GET OFF: The Sordid Youth and Unlikely Survival of a Queer Junkie Wonder Boy by Scott Alderman – Book Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

Get Off is written as though it is a conversation between the author and the reader. I felt like I was sitting down with Scott Alderman while he told me his story, and it was wonderful.

How I Felt:

I really enjoy reading memoirs because I find that they are packed with emotion. The author is telling their personal story, sharing secrets with the reader, and that experience is impactful for me, as the reader. Reading Scott Alderman’s book Get Off gave just the kind of experience I love.

The main person in Get Off is Scott Alderman. His ability to find trouble seems to be never-ending in this book. He tells his story with vivid details and humorous touches that make him likable and relatable.

The people in this story are obviously real, as it is a memoir. Scott’s words, though, brought them to life on the pages. His descriptions of the people he meets along the way are amazing. There is a scene with some carnival workers and I felt like I was sitting there with them while they shared memories.

The story that Scott Alderman tells is about his secret sexuality and his addiction to drugs and alcohol. It was insightful, inspiring, and emotional. I found myself laughing at times and deeply moved at others. Scott’s writing gave the story a great flow that was fast-paced, and yet gave me time to reflect on what he had written.

Overall, this book is a very well-written memoir that draws the reader in from the beginning. I enjoyed reading about Scott’s hardships and his ability to overcome and I highly recommend this story!

To Read or Not To Read: I would recommend Get Off for readers that enjoy memoirs about addiction or personal struggles.

Where to Find This Book:

GET OFF by Scott Alderman is available at these sites.

Amazon Kindle | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads | Kobo | IndieBound

Set against a backdrop of New York City in the grungy, glittering 1980s, GET OFF is a memoir about desperate living, hidden promise, double lives, and the danger of getting too much too soon.

This eloquent, entertaining, sometimes absurdly hilarious book is a rollicking tale of how an anxious theater nerd from Long Island created and ultimately emerged from a hell of his own making.

Tossed out of two colleges his freshman year, Scott Alderman was a drug-addled coke dealer with no future and no aspirations, until he found a mentor and discovered untapped talents. A swift rise in the music business seemed as exhilarating, frightening, and out of control as the secret life he led trawling gay bathhouses and Times Square pick-up spots for sex and drugs. And just as his career took off, he started using heroin, kicking off an odyssey of rehabs, mental hospitals, busts, and disastrous jazz tours.

A caustic gay drug counselor and a critical edition of On the Road finally broke through, and showed him a path to living honestly and without fear. Written as a testament for his young son, Scott Alderman’s account of his wasted youth and hard-earned manhood will resonate with and inspire anyone who has been lost and struggled to find their way back.

  • GET OFF by Scott Alderman
  • Subtitle: The Sordid Youth and Unlikely Survival of a Queer Junkie Wonder Boy
  • Genre: Memoir
  • Publisher: Independently Published
  • Page Count: 156 pages
  • Pub Date:  February 8, 2020

Scott Alderman began working in the live music business in 1979, first as a roadie and stage manager in rock & roll, and then as road manager and agent for touring jazz artists. In the eighties, he owned and booked Fat Tuesday’s, a NYC Jazz club.

After getting clean in 1987, he worked in human services as a counselor at Bailey House, a residence for homeless people with AIDS, and at psychiatric hospitals and methadone clinics in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco.

In the nineties, his career included stints in management and operations, first at Lehman Brothers and then at Morgan Stanley. In 1998, he was on the management team that took a consolidation of national messenger and courier companies public.

​The turn of the millennium saw Scott return to the music business to launch the Tattoo the Earth festivals, which included an eighteen-city US tour. In 2001, after the law banning tattooing in Massachusetts was overturned, he produced the first tattoo festivals in the state.

​In the teens, he was the administrative director for the Program in Narrative Medicine at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and he is a founding director of the Center for Narrative Practice.

​Scott has a BA in literature and writing from Columbia University. He was born in New York City, and lives in Massachusetts with his wife and kid.


I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.

All Amazon links are affiliate links.

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