Beautiful boy” by David Sheff


1. Discuss your honest, gut-level reactions to the book. There is no right or wrong answer to this part. You will get points for discussing it.

2. What advantages and disadvantages did Nic have as a child per his father’s memoir?

3. How would you describe David Sheff’s parenting? In what ways did his personal life affect Nick?

4. How did David’s drug use affect Nic?

5. What were red flags that David saw indicating that Nic was in trouble?

6. When David Sheff realized that his son had an addiction problem, could he have reacted in a way that would have better helped Nic?

7. How did Nic’s addiction affect David’s and Karen’s marriage? How did Nic’s addiction affect his mother, step-mother, and siblings?

8. Describe the family’s enabling behaviors and how David Sheff learned not to enable. What role did Al-Anon play in his recovery from being addicted to his son’s addiction? How did the Al-Anon saying “You didn’t cause it, you can’t control it, and you can’t cure it.” apply to this family?

9. What advice did David’s support system give him?




Beautiful boy" by David Sheff