Skip to content
Hardcover Blue Days, Black Nights: A Memoir Book

ISBN: 1555838898

ISBN13: 9781555838898

Blue Days, Black Nights: A Memoir

Select Format

Select Condition ThriftBooks Help Icon


Format: Hardcover

Condition: Like New

Save $18.16!
List Price $23.95

1 Available

Book Overview

Ron Nyswaner, Academy Award-nominated scriptwriter of Philadelphia, delivers a beautiful and very honest memoir on the devastating effect of passionate love. On a trip to Los Angeles, Ron meets and falls for world-weary Johann, a Latin-quoting, leather-clad hustler from Germany. In the next year, Johann will teach him many things: how to make a crack pipe out of a soda can, how to lose onself utterly in passion, how to come down from a crystal binge,...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

One man's searching and fearless moral inventory of himself

These memoirs by a talented screenwriter sometimes read like an implausible and unsellable film script. Nyswaner is so honest about his personal tragedies, disappointments, and shortcomings, it is hard to believe this self-awareness was so hard-won. He has the humble wisdom of someone who has managed to find grace in some of life's most graceless circumstances. His success as a film writer is back-story. How he as a small-town boy from a working class western Pennsylvania family achieved this success is not really explained. This is really the story of his descent into a personal hell of alcoholism, drug addiction, depression, self-loathing, and suicidal despair...and of his eventual recovery. If his recovery is not exactly phoenix-like, it will strike readers who have been through similar experiences as authentic. Nyswaner is, after all, an accomplished writer. He is no sloganeer or New Age spiritual salesman. His story ends not with blissful optimism, but on a note of cautious but grounded hope. At the heart of his life's story is his journey toward love. And key to what he learns about this powerful human experience is his relationship with a prostitute he knew as Johann. BLUE DAYS, BLACK NIGHTS begins with Nyswaner's account of Johann's funeral, so it is not "spoiling the plot" to say Johann dies tragically and prematurely and that his death is a pivotal moment in Nyswaner's journey. Nyswaner does not glamorize or vilify Johann's life as a prostitute, nor does he describe it in patronizing terms. It may be hard for some readers to believe that what Nyswaner felt for Johann could accurately be described as love. And it's clear that Nyswaner himself shares in such incredulousness. The biggest question Nyswaner seems to ask (and I believe successfully answers) is, Can love exist in relationships that are not completely honest? Nyswaner seems to be saying that imperfect love perfectly accessed opens a person's heart to deeper and more authentic levels of love. It is through facing the death and loss of Johann that Nyswaner is able to find the love he needs to care for his aging and dying parents and rebuild his damaged life. All this is to say, BLUE DAYS, BLACK NIGHTS has much to teach not just people who've been damaged by drugs and sex addiction, but also anyone who has ever failed to be completely honest with himself. It's a profoundly moving story, one I'm sure I'll read again and continue to learn from.

In "TOP 10 BOOKS OF 2004" - Frontiers Newsmagazine

Through prose tight as the zip lock on so many glassine baggies, all at once this tale of crystal meth and cash for sex turns into a love story. The search for affection, the search for connection with self--this memoir from a prominent gay Hollywood screenwriter proves that sometimes the personal life of an author is more compelling than the works of fiction he creates. Thanks to Ron Nyswaner for sharing himself with the reader(s). _Blue Days, Black Nights_ is my favorite book of the year!

A wrenching unforgettable journey of love and destruction

My hat is off to screenwriter Ron Nyswaner who makes a sterling debut as a novelist here. He has written a breakthrough book. He gives us a picture of gay life that is open and without anguish, is informative, liberating, and most importantly one not just for the gay reader. This reader, who happens to be straight and whose love life has never been a bed of roses, found this book fascinating, one not to put down once picked up. It has a universal theme, that of obsessive love, an update, complete with drugs, of Of Human Bondage by Maugham. The characters jump off the page. They are as memorable as any you'll find. The days may be blue, the nights black, but Nyswaner makes you laugh while the misery unfolds.

Honest, riveting and thought provoking memoir

In this autobiographical memoir of his "personal demons" ... primarily substance abuse and tendencies toward self-destruction largely due to a dysfunctional childhood ... screenwriter Ron Nyswaner ("Philadelphia", "Soldier's Girl" and others) concentrates on his largely one-sided relationship with Johann, a rather unique but somewhat mysterious European stud he met at a hustler's bar. Johann fulfills much more than a sexual need for Ron. The sex provides an excuse to do drugs to "get in the mood," and both fulfill Ron's emotional need to lose control and be dominated by outside forces, a throwback to his childhood. While Johann originally scoffed at Ron's drug use, he eventually was drawn into the escapist world the author wanted for both of them, with fatal results. The book deals honestly with the author's addictions and compulsions, including the best analysis of the immediate and after-effects of crystal meth I have ever seen in print. The reader can easily see that the author's behavior and mindset changes dramatically when with the hustler, even before drugs are consumed, as compared to his business trips to Los Angeles or New York City, at home at his country retreat in Woodstock NY, or on his increasingly-frequent pilgrimages back to Pennsylvania to care for his parents in their rapidly failing health. We get the sense that the author both looks forward to and dreads his drug-hazed "vacations" with Johann, and deludes himself into not really thinking about what he gets out of these encounters, whether it is the drugs, Johann's (often platonic) company, or why they both seem to be a necessity in this stage of his life. Further disappointments in his life lead to self-mutilation and a botched suicide attempt, as the book depicts how difficult a journey it was ... and continues to be while he is in recovery today.

Excellent First Person Narrative

. "Blue Days, Black Nights: A Memoir" is Ron Nyswaner first published book. And an excellent one, at that. His name may sound familiar as he is the Academy Award nominated screenwriter of the film "Philadelphia". This is not, however, a star filled, tell-all Hollywood tale. Quite to the contrary. This is a human story, told with brutal honesty. Following the critical and commercial success of "Philadelphia", Mr. Nyswaner went through a personal time of turmoil and pain. This excellent autobiography tells that story; an inner story of pain and guilt, as much as an autobiography about living in a time when not all the answers are as cut and dry as we might like. Where children become parents to their parents, where love has a price tag, where feeling good can be purchased, but being happy and content cannot. Written with clear language and daring insight, this book was a real page-turner for me. The story begins with an ending, and it's not giving away anything to say that this is a brilliant way to begin this journey with Mr. Nyswaner. And it is a journey, of the heart and soul, into addiction, of both the mind and body. The fact that Mr. Nyswaner came out on the other side of such a traumatic time in his life and has been able to write about it, speaks volumes about human spirit, about coping and loving. This autobiography covers so many topics, but does not feel preachy or forced. It is a genuine look into a world most of us will never visit. It's an excellent read, and highly recommended.
Copyright © 2022 Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell My Personal Information | Accessibility Statement
ThriftBooks® and the ThriftBooks® logo are registered trademarks of Thrift Books Global, LLC
GoDaddy Verified and Secured