From the dawn of civilisation there has always been a fine line between creativity and self-destruction. An inherent compulsiveness is often required in art to master a level of original thought and superlative skill. It requires everything, some believe, even one's life. "Genius and Heroin" chronicles the lives of the famously talented in all fields who all entwined their genius with one of the many paths toward self-ruin. Whether their downfalls were from opiates, alcohol, pills, absinthe, or the slow-motion suicide of obsession, the indispensable reference to the untidy and self-destructive lives of our greatest artists and thinkers.In this one-of-a-kind reference work, the age-old question - did genius create their own torment, or was it their torment that created their genius - is finally answered. Through luridly compelling portraits, the rise and fall of those who made a mark on history and culture are revealed, for as Samuel Johnson said, "A man of genius has been seldom ruined but by himself."