(THE CENTRAL INN) (Published in Norwegian, 2001)
With this book, Arne Hart punctures the abscess called the health care and social services system.
(PSYCHIATRIST AND FIELDWORKER, FORMER CHAIRMAN OF THE GOVERNMENTŐS COUNCIL OF NARCOTICS IN DENMARK)
It is an exceptionally good book, both from the point of view of the drug addict and as seen by the man in the street.
(1928-2015, PROFESSOR OF CRIMINOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF OSLO)
FROM THE PREFACE:
This is a book about people who endure anything. Almost anythingÉ
A gallery of fates. Despair, destitution, pride and dignity. Quotes carved in stone... It has become a beautiful book about beautiful people.
(JURIST, FORMER OMBUDSPERSON FOR HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES)
FROM THE EPILOGUE:
ÉThis book tells of lives so far removed from the reality we believed our welfare state to have established for societyŐs outcasts that it is a disquieting read. It is therefore highly recommended.
TIDSSKRIFT FOR DEN NORSKE LEGEFORENING – SONJA FOSSUM
(JOURNAL OF THE NORWEGIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION)
This book is different as it is authored by an outsider, one who does not initially belong to the social therapeutic establishment.É With engagement, he describes a cast of characters where the common denominator is addiction to alcohol or drugs. He follows them in intoxication, and in abstinence, in the fear of abstinence and in rejection by the health and social services. In dialogue form, he describes the people behind the intoxication, the rare, happy moments with humor, warmth and empathy, but first and foremost the struggle to survive, exasperation with the difficult life and what is felt as coercion and betrayal by authoritiesÉ
(CULTURAL WEEKLY NEWSPAPER)
This book is easy to read, largely kept in the form of dialogue between the many colorful characters we meet. This is about life in OsloŐs inns seen through one of them called Hospits Central...The book is marked by a mixture of genres, which functions remarkably well. The many short stories making up the book no doubt have a political impact: There is a struggle going on in how to describe our society: What does Norway look like? How do Norwegians live? Are we the richest country in the world, and, if so, what does that entail?
There is a lot to learn from Hospits Central, both for those who imagine that everything is well in the Norwegian welfare state and for those who simply wish to know about the real life at an inn.
If Arne HartŐs book does not provoke anger against the health authorities, if it is not an eye opener for politicians, if it does not create an understanding of the outcast and if it does not give us faith in the goodness of people, then we certainly have not read this book with our hearts.
ÔSNN ER LIVETŐ
(P2 CULTURAL RADIO)
It is easy to become fond of many of the characters Hart describes, even though he does not romanticize them. The book presents a substantial critique of NorwayŐs drug policies, which, according to Hart, involve too much bureaucracy in their methadone project. And there is no denying that, after having read this book, it is easy to agree with him.
RUS OG AVHENGIGHET
(NORWEGIAN MAGAZINE ON DRUGS AND ADDICTION)
The author takes us beyond drug addiction into a dialogue with people who, despite everything, manage to utilize their strengths to survive addiction from day to dayÉ Certain prominent researchers within drug-assisted rehabilitation are described in a rather unflattering manner, and then in the voice of the author. And this is clearly the negative side of the book.