Bombardier Books

Crooked Smile: What It Took to Escape a Decade of Homelessness, Addiction, & Crime


Crooked Smile details one man’s life on Skid Row and what it took to escape a lifetime of addiction.

“Darkly humorous” is an understatement when it comes to this poignant tale of addiction, homelessness, incarceration, and eventually, redemption. Jared Klickstein, the child of two heroin addicts who eventually became addicted himself, takes readers on a raw and personal journey from his unsettling and secretive childhood in the suburbs to the slums of Skid Row. Through tales of violence, relapse, and deep inner struggle, Klickstein provides a harrowing account of his personal encounter with near-death—including what he calls dying in “slow motion.”

But this story is not just about one man’s life—it’s about the millions of homeless and drug-addicted Americans who are on the streets right now. It’s about those who need help the most, and what can be done to address the growing addiction and homelessness problems we face. In this moving memoir, Klickstein offers a fresh take and solutions to both epidemics, providing firsthand experience and insight into what policies should be put in place to mitigate the suffering. Crooked Smile recounts one man’s escape from a hellish life—and carves a valuable path for others.