When musician Rob Roberge learns that he's likely to have developed a progressive memory-eroding disease from years of hard living and frequent concussions, he is terrified by the prospect of becoming a walking shadow. In a desperate attempt to preserve his identity, he sets out to (somewhat faithfully) record the most formative moments of his life.
...the structure of the book, with its brisk, dark, cycling vignettes, doesn’t just mimic the way we actually remember; it imposes a felt sense of bipolar disorder, a diagnosis which Roberge first received in the 1980s. It makes sense that this is the form in which Roberge is best able to try and make sense of his world. He may be held up as the rock star hero/antihero in the publicity surrounding this work, but his is not a confessional, personality-driven memoir without concern for larger questions about history and agency.
After a half century’s glorification of, shall we say, creative mindsets, it seems the least we can ask of a work loosely dubbed an 'addiction memoir' is that no one reading it will want to switch places with the author. Liar succeeds in many ways, but especially in this one.