An Artificial Life is the heartfelt account of a boy’s struggle to become a man. It begins in post-war, small town America—a near perfect place to grow up—and quickly spirals into drug abuse, violence, and a fight for physical, emotional, and spiritual survival.
This is more than a grinding tale of addiction, this is a story about mustering the courage to drop the armor of denial and expose the throat. It shows that love is not just a feeling that can be extinguished, it is a countermeasure that, when nurtured and cultivated through patience and forgiveness, emerges as the only viable cure for self-hatred. Ultimately transcending its own drama, An Artificial Life is about the evolution of love.
An Artificial Life, Kirkus Reviews writes:
In novelist MacArthur’s first-person chronicle of drug dependence, he calls his addiction “Creep” and describes it as a “loping simian” that “lives in a cave at the back of my skull”. MacArthur’s narrative tone is earnest and urgent, rushing past years and events at a steady clip, encompassing both joy and grief. The author’s journey, expressed year by year, is long and grim, but it eventually makes room for the possibility of sunnier skies ahead. Despite its frenetic, unorthodox format, MacArthur’s memoir will appeal, especially to readers who’ve fought addiction themselves. The author’s dialogues with Creep are chilling.