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The Last Opium Den

The Last Opium Den Nick Tosches trades civilization and its discontents for the possibility of one moment of pure bliss Driven by romantic spiritual and medicinal imperatives Nick Tosches goes in search of something

  • Title: The Last Opium Den
  • Author: Nick Tosches
  • ISBN: 9781582342276
  • Page: 459
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Nick Tosches trades civilization and its discontents for the possibility of one moment of pure bliss.Driven by romantic, spiritual, and medicinal imperatives, Nick Tosches goes in search of something everyone tells him no longer exists an opium den From Europe to Hong Kong to Thailand to Cambodia, he hunts the Big Smoke, bewildered by its elusiveness and, despite the meaNick Tosches trades civilization and its discontents for the possibility of one moment of pure bliss.Driven by romantic, spiritual, and medicinal imperatives, Nick Tosches goes in search of something everyone tells him no longer exists an opium den From Europe to Hong Kong to Thailand to Cambodia, he hunts the Big Smoke, bewildered by its elusiveness and, despite the meaning it continues to evoke as a cultural touchstone, its alleged extinction Weaving his spiritual and hallucinogenic quests together with inimitable, razor sharp prose, Tosches s trip becomes a deeper meditation on what true fulfillment is and why no one bothers to look for it any .

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      Posted by:Nick Tosches
      Published :2020-04-17T05:11:56+00:00

    About "Nick Tosches"

    1. Nick Tosches

      Nick Tosches was born in Newark, New Jersey, and raised by wolves from the other side Through nepotism he became a barroom porter at the age of fourteen Casting this career to the wind in his quest for creative fulfillment, he became a paste up artist for the Lovable Underwear Company in New York City On January 12, 1972, he went to lunch and never came back, drifting south to Florida, where, among other things, he worked as a snake hunter for the Miami Serpentarium After being bit on the shin one morning, he decided to forsake all further employment, and thus became a writer of poetry and prose.

    686 Comments

    1. this book will make you want to seek out the company of dangerous, or at the very least rogue, men, go to exotic places where you don't speak the language but have a very definitive view of what it should look, smell and taste like in your head, live fast and hard and find an opium den and try someck tosches is a great, rollicking raconteur. he's a dying breed of man (maybe not a bad thing, in the long run), of writer, of a certain kind of teller-of-tales. he'd be very comfortable hanging with h [...]


    2. This is one of four newish books I recently read mostly so I could finally get them off my queue list, all of which were actually pretty good but are mere wisps of manuscripts, none of them over 150 pages or so in length. And indeed, Nick Tosches' The Last Opium Den was first published as a simple magazine article in Vanity Fair -- it was the edgy and controversial author's attempt at the turn of the millennium to see if there were any honest-to-God opium dens left on this planet, done up right [...]


    3. very short, sly-as-shit essay about author's attempt to find a true-blue dive of an opium den. The bad news: it's not in new york city. The good news: he succeeds, albeit in southeast asia. the writing, as his always is, no matter what he's writing about, will charm the pants off you and your significant other.


    4. Wow! Wish I had read something like this in the late 60s when my chemical curiosity was peaking. It would have been nice to know that the shit I was smoking was just thatit [if not toxic].The author's short story is much more than a drug fantasy. It begins with an informative treatise on wine. The book continues in a colorful worldwide search for a proper bowl of the smoky elixir and the characters behind it. We learn about its mysterious and dark sources. There's the unique paraphernalia of its [...]


    5. Very well written and compelling little book about hunting down an opium den. As a lover of travel and trying new things, I greatly admire NT's fearlessness: I would never drive off into the night with strange men who say they know where to find what I'm looking for I tend to play it safe. Considering that, and also what NT says about real opium being almost impossible to find these days, I realize that I'll almost certainly never have the opportunity to try opium. Shame, because it sounds like [...]


    6. A slightly dissapointing read. Of the two den experiences described in the book, the first is to be expected - a primitive Laotian style opium smoking session, whereas the second is a more upmarket Chinese affair, which any contemporary opium antique collector would dream of. The book was much shorter than I expected, some of the vocabulary too complicated (for me anyway) and some of the text was obviously pinched from Peter Lee's 'Big Smoke'


    7. I loved this book! This short little essay was phenomenal! Nick Tosches wondered what happened to the opium trade and opium debts so he went off to Asia in search for any remaining traces of it. There was literally none, none to be found in the United States so Nick decided to try his luck elsewhere. His life goal was to try opium, and not just to try it, but smoke it, in an opium den with brocade hangings and buxom women. He soon discovers that he may have dreamed a little too big because opium [...]


    8. I've read several of Nick Tosches' longish pieces in various magazine. He is a very good writer. There are passages in this book that are incredibly lyrical. His descriptions of his opiated high are often fabulous.And yet, the book is just too short. We barely scratch the surface of what is actually a very deep subject. Tosches skirted around the edges of his subject, but didn't really take the time to engage with it.I would've much preferred it if he had interspersed his personal vignettes with [...]


    9. In 70 pages, Tosches travels Asia searching for what everyone tells him no longer exists--the traditional opium den. It's a great read and quick, but so sad that when Tosches goes to his underground contacts for information, everyone seems to think he's looking for underage sex commerce, and is more than willing to hook him up. I kinda couldn't shake that part. That aside, this is the first book I've read of his, but definitely want to read more.


    10. Basically a short story about his search for the opium den of old. What I enjoyed the most though were his few pages devoted to wine and it's followers. I paraphrase here: If a true wine expert or judge can denote hints of the soil the grape was grown in or the type of water (well, spring or rain) than why does he not describe the pesticide flavor nodes or hints of the type of manure fertilizer used in the bouquet of a fine bottle? He goes on for a few pages and it's pretty funny stuff.


    11. This is a book that I remember as my first introduction to fantastical writing. I read this from its original printing in Vanity Fair when I was in grade 12. It evoked a desire to search for something that does not exist any longer but fostered a hope that maybe I could find something as magical as the descriptions that are found within these pages. A quick read. But beware that you might want a dictionary on hand to navigate through the language.


    12. Tosches' prose is a fever dream, an endless opium high, and a stilleto blade across your brain. He leads you on a quest and you only realize how far you have gone when you can't get back.This was originally an article in Vanity Fair. The book made it feel substantive and something vaguely illicit to pass on to others.


    13. if this one sitting read doesn't make you want to smoke opium--not drink or eat or shoot but smoke--i don't know what will. i read it in print but found that this essay is available online at vanityfair/culture/fea


    14. Gee, I wish I could write an essay and have it published as a book. Very short book about a guy who wants to smoke opium and gets his editors to send him on a trip to the far east to try to find a way to do it (it is apparently all turned into heroin these days). pretentious language.


    15. - from the jacket: "Driven by romantic, spiritual, and medicinal imperatives, Nick Tosches leaves the numbing creature comforts of New York behind in search of something everyone tells him no longer exists: an opium den."


    16. Nick Tosches search for a rumoured last Opium Den in the world is a meditation on the nature of pleasure and worth. Tosches is a wild writer with an eclectic array of knowledge and a peripatetic sense of adventure and story telling.


    17. If you aren't read Tosches, get into it! Originally published as a Vanity Fair article, this is a story of Tosches' life long pursuit to smoke opium in a real opium den. He describes his travels and experiences in a way that makes you wish you were there.Highly recommended.



    18. this was so interesting. and a quick read. the language and the experience, just amazing. the author's search for an opium den in today's time- a true adventure, an authentic experience.


    19. "if you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."



    20. A quick, short and delicious read. It combines adventure with world events and personal evaluation. Tosches writing is smart and poetic.




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