Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Confessions of a Secret Raver by Francesca Fielding | A Book Review

Confessions of a Secret Raver by Francesca Fielding | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm!

This is of the first few books that I got from Library Thing and was not able to read it right away. I am slowly getting to them but I still have a lot. And more so now that I have been working from home. I don't have a lot of time to read unlike the past months where I did not have any permanent source of income. I am thankful that I am no longer broke but I also feel sorry because I have less time or no time at all to read books.

This book is actually what the title says--confessions of an adult who loves to go to rave parties and just let go. To momentarily forget her woes and the burden of responsibilities and work weighing her day. To just live in the moment even for just a few days or week. To take time away from all the hassles and stresses of daily life. And as with the fact, parties come with booze and drugs. The confessor here which happens to be a professional British female, actually a lawyer, admittedly claimed to have been under the influence of a mood inducer. According to her, E is not a drug, just as the scientist who invented it who also claimed that it isn't. 

I stopped going to bars and going out to drink and party when I stopped working for call centers. Yes, here in the Philippines, being a call center agent is synonymous to having a very active and outgoing lifestyle. People who work for the same industry tend to enjoy night outs on rest days going to bars and drinking some of the stress away. In my time, we used to go to a resto bar with live bands or go to a karaoke club to sing our hearts out and of course, alcohol is staple. I am a light drinker. I can only take one or two bottles of beer and that is how the night is for me. When I went to Manila to do Finance again, my outlet for relieving stress has turned to travel and I will still keep to that until I am no longer able to do that at all. With this story, the main character Beatrice combined the two. She goes to Ibiza to attend rave parties. She's a lawyer yet her guilty pleasure or vice is partying with the additional enjoyment of a euphoria inducing drug. 

This story is education in itself. I never thought that MDMA or E is not addictive like any other prohibited or controlled drugs in the market. According to Alexander Shulgin, the Russian-American scientist who invented E, and Beatrice shares the same thought, that the drug gives you a feeling of total peace. It would feel like you have lived all your life to get there and you feel that you have completely come home and you are complete. It was like if you have ever never experienced pure ecstasy that it's so intense and special that you will feel that you can't possible do it all the time because it would tend to lose its meaning or significance or tend to lose its value when done often. It may seem like this book is promoting E or that Beatrice is championing the use and distribution of the drug but at the end of the story, she also found that there are some consequences. Though, no one overdose of ever using the drug in the story but there are sad incidents that had somehow tainted her profound and blissful experience in Ibiza. 

In my opinion, taking in Beatrice's qualifications as a barrister and a really good one at that, I was in a way convinced that E maybe okay as a recreational drug to be used only if you want to experience euphoria and you understand what euphoria is. For Beatrice and her friends who have been through the experience a few times, they value it as a way to commune with others and to embrace being just alive. If you look at it that way, it doesn't sound so bad at all. With all the problems and chaos in the world, who would not give a few hours to escape the burdens and maybe reminded of how joy and bliss feels even if after that you will be reminded again of the sorrows that are in your life. It's not really escapism but it's in a way akin to travel. It's a temporary respite from all the tension and stress but it gives you a little dose of strength to get back to real life. And just like Beatrice says, the experience is so unearthly that you will feel that doing it more often would not guarantee the same intense enjoyment and that's why she claims she is not going to be addicted. There is a part in the story wherein Beatrice reflects on actually bringing the real facts about MDMA to the drug controlling authorities and let them see E for what it really is. The purpose for what it was made in the first place. Beatrice thought of writing and bringing awareness of the truth about the drug which is not what everyone thought it is.

If the author is hiding in the persona of Beatrice and she wants these facts about E known to the world, then she has succeeded. I, for one was ignorant of all this until this book. And I feel educated and now aware. I am not going to start using E but like Beatrice, that maybe if some people could actually use the relief that E brings then let them have it. If cancer patients can at least find happiness again and comfort and relief even temporarily, then by all means let them. I think that is what Beatrice is trying to fight for here. Not for some people to get rich dealing it or for whatever other purpose but for those that really need it. And I would sign on my name on her signature campaign to help her make that happen.

But like a cautionary tale, this story does not end in euphoria and pure joy. It's sad and the consequences of trying to break the law is always dire, even if your purpose and intentions are not really bad. And Beatrice too discovered the dangers of her secret lifestyle which would have ended up everything for her if she was found to have been involved in the use of the drug or associated with anyone who is dealing them. 

I give the book 4/5 round pills. As I have said, this is very educating. I am glad I get to read this so I would know that there are actually even more dangerous, addicting and life-threatening drugs out there than what everyone thinks of E. I think having this knowledge has empowered me but it has in no way encouraged me to actually try it for myself. I am not even curious because this kind of lifestyle is not for me. I travel to learn about culture, people and myself. Going to bars or parties is not in anyway or any more part of any of my itinerary. I would rather commune with nature and be astounded by God's creations. That is my kind of drug and the kind of high I want to experience. But when it comes to Beatrice and her friends' wish to let the world know of the truths about E, I am in. I don't think the world will get even worse if people know the real thing about it. And if this drug will help people with cancer, then so be it. Give it to them. I will rally along with Beatrice and her friends for that.



It takes away the cancers of the world for a few hours.
- Francesca Fielding. Confessions of a Secret Raver - 



Thank you, Library Thing, PublishNation UK and Francesca Fielding for the copy.