I thought this book was historically fascinating and autobiographically tragic. The history of opium smoking and the problems which developed world-wide in the late 1800's is well presented.
In more recent history, the author became fascinated with Asian artifacts, and started collected opium pipes and other smoking accoutrements. The story ends tenuously, with the author addicted, then cautiously sober.
I really enjoyed this book, all the way around, and remain opium-free.
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