Personal journeys are hard to write about. So often it can be felt that there’s a frustration behind each word. A pulling at the thread of their own tangible experience, unable to weave the tapestry of their own meaning.
In “Sex, Drugs and Techno” Paul Eldridge tells the story of his experiences with a variety of drugs, his life as dictated by them and his emergence into a drug free existence. The writing overall is strong, especially the recounting of his early years as a DJ. Anyone with an understanding and experience of any clubbing scene will see familiar patterns here. In his story Paul guides you through the smoke ridden, sweat stained crowds and invites you to see the part of you that he himself is all too familiar with. In any case, drugs or not, this is a story of the self.
The questions that arise from Eldridge’s hedonistic, self destructive lifestyle are questions I often ask myself. Who am I? Why do I do that? What is the point? Why do I keep doing this to myself? Ultimately the question is always “why?” We search for meaning everywhere. We define ourselves to ourselves as soon as we wake. We all seek the eternal truth. Eldridge’s descriptions of the clubbing scene fizz by and use a host of cleverly used metaphors. The surroundings transforming from a joyful, collective union into a macabre, horror filled nightmare is painfully and clearly written. At this breaking point Eldridge is brought to his physical and psychological knees. It is here we see him then begin to transform as he unfolds the story of his path to healing.
The story of the Balinese folklore is an intriguing one. The experiences Eldridge recounts in Bali of his convalescence are far more inspiring and powerful than his earlier drug fueled life. It is here that the writing becomes clarified and condensed to a point. Eldridge has experienced much in his life and the unmasking of his own ego is a highlight of the story.
There are times when the author’s passion for his new path are over embellished. There are instances of repetition but these can be excused. To share a first hand experience is a challenging task. No words can quite describe the inner journey when felt so personally. Eldridge has managed to distill a lifetimes worth of inner turmoil and self transformation into a furious, beauty filled novel. The passion for his journey is evident as much as his desire to share his experiences with those who choose to listen.
“Sex, Drugs and Techno” is published by Soul Rocks books.