“Go Ask Alice” by Beatrice Sparks et al.


I foolishly bought and re-read the supposedly true diary of a teen drug addict, Go Ask Alice, as part of the Summer of Shelf Discovery reading project. Here’s a representative sample, so you don’t have to read it, too. You’re welcome.

9/16 Yesterday I remember thinking I was the happiest person in the whole earth, in the whole galaxy, in all of God’s creation….Now it’s all smashed down upon my head and I wish I could just melt into the blaaa-ness of the universe and cease to exist

7/10 [after being dosed with LSD] It was fun! It was ecstatic! It was glorious! But I don’t think I’ll ever try it again

8/13 It’s all I can do to keep from crying

8/26 What a wonderful, beautiful, happy day!

9/7 Last night was the bitter end

9/27 Last night…I smoked pot and it was even greater than I expected!

10/18 I can’t believe I’ve sold to eleven and twelve year olds and even nine and ten year olds. What a disgrace I am to myself and my family and to everybody

11/23 one of the men passed me a joint and…I wanted to be ripped, smached, torn up as I had never wnated anything before. This was the scene, these were the swingers and I wanted to be part of it!

12/3 Last night was the worst night of my shitty, rotten, stinky, dreary fucked-up life

[lather, rinse repeat for the next 150ish pages]

Epilogue: The subject of this book died three weeks after her decision not to keep another diary.

My friend Amy at New Century Reading has nicely eviscerated this book, since she read it too for the Summer of Shelf Discovery reading bender. I can’t BELIEVE we were gullible enough to believe it was a true story, which it’s not. Wikipedia entry, Snopes.

A few notes:

1. Notice the word “subject” rather than “author” in the epilogue. Oops, slipped up there, diary fakers.

2. “I’ve been the digger here, but now when I face a girl it’s like facing a boy…Then I get sick and I just wanat anybody and I should be out doing my digging.” “Digging” was a movement in Haight-Ashbury, where she never went, and it was giving away stuff for free. Here it sounds like prostitution or scavenging.

3. The Alice of the title refers to the woman on drugs in the Jefferson Airplane song, as well as a girl the “narrator” meetings in the novel. It’s theorized that the author is “Carla” as from p. 113: ”

Big Ass makes me do it before he gives me the load….Little Jacon is yelling, “Mama, Daddy can’t come now. He’s humping Carla.”

I can’t believe I believed this (and Jay’s Journal, and Diary of Kristiane H, etc.) and I can’t believe I was gullible enough to read it again. JUST SAY NO! (to reading this book).

3 Responses to ““Go Ask Alice” by Beatrice Sparks et al.”

  1. Alice@Supratentorial Says:

    I always remembered hating this book, but mostly because I hated when people would sing the song to me and I remembered that Alice was the main character. But maybe I just hated it because it was a bad book. :)

  2. girldetective Says:

    sharing the same name as that in the title of a bad book would be more than enough to put one off, on its own, I think.

  3. shannon Says:

    i didn’t re-read this one but have to say i was entranced by this book as a teen - i absolutely believed it was true. a real cautionary tale for a straight-A student like me :)
    (yeah, i know. very gullible)