Can’t Find My Way Home: America In the Great Stoned Age, 1945-2000 (Simon & Schuster, 2004)
After working steadily for seven years in the film and television end of the music industry, Torgoff longed to undertake a serious large-scale work of non-fiction. He was clean and sober for a year and struggling to put the past his own drug use into context when he got the idea for Can’t Find My Way Home. The book that he envisioned would not only take his own generation’s experience with illicit drugs into account, but also show how they shaped the whole landscape of American popular culture during the post-war era. It was the beginning of a twelve-year odyssey during which the book became his life and his life became the book (at one point the manuscript was 1,300 pages long, and the author was only a third of the way through the story). The book entailed hundreds of interviews, combining autobiography, journalism, oral history, and cultural history to create a narrative that begins with the arrival of heroin to the streets of Harlem and the lives of seminal be bop jazz musicians in 1946-47, and goes all the way to Ecstasy and the rave culture of the 1990s.
Martin reads from Can't Find My Way Home at Barnes & Noble, New York City.