Title: Lost in Ghost Town: A Memoir of Addiction, Redemption, and Hope in Unlikely Places
Author: Carder Stout
Psychologist to the Hollywood elite Dr. Carder Stout delivers a page-turning memoir about his fall from grace into the gritty underbelly of crack addiction, running drugs for the Shoreline Crips, surviving homelessness, escaping a murder plot, and finding redemption in the most unlikely of places.
Dr. Carder Stout’s clientele includes Oscar-, Golden Globe-, Emmy-, Tony- and Grammy-winners, bestselling authors, and billionaires. He may not be able to share their dark secrets, but for the first time, everyone will know his.
At the age of thirty-four, Carder would have gladly pawned the silver spoon he was born choking on for a rock of crack. His downfall was as swift as his privilege was vast…or had he been falling all along?
Raised in a Georgetown mansion and educated at exclusive institutions, Carder ran with a crowd of movers, shakers, and future Oscar-winners in New York City. But words like “promise” and “potential” are meaningless in the face of serious addiction. Lost years and a stint in rehab later, when Carder was a dirty, broke, soon-to-be-homeless crackhead wandering the streets of Venice, California. His lucky break came thanks to his old Ford Taurus: he lands a job of driving for a philosophical drug czar with whom he finds friendship and self-worth as he helps deliver quality product to LA’s drug enthusiasts, from trust-fund kids, gang affiliates, trophy wives, hip-hop producers, and Russian pimps. But even his loyalty and protection can’t save Carder from the peril of the streets–or the eventual contract on his life.
From a youth of affluence to the hit the Shoreline Crips put on his life, Carder delves deep into life on the streets. Lost in Ghost Town is a riveting, raw, and heartfelt look at the power of addiction, the beauty of redemption, and finding truth somewhere in between.
A real rollercoaster of a read that delves into the darkness of addiction and the hope of recovery. Carder grew up as a normal kid. So how did he end up as an adult haunting the part of Venice known as Ghost Town?
Lost in Ghost Town gives us a flipflopping narrative between Carder’s adult life and that of him as a child. As we learn about Carder’s drug addiction, we also find ourselves learning about what made him lose himself to drugs to begin with. In 2003, Carder lived in an area dominated by gangs and violence. Yet, he found ways to survive when most other people like him were killed on sight.
Carder didn’t have a good upbringing. He was left mostly to wander with his siblings and after his parents got divorced, his life was presented with much of the same. His mother didn’t care if he smoked, she didn’t care what he did so long as she had her own addictions in supply.
As one can guess, his teenage years weren’t much better. Suffering with a host of eating disorders, he felt lonely, like an outcast. And no matter what he did, those feelings stayed with him, following him into adulthood. He doesn’t enjoy his highs—they make him feel paranoid and edgy—but when he’s high, it’s probably the only time he doesn’t feel alone. He imagines that his ancestors are watching over him, that he is speaking with him, and it gives him a bit of light in his darkness.
There are a lot of hard to read parts in this book, but I felt those made the narrative sounder. It took Carder falling into the blackest pits of despair to find a reason to seek out the light. When he did, he was able to turn his back on his terrible past and achieve a bright future.
All in all, a powerful read.
This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.