Original Sins: An extraordinary memoir of faith, family, shame and addiction (Hardback)
  • Original Sins: An extraordinary memoir of faith, family, shame and addiction (Hardback)
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Original Sins: An extraordinary memoir of faith, family, shame and addiction (Hardback)

(author)
£16.99
Hardback 320 Pages
Published: 07/07/2022
  • 10+ in stock

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Waterstones Says

From a blood-and-thunder childhood in an evangelical Christian household to a decade lost to alcohol and drug addiction, Hill's brutally honest and darkly funny memoir is a searing meditation on how and where we seek answers to life's biggest questions.

Longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction 2022

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.

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9781784743826
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 427 g
Dimensions: 223 x 145 x 30 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Electric...artfully structured...with novelistic verve... Hill is a blazing talent - Anthony Cummins, Observer

His remarkable, funny, arrestingly well-written memoir brings to mind Edward St Aubyn's Patrick Melrose novels, but is also entirely, exhilaratingly its own thing - The Times

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

This book is brilliant. The writing shimmers off the page - Kathryn Hughes, Guardian

[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

Ignore, for a moment, the unignorable facts of Matt Rowland Hill's life. Ultimately it's the novelistic virtues of vivid scene-making, fully realised characterisation and psychological subtlety that make Original Sins such an extraordinary book - Geoff Dyer

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

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

a tremendous book - Laura Cumming

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

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

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

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

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

A tour de force - Scotland on Sunday

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

Original Sins is a wonderful, shimmering book; a tonal triumph that shifts nimbly between funny, poignant, sly and direct. More than that, within its propulsive, psychologically honest pages, is a genuine wisdom - Rebecca Watson, author of Little Scratch

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

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“Very engaging, moving and also amusing.”

Given the subject matter, this book was remarkably easy to read. The prose is fluid, engaging and candid. I liked the brutal honesty, the humour and the questioning nature of the book. Do not skip reading the... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 15

“Poignant debut”

BOOK REVIEW OF ORIGINAL SINS- A MEMOIR BY MATT ROWLAND HILL


“Is there anything more lovely than the sight of clean works, fresh from the pharmacy in the morning?”
This first sentence of Matt Rowland Hill’s debut... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 13

“There is simply no memoir quite like it.”

Original Sins is by far the best book I’ve read this year and probably the best memoir ever written. In a sea of memoirs that end up preaching to the reader how to live, Matt Rowland Hill opens a space for a truly... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 13

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