Liam Pieper was raised by his bohemian parents to believe in freedom and creativity, and that there's nothing wrong with smoking a little marijuana to make life more interesting.
A fast learner, Liam combined hippie self-actualisation with gen Y entrepreneurialism. By his early teens he had a fledgling drug habit, and a thriving business selling pot around the suburbs of Melbourne from the back of his pushbike. He picked up important life skills, like how to befriend a deranged jujitsu master, how to impress his girlfriend's mother by getting arrested in front of her, and how to negotiate pocket money based on how much he was charging his parents for an ounce.
But from these highs (chemical, financial and otherwise), Liam's life fell to dramatic lows. The muddled flower child became a petty criminal and an amoral coke monster. After a family tragedy and then his arrest on several counts of possession and trafficking, Liam had to consider: had it been a mistake to adopt the practices of a counterculture without any of its ethics?
Hilarious, compelling and sometimes heartbreaking, The Feel-Good Hit of the Year is a memoir about family, addiction and learning how to live with yourself, from a sharp and original new Australian voice.
Read Caroline Baum's Review
This is one of those 'you had me at hello' reads. The title, with its tongue-in-cheek meaning, signals a refreshingly cheeky take on life but nothing quite prepared this reader for the comic absurdity of a teen drug dealer selling dope to his hippy parents. A disarmingly charming rogue, Liam Pieper documents his precocious entrepreneurial talent as he slides out of school and into dealing, with hilarious deadpan understatement and the delivery of a seasoned raconteur. A mostly funny (apart from one tragic episode), very laid back, at times preposterous fable of urban alternative lifestyle taken to extremes.
About the Author
Liam Pieper lives in Melbourne. He studied creative writing and then journalism and now works as a freelance writer. Before that he worked as a chef, a music critic, a non-union itinerant labourer and a mediocre criminal. His work has appeared in Meanjin, The Best of The Lifted Brow, Going Down Swinging and The Sleepers Almanac, and he is the co-recipient of the 2014 M Literary Residency
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The Feel Good Hit of the Year is a memoir of Liam Pieper; raised by his bohemian parents to believe in freedom and creativity, and that theres nothing wrong with smoking a little weed to make life more interesting. This book is an insight to the world of growing up with drugs from being born and would probably recommend it to anyone out there who wanted to know what drugs are like from a safer distance.
Whilst most memoirs are self-indulgent, due to the fact it is essentially all about one person. Pieper does not glamourise his old life as a petty suburban drug dealer but he does not write a straight forward cautionary do not do drugs story either. I found surprisingly that the book was insightful and filled with metaphors that had me underlining for later reference.
We die alone, yes, but we are born alone too, so the people who enrich our lives are gifts, whether that are here for a lifetime or just a few moments.
The book being a tale of highs (chemical, financial and otherwise) it is also a tale of how Liam's life fell to dramatic lows. It did not fail to make me laugh; 'I wore the same outfit every day; a black denim jacket over a white t-shirt and black tracksuit pants. At 13 I imagined it quite stylish, a bit like a relaxed tuxedo something James Bond might slip into in a post-coital languor while he searches for his cigarettes.' It however, did not fail to make me feel for Pieper as certain events fractured my heart, (not a complete breaking of the heart).
Mixed reviews are common for this book and whilst I enjoyed it and Pieper's writing, it was a slow read for me and I found myself just wanting to finish the book at times.
I am glad that I read this book as new perspectives and thought provoking books are some of the most interesting and The Feel Good Hit of the Year falls into both these categories.
'Will break your heart and give you chuckles. What more do you want?' - John Safran. 'The most achingly funny, heartsplittingly tragic and brilliantly written book you'll read this year. To lead a deranged, tragic and funny life is one thing, but to make a book this unsentimentally beautiful out of it is nothing short of criminal. Read it before every other goddamn person does.' - Benjamin Law. 'I always knew Liam was talented and I'd always suspected he had a couple screws loose, and now I have proof of both. The Feel-Good Hit of the Year is a brilliant piece of work.' - Anna Krien 'This carefully constructed memoir deftly touches on some of the most difficult subjects: addiction, shame, guilt and the bitter-sweet troubles of family relationships. This is a clever book executed by a skilful writer with a razor-sharp wit... Pieper's book is crazy good. He had me hooked from the first page to the last.' - Krissy Kneen
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 15th May 2014
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.5 x 2.3
Weight (kg): 0.42
Edition Number: 1