Fall to Pieces
Mary Forsberg Weiland with Larkin Warren
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Buy *Fall to Pieces: A Memoir of Drugs, Rock 'n' Roll, and Mental Illness* by Mary Forsberg Weiland with Larkin Warren online

Fall to Pieces: A Memoir of Drugs, Rock 'n' Roll, and Mental Illness
Mary Forsberg Weiland with Larkin Warren
William Morrow
304 pages
November 2009
rated 3 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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If you recognize the last name of the author, it's because she was married to Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland. A raging addict in his own right, he has been in and out of rehabs for years. When the two met years ago, it was a match made in hell. One junkie enabling the other. A lot of this book relates to those very stories, and while they are interesting on a prurient level, this memoir comes off more as a self-indulgent stroke than any type of eye-popping, darkly intense revelation about the nastiness of drug addiction.

We love reading about the rich and famous lives of rock stars. When those same figures fall into the depths of heroin and pills, part of us is hoping they'll recover, and our other half is (silently) hoping they won't. Part of that comes from the fact that when these icons do topple, they do so from a very lofty position. They're usually rockers of some note (in recent years, Nikki Sixx and Anthony Kiedis have written tell-all tales of drug consumption in Heroin Diaries and Scar Tissue respectively) or high fashion models or TV stars. Mary Forsberg Weiland was a a successful model earning up to $25,000 a day, traveling around the world, and appearing in the crème de la crème of fashion magazines. She suffered from depression and went from taking anti-depressants to sticking needles in her arms.

Do we feel sorry for her? Not as sorry as if she were instead a single mother of two caught in a downward spiral. It's as if, "This Weiland girl had everything so how could she throw it away? Was she looking for problems?"

Probably not, but there is still an element of "Look at me. I was a beautiful person and I deserved to be pitied." It does take some chutzpah to write about her darkest hours, and though she doesn't reveal much about husband Scott that wasn't already known, there are some fragile moments here, like ducking out on modeling assignments to get high and her breakdown due to bi-polar syndrome.

If you truly want to read about depression in a story that is artfully told, check out Jerry Stahl's Permanent Midnight. This one isn't bad; it's just not very original.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Steven Rosen, 2010

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