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Darkness to Light: A Memoir

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Fame. Sex. Pain. Drugs. Death. Booze. Money. Addiction. Redemption. Dizzying heights. Rock bottom depths. Desperation and elation. Sometimes in the same hour. Oh, and don’t forget power . . . and the struggle for it. There has never been an athlete quite like Lamar Odom. And there has never been a memoir quite like this. The world knows him as a two-time NBA world champi Fame. Sex. Pain. Drugs. Death. Booze. Money. Addiction. Redemption. Dizzying heights. Rock bottom depths. Desperation and elation. Sometimes in the same hour. Oh, and don’t forget power . . . and the struggle for it. There has never been an athlete quite like Lamar Odom. And there has never been a memoir quite like this. The world knows him as a two-time NBA world champion who rocketed to uncharted fame few will ever know, thanks to being a member of both the storied 17-time NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers and the ubiquitous Kardashian empire. But who is Lamar Odom, really? Fans have long praised his accessibility, vulnerability, good nature, and genuine everyman quality—he is a blinding talent who suffers everyday heartache, setback and loss. But until now, his most candid moments have remained behind closed doors . . . sometimes face-down on the floor. In his exclusive and revealing memoir Darkness to Light, Lamar gives an intimate look into his life like never before. In these pages, he recounts the highs and lows of fame and his struggle with his demons as he takes the treacherous path of self-discovery to redemption. From the pain of his unraveled marriage to Khloe Kardashian, to the harmful vices he used to cope, and a low point that made him rethink everything about his life, this is Lamar as you have never before seen him. Lamar brings basketball fans directly into the action of a game during the Lakers championship years. He shares his personal account of the lifelong passion that started as one shining light in a childhood marked by loss, which led to international fame as one of the most extraordinary athletes of all time. In this profoundly honest book, Lamar invites you to walk with him through the good times and bad, while looking ahead to a brighter future. From his near-death experience to his miraculous return, this Lamar Odom: human being. And his fascinating journey is far from over.


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Fame. Sex. Pain. Drugs. Death. Booze. Money. Addiction. Redemption. Dizzying heights. Rock bottom depths. Desperation and elation. Sometimes in the same hour. Oh, and don’t forget power . . . and the struggle for it. There has never been an athlete quite like Lamar Odom. And there has never been a memoir quite like this. The world knows him as a two-time NBA world champi Fame. Sex. Pain. Drugs. Death. Booze. Money. Addiction. Redemption. Dizzying heights. Rock bottom depths. Desperation and elation. Sometimes in the same hour. Oh, and don’t forget power . . . and the struggle for it. There has never been an athlete quite like Lamar Odom. And there has never been a memoir quite like this. The world knows him as a two-time NBA world champion who rocketed to uncharted fame few will ever know, thanks to being a member of both the storied 17-time NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers and the ubiquitous Kardashian empire. But who is Lamar Odom, really? Fans have long praised his accessibility, vulnerability, good nature, and genuine everyman quality—he is a blinding talent who suffers everyday heartache, setback and loss. But until now, his most candid moments have remained behind closed doors . . . sometimes face-down on the floor. In his exclusive and revealing memoir Darkness to Light, Lamar gives an intimate look into his life like never before. In these pages, he recounts the highs and lows of fame and his struggle with his demons as he takes the treacherous path of self-discovery to redemption. From the pain of his unraveled marriage to Khloe Kardashian, to the harmful vices he used to cope, and a low point that made him rethink everything about his life, this is Lamar as you have never before seen him. Lamar brings basketball fans directly into the action of a game during the Lakers championship years. He shares his personal account of the lifelong passion that started as one shining light in a childhood marked by loss, which led to international fame as one of the most extraordinary athletes of all time. In this profoundly honest book, Lamar invites you to walk with him through the good times and bad, while looking ahead to a brighter future. From his near-death experience to his miraculous return, this Lamar Odom: human being. And his fascinating journey is far from over.

