A memoir titled "Caught in a Web" is a delineation of the horrors of addiction that entraps scores of people.
In his essential conclusions, author A. L. Shaw writes about a deteriorating family, about the often punishing demands of religion and faith and how human weakness or what is often perceived as weakness, can often shape or warp one’s life.
He writes that addiction is not only a killer of souls, but also a killer of family and friends, being one of the greatest threats to the world today.
The book is bereft of the conventional happy endings. Yet it has a touch of redemption. It might be said that the book is well crafted in that Shaw’s accounts of his life and revelations of his many addictions are telling and emotional.
"Caught in a Web" is sometimes ominously dark. But it is well conceived and puts the reader inside the scenes that create unbelievable sequences — the good and the evil and the irreparable consequences of choice.
According to the book’s preface that does a good job of setting tone, it was the 70s and 80s when Americans had life so good — "when kids were free to rip and run about without fears." And all these influences, Shaw writes, came together to create a perfect storm - addiction.
In his revealing passages, Shaw holds nothing back — the influences of his life, deception, death, despair and drugs — which led to his addictions, "the killer of souls and family."
These are the factors that led to his own addictions.
Addiction, in its purest meaning is the condition of being addicted to a habit or of being "caught up in a web."
The habitual use of a narcotic drug is an addiction. The author maintains that any profound habit is an addiction, not drugs or alcohol or the like.
"I had a lot of everything that led to addiction," he writes. "I had a lot of help. I had an addiction to virtually everything."
He says he wrote the book to explain his personal experience and the depth to which he found himself and how he came out of it, using the standards of Narcotics Anonymous.
Shaw writes that "Without the NA steps, the God of my understanding and all the people in my life I would not be alive to tell this story. I live with gratitude and hope because of the promise of freedom from my addiction that was freely given to me. My higher power looks after me and I still pray everyday."
The book may be obtained at Amazon.com.