Gregory Simpson is thirty and trying to quit, keeping ten fingers glued to a keyboard in order to fight their incessant ache to hold a burning paper tube filled with dead leaves. In twenty entries in twenty days for twenty to a pack -- one word for ...
each cigarette inhaled over the course of ten smoke-filled years -- he examines his life in tense, withdrawal-induced fits and starts: the friendships cemented and defined by nicotine; the intimate relationships crushed or stifled; the acrid, immoral and rebellious satisfactions. But with strength of purpose and improved concentration comes the sobering revelation that his habit is more political than personal. Even if he kicks, Gregory realizes, he's still living in a tobacco world.