Booze, drugs, and cheese

Drug addict and alcoholic turns his life story into a real story


Photo by Tina Todaro

Photo by Tina Todaro


“I don’t want to write a page turner – a book the reader can’t put down. I want them to put it down after every page and tremble, pace the room,” wrote Shoshaku Jushaku in The Cheese Stealer’s Handbook.

A drug addict and alcoholic, Shoshaku Joshaku descriptively writes a recollection of his memories on personal realization. Unable to not give up, he travels across Canada, city-to-city without a goal in mind—following an agreement he made with his ex-girlfriend to write a book.

Even his pen name Shoshaku Joshaku, a buddhist term for “one continuous mistake,” is an accurate description of the events in The Cheese Stealer’s Handbook and of the author himself.

“I can’t write. I shouldn’t have agreed to this bullshit. I don’t know anything about literature. A bunch of great writers were raging alcoholics,” writes Jushaku. Constant doubts are his inner demons, as he repeatedly takes the easy way out of situations.

Without any writing knowledge, the book is a collection of unfiltered rambles, thoughts and actions, depicting honesty and what is real in his life. He writes a relatable book in a twisted, yet eloquent way.

This book makes it clear that Joshaku is having difficulty writing, while capturing the essence of a person’s reality through complete non-sober happiness. For someone who doesn’t enjoy writing, as he mentioned in a previous interview, he rambles with a drunken-grace.

“Do you ever get tired of being a drunken, drugged out fuck up?” his girlfriend Miranda asked him, and while he doesn’t respond immediately, readers can count on a witty and realistic response that will keep you reading.

The book is a constant realization for Joshaku, but also a vicious circle of mistakes he simultaneously acknowledges and ignores.

“I’ll never write something worth reading much less worth re-reading. Idle daydreams of eventually being vindicated. Pipe dreams,” Joshaku writes.


Booze, drugs, and cheese