun at her early naiveté and daring us not to laugh at her mishaps"

Showing great insight into the mindset of addiction, Clean is not a happy story, but Kirsch is conscious of all the ironies in her life, poking fun at her early naiveté and daring us not to laugh at her mishaps. Which, when confronted by anecdotes like the chiropodist pressured to declare her grandfather dead, or her mother being sacked from a soft-porn magazine for lacking gravitas, is just as well.