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  • Published: 7 July 2022
  • ISBN: 9781473579316
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 320
Categories:

Original Sins

An extraordinary memoir of faith, family, shame and addiction




An extraordinarily brave memoir about faith, loss and addiction

'A stunningly well-written, funny, heartrending and utterly gripping memoir about learning how to live with who we are. Read it. Read it now' Nathan Filer

Matt Rowland Hill grew up the son of a minister in an evangelical Christian church in south Wales and then south-east England. It was a childhood fraught with bitter family conflict and the fear of damnation.

After a devastating loss of faith in his late teens, Matt began his search for salvation elsewhere, turning to books before developing a growing relationship with alcohol and drugs. He became addicted to crack and heroin in his early twenties, an ordeal that stretched over a decade and culminated in a period of hopeless darkness.

Recklessly honest, and as funny as it is grave, Original Sins is an extraordinary memoir of faith, family, shame and addiction. But ultimately it is about looking for answers to life's big questions in all the wrong places, how hope can arrive in the most unexpected forms, and how the stories we tell might help us survive.

'I tore through this brilliant, fearless book. From the first page to the last, it's funny, insightful and beautifully written' Joe Dunthorne

  • Published: 7 July 2022
  • ISBN: 9781473579316
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 320
Categories:

Praise for Original Sins

A stunningly well-written, funny, heartrending and utterly gripping memoir about learning how to live with who we are. Read it. Read it now

Nathan Filer, author of The Shock of the Fall

A wildly original and gripping debut, told with humour and compassion, about what it means to survive

Christie Watson, author of The Language of Kindness

What a frightening and funny book, full of shocking, memorable scenes. I'm glad Matt Rowland Hill lived to tell the tale.

Adam Foulds, author of Dream Sequence

Original Sins is a shattering portrait of addiction -- it's generously open, desperately honest and confronting. While it is heartbreaking, there is humour and compassion. It's a journey through darkness, against fear, to finding the light in oneself

Catherine Cho, author of INFERNO

Matt Rowland Hill guides us to the edge of devastation, and doesn't flinch from the ache of addiction, family anguish and inward despair. But this is a book that's optimistic to the core, as honest about grief as it is about joy. I won't forget it

Jessica J. Lee, author of Two Trees Make a Forest

Matt Rowland Hill has gone to the depths of himself and emerged with something unique, graceful, piercingly smart, and devilishly funny. Many books have been written about addiction. Original Sins is unlike all of them, and stands among the very best

Rob Doyle, author of Here Are the Young Men

I tore through this brilliant, fearless book. From the first page to the last, it's funny, insightful and beautifully written

Joe Dunthorne, author of Submarine

A scorching, relentless, absolutely essential read about the roots of addiction and what it takes to save yourself. Hill writes like he has nothing to lose, and like he was born to create this harrowing, utterly transfixing, beautifully wrought portrait of a young man tortured by the twin horrors of family and religion... To take that darkness and make a brilliant, forceful work of literature from it is the holiest alchemy

Merritt Tierce, author of Love Me Back

A courageous and often shocking book about the plague of addiction. Yet Original Sins is written with a wild, brilliant humour that offsets the horror. Gripping, hilarious and unforgettable, this is an inspirational survivor's story

Gabriel Byrne

Hill's surviving his journey through religious fundamentalism into hardcore drug addiction is an accomplishment. His writing this memoir--unflinching, heart-rending, funny, insightful as hell--is a triumph. This is a phenomenal book.

Antoine Wilson, author of The Interloper

Stunning... What most impressed me about this addiction memoir was its staunch refusal to become an addiction memoir, with the pat journey-into-the-abyss-and-out-again trajectory. Instead, Hill allows his story to be precisely what all of our stories are: a series of days, and hours, and moments in which we are given, over and over, the profound responsibility to choose life over death.

Jamie Quatro, author of I Want To Show You More

Matt Rowland Hill's marvellous debut, by turns excruciatingly anguished and elatingly funny but always engrossing, is an essential experience for anyone interested in family dynamics, adolescence, class, psychology, theology, or English prose

Leo Robson

[An] exquisite and unflinching debut... Combined with his stunning prose, his clever use of biblical metaphors... makes his story of salvation all the more affecting. In a sea of addiction memoirs, this stands out.

Publishers Weekly

[ORIGINAL SINS is] remarkable-beautifully written and wonderfully insightful. Doubt and faith are twin themes that inform the captivating story and, without doubt, will also captivate readers of this extraordinary memoir.

Booklist

Electric...artfully structured...with novelistic verve... Hill is a blazing talent

Anthony Cummins, Observer

A brutally honest reflection on family faith and addition

i

really very good...Hill has a light descriptive touch, but when he aims at poetry, he hits it... Hill's command of tone - his ability to glide beautifully between comedy and horror - has made us trust him happily.

Kevin Power, Literary Review

'This book is brilliant. The writing shimmers off the page'

Kathryn Hughes, Guardian

a tremendous book

Laura Cumming

A beautifully controlled tale of a life spiralling out of control...Original Sins is one of the best books I've read this year, full of vivacity and honesty...To carve such an entertaining and beautifully paced story from such depths of misery suggests a writer of immense gifts.

Johanna Thomas-Corr, Sunday Times

[Hill] deploys dark wit and needle-sharp insight to describe how he swapped a love of Jesus for a love of class-A drugs... devastatingly good... I was blown away

Daily Telegraph

Hill presents the glaring complexity of addiction combined with the effects of a religious childhood, painting a picture of a deeply human narrator - a strength that continues throughout the book.

Caught by the River

A tour de force

Scotland on Sunday

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