Reefer Gladness: Stories, Essays & Riffs on Marijuana Review


I had the pleasure of getting an advance reading (uncorrected proof) of “Reefer Gladness,” by Michael Konik. Judging the book by it’s black and white cover and spartan artwork, I braced myself for a tedious read…….I was hooked on page 4:

“How sad, I often think, that I must die……Even if you take moments to smell the roses and look at the birds, to think and reflect, to laugh and cry, you keep hurtling toward the conclusion. There appeared to be no antidote to the awful velocity. And then I found it. Marijuana. Pot makes your quotidian cares less jagged. They don’t exactly disappear, but when you’re stoned, they don’t seem as important. For someone like me, who has a tendency to bood darkly—-about all the things that could and should be better about life and society and government and everything else that needs improving—-marijuana is a salutory gift, an herbal nepenthe that makes me forget after a little while all the things that cause me grief.
But even more important: It slows down time.”

Wow! That’s me! This guy gets it!

The book is a collection of essays, short stories and story fragments about all kinds of people from all walks of life who enjoy marijuana. One story is about a screen writer, another about a female CEO “seeking woman” on Internet dating sites. Yet another is about 2 young lovers and how they spend Friday night with weed, bikes, people watching and more weed.

Just when you get into the deep, philosophical groove about time dilation, exactly as a stoned person would, the book “forgets” what it was talking about and we’re in the lobby bar of hotel seeing things through the eyes of a working girl after an NBA game is over and the athletes and fans begin to fill the hotel.

Not only has Michael Konik managed to accurately describe the cannabis lifestyle in such a way that everyone, from first time users to all-day/night tokers can relate to, he’s also managed to write the first book that is actually stoned itself. The subject matter covered in the book jumps around, the essays may or may not be related to each other—exactly how a person’s mind works while happily under the influence of really good bud—but on each and every page the reader is captivated by marijuana and the extremely colorful and well developed characters who use it in various ways and for different reasons.

Whether you’ve smoked once or twice in college, or if you’ve smoked once or twice this morning, you’ll find you can “totally relate” to this book. This guy gets it, for sure. One page will have you recalling your first encounters with weed, women, wine…..the next page will have you laughing at and relating to stories about the munchies. There’s even a random interruption by the author where he inserts himself into the story line and says all kinds of things about being a stoned, starving writer before getting back into whatever hazy, smokey story that was being told.

This book serves as a very good ambassador Cannabis as well, as the author shows the humanity of the various characters and also compares and contrasts cannabis with alcohol and points out some of the hypocrisy that surrounds the two vices.

Do you have 5 minutes to read? Is it raining or snowing and you feel like reading all day? Do you merely want to have an interesting title on the coffee table? Reefer Gladness is all three of those and more. Even if you don’t use marijuana, you’ll enjoy reading this book.


Author: Michael Konik
Book Review by: Doc Bud – 420 Magazine Staff Writer
Publisher: Huntington Press
Purchase the Book Here: Reefer Gladness: Stories, Essays and Riffs on Marijuana