Better Living through Crime Fiction: “Novel” Alternatives to Popular Drugs
By Greg LevinDecember 15, 2021
Mind-altering substances needn’t always come in the form of a pill, plant, capsule, tab, or tincture. Sometimes they come in the form of a crime novel.
We’ve all read great mysteries, thrillers, and noir that created a prodigious shift in our perspective, mindset, or mood—even if only temporarily. Getting high on crime fiction is not only more natural and organic than getting high on drugs, it doesn’t require you to deal with any shady or dangerous dealers to get your fix—unless you buy directly from the author.
The next time you feel the urge to pop an upper or a downer, or to trip or roll, consider reading some crime fiction instead. Below is a list of some of the most popular types of drugs and medications—each followed by three crime novels that will help you experience the same or similar effect offered by the substance in question.
Intended effect: To help you feel that life isn’t as cold and hopeless and alienating and dangerous as it seems. Or to at least make you laugh at the fact that it is that cold and hopeless and alienating and dangerous.
Intended effect: To relax and chill—before the inevitable onset of crippling paranoia.
Drug: Amphetamines (and cocaine)
Intended effect: To make you feel exhilarated and almost invincible—right up until you crash into a mountainside or God.
Intended effect: To create a feeling of euphoric numbness and detachment to help distract from the fact that everything is broken AF.
Intended effect: To make your mind laugh in your face and remove all the blinders installed by your mother and the government.
Intended effect: To cause you to lose your sh*t.
I realize this isn’t even close to an exhaustive list. Surely there are some other books you’d like to add to one or more of the categories mentioned above. Or some other categories you’d like to add—along with some books you feel would fit well within them. Share in the “Comments” section below.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go catch a nice cri-fi high.