Confessions of an English Opium-Eater
37 Installments—Entirely free
Members' Rating: from 3 Ratings
This autobiographical tale of the author’s addiction to laudanum—a combination of opium and alcohol—was an instant hit when it was published in 1821, making author Thomas de Quincey famous. The story begins with the author’s childhood and youth, which paves the way for later descriptions of the emotional and psychological effects of his drug use. Quincey describes the long rambles he took through London under the influence of the drug. Elsewhere, he rhapsodizes about the pleasures of opium, which he claims can bring relief and hope to the poor and rich alike. But these pleasures are countered by the negative side effects of the drug: in harrowing language Quincey narrates his nightmares, insomnia, and troubling physical symptoms. Exploring the boundaries between reality and hallucination, wakefulness and sleep, and elation and misery, Quincey weaves a powerful tale what will intoxicate you as the drug does him.
Back to top
Opening Lines (Experimental)
I here present you, courteous reader, with the record of a remarkable period in my life: according to my application of it, I trust that it will prove not merely an interesting record, but in a considerable degree useful and instructive. In that hope it is that I have drawn it up; and that must ...Back to top
Ratings for 'Confessions of an English Opium-Eater' by de Quincey, Thomas