Hero of the Underground by Jason Peter
A Memoir

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I wasn't afraid of death.

How could I be? I lived under death's shadow every day. When you swallow eighty Vicodin, twenty sleeping pills, drink a bottle of vodka, and still survive, a certain sense of invulnerability stays with you. When you continually use drugs with the kind of reckless determination that I did, the limit to how much heroin or crack you can ingest is not defined in dollar amounts, but in the amounts your body can withstand without experiencing a seizure or respiratory failure. Yet at the end of every binge, every night of lining up six, seven, eight crack pipes and hitting them one after the other bam! bam! bam! every night of smoking and snorting bag after bag of heroin . . . after all of that, when you still wake up to see the same dirty sky over you as the night before, you start to think that instead of dying, maybe your punishment is to live---to be stuck in this purgatory of self-abuse and misery for an eternity. Sometimes you start to think that death would come as a blessed relief.

Toward the end, I found myself contemplating death again. Only this time I wasn't going to leave it to chance. I was going to buy a gun, load the thing, place the barrel in my mouth, and blow my fucking brains out.

I sat on my parents' sofa as I pondered this. All I needed was a gun.

And then all--

of my problems--

would be solved.


About Jason Peter

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JASON PETER grew up in Middletown, New Jersey. He was an All American and a member of three National Championship football teams at the University of Nebraska, co-captaining the championship team. He was also a National Football League first-round draft pick by the Carolina Panthers, where he played for four years before injuries forced him to retire. He is now married and lives in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he co-hosts a sports radio program, The Spread, for ESPN.TONY O’NEILL is a poet and novelist whose books include Down and Out on Murder Mile and Digging the Vein. He lives in New York.
Published July 8, 2008 by St. Martin's Press. 316 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Self Help, Sports & Outdoors, Health, Fitness & Dieting. Non-fiction

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There are many ways to go wrong in an addiction memoir, and Peter only notches two or three stylistic mistakes, such as dashing too quickly over specifics and occasionally falling into repetition—not a bad average for an entry in this overpublished, underedited genre.

May 15 2008 | Read Full Review of Hero of the Underground: A Me...


Everyone save pigskin fanatics will doze when Peter reflects that he is “not looking at myself anymore” when his helmet is in place, and that “Jason Peter is no longer in the room.

Dec 10 2008 | Read Full Review of Hero of the Underground: A Me...

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