In his highly anticipated follow up to Final Exits and The Portable Obituary, Michael Largo tackles the art of the famous demise from another archly inventive angle. Genius and Heroin archives the self-destructive lives and deaths of the extremely gifted from all arenas, including actors, politicians, athletes, scientists, musicians and military leaders. Genius and Heroin is a reference guide that explores the paradox of an artist’s angst, that which prompts both inspiration and torment. Largo’s work is a profound new addition to the public debate on whether personal agony is a necessary component to being publicly immortalized.
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From the dawn of civilisation there has always been a fine line between creativity and self-destruction. An inherent compulsiveness is often required in art to master a level of original thought and superlative skill. It requires everything, some believe, even one's life. "Genius and Heroin" chronicles the lives of the famously talented in all fields who all entwined their genius with one of the many paths toward self-ruin. Whether their downfalls were from opiates, alcohol, pills, absinthe, or the slow-motion suicide of obsession, the indispensable reference to the untidy and self-destructive lives of our greatest artists and thinkers.In this one-of-a-kind reference work, the age-old question - did genius create their own torment, or was it their torment that created their genius - is finally answered. Through luridly compelling portraits, the rise and fall of those who made a mark on history and culture are revealed, for as Samuel Johnson said, "A man of genius has been seldom ruined but by himself."