Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Zoo Station The Story of Christiane F. Christiane F

The worst part about this book is that is non-fiction.  Christine gets involved with drugs at age 12...

Zest Books and Net Galley allowed me to download an ebook of this memoir (thank you).  It was published January 2nd, so you can find a copy at your local bookstore now.

Here is how the book came to be written: 
Two journalists from the news magazine Stern, Kai Hermann and Horst Rieck, met Christiane in 1978 in Berlin when she was a witness in a trial against a man who paid underaged girls with heroin in return for sex. The journalists wanted to disclose the drug problem among teenagers in Berlin, which was severe but also surrounded by strong taboos. They arranged a two-hour interview with Christiane. The two hours ended up being two months, where Christiane provided an in-depth description of a life with drugs and prostitution that she and other teenagers in West Berlin experienced in the 1970s. The journalists subsequently ran a series of articles about her addiction in Stern, based on tape recorded interviews with Christiane.

The interviews were extensive, and the Stern publishing house eventually decided to publish the successful book Christiane F. – Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo in 1979. The book chronicles her life from 1975 to 1978, when she was aged 12–15. The narrative of the book is in the first person, from Christiane's viewpoint, but was written by the journalists functioning as ghostwriters.[1] Others, such as Christiane's mother, and various people who witnessed the escalating drug situation in Berlin at the time, also contributed to the book. It depicts several of Christiane's friends along with other drug addicts, as well as scenes from typical locations of the drug scene in Berlin.  (From Wikipedia.)

Christine had divorced parents, classrooms were packed and out of control, and it was easier to skip school than be subjected to the disruptive classes.  It wasn't long before she met someone who introduced her to clubs.  From there, it wasn't long until she started doing drugs.

This is really the tale of a young girl becoming addicted to hard drugs and pretending she could quit anytime.  She did here and there, but she always went back.  She had standards for what kind of sex she would provide as prostitute.  With time, those standards died.

The area she lived in was squalid. The authorities didn't know what to do with the addicts.  Her mother had lost control of her.  And she'd lost control of herself.

This is not an upbeat story but it is very eye opening.  You'll learn things you didn't want to know, but you'll keep reading to see how things work out for Christine.  

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