Justin David’s The Pharmacist takes us on a journey through the highs and lows of London’s underground party scene, a place fuelled by drugs and a longing for love.
The Pharmacist, David’s debut novella, follows young artist Billy who meets Albert, an enticing, older gentleman with hidden treasures and an inner darkness. Soon a series of unforeseen events interlaced with a touch of fate lead to a trip of a lifetime, from the high heavens of ecstasy to the darkest rooms of London.
Life is turned upside down as the artist is drawn into a whirlwind of sex, drugs and decadence and the reader is torn between feelings of affection and disgust in this page-turner of a tale.
David pushes the boundaries of romance and the graphic details make for a sometimes uncomfortable read, however this is brave writing executed with style and finesse and we need more of it.
The Pharmacist is terrific in its tragedy and much like Albert’s supplies leave Billy begging for more, the story draws me in and keeps me hooked until the bitter end.
Commenting on the book, David says:
‘I felt compelled to write The Pharmacist after seeing people close to me fall foul of addiction and a chemical fuelled party scene. The book is part cautionary tale and part nostalgic romance for an East London lost to the process of gentrification.’
THE PHARMACIST, released by SALT Publishing as one of the first acquisitions in their Modern Dreams series.
The e-book is available here at £1.99:
Review by Bella Qvist