30 review for Darkness to Light: A Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Lamar Odom shares his incredible life story in his new memoir “From Darkness to Light” (2019). To work through many of his problems and anxieties Odom turned to basketball at an early age and eventually rose to stardom as a talented multi award-winning champion athlete with the NBA. Odom's longest multi-million USD contract was with the Los Angeles Lakers (2004-2011) where he should have found unmeasurable happiness with his awards and outstanding accomplishments. Instead, he was haunted by the Lamar Odom shares his incredible life story in his new memoir “From Darkness to Light” (2019). To work through many of his problems and anxieties Odom turned to basketball at an early age and eventually rose to stardom as a talented multi award-winning champion athlete with the NBA. Odom's longest multi-million USD contract was with the Los Angeles Lakers (2004-2011) where he should have found unmeasurable happiness with his awards and outstanding accomplishments. Instead, he was haunted by the early death of his mother to cancer, and further troubled by his addicted absent father. Later, the shooting death of a cousin, and the loss of his infant son to crib death sent him to the edge of the abyss, as Odom struggled with fierce and powerful additions that nearly claimed his life. Naturally, a large portion of the book is about basketball, the NBA, games, scores, trades, and players—as well as the gigantic egos that competed for the highest multi-million (USD) contracts. For those who do not follow or have much knowledge of the sport, this can be rather interesting or not. From the beginning, Odom was always interested in partying and having a good time, especially with the ladies and groupies everywhere-- overly eager to spend any amount of time with a famous player, or with high end call-girls that catered exclusively to wealthy clientele. With this tremendous temptation, it was impossible for Odom to remain faithful in a committed relationship with the mother of his three children, or in marriage with his beautiful and equally famous wife Khloe Kardashian (m.2009-2016). Odom explained how he was able to remain in the NBA despite random and mandatory drug testing. All illicit drug use including marijuana is strictly forbidden by NBA regulations. Odom was devastated when he was traded by the Lakers, and so disrespected as a player and a man on his next team it impacted his career. By this time, his substance use had spiraled out of control, which was painfully obvious to everyone but him. Odom didn’t hesitate to discuss the incident where he lost consciousness in a brothel near Las Vegas, and was rushed to the hospital where he remained in a coma and hospitalized for an extended period of time. Understandably, this was a very low period for Odom and his family members. Odom never disclosed if he had tried therapy for his psychological problems, he may have gone to marriage counseling with Kardashian at some point. I can’t help but wonder how different Odom’s life may have been if he had maintained his wellness and sobriety. **With appreciation to the Seattle Public Library.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tan Markovic

    All reviews posted on: www.booknerdtan.wordpress.com An insightful look into Lamar Odom's life - his time on the basketball court, the relationships he created on and off of there and the struggles he has recently managed to overcome. I always liked Lamar when I watched him on KUWTK and always felt a sadness for him when i learned about his addiction. In this book you will come to see the lengths that he went to in order to hide his addiction and it is SCARY...I never even knew you could do some All reviews posted on: www.booknerdtan.wordpress.com An insightful look into Lamar Odom's life - his time on the basketball court, the relationships he created on and off of there and the struggles he has recently managed to overcome. I always liked Lamar when I watched him on KUWTK and always felt a sadness for him when i learned about his addiction. In this book you will come to see the lengths that he went to in order to hide his addiction and it is SCARY...I never even knew you could do some of the things he did.It was nice to read about those that were there with him in his worst times and had an abundance of compassion. I think my main gripe with this book was that it needed to be longer, I feel there was so much more that could've been said and things felt kind of glossed over when it came to him and Khloe (can't help but wonder whether that was because he wasn't allowed to say too much). Also, wish he would've narrated it himself!

  3. 5 out of 5

    *TUDOR^QUEEN* (on hiatus)

    Five stars The reason I chose this book is because for a brief stint years ago I watched "Keeping up with the Kardashians". It was at the specific time that NBA basketball star Lamar Odom had a whirlwind romance with Khloe Kardashian, culminating in their star-studded wedding within a month of knowing each other. I was cheering them on that marriage would work for them. I even watched the spin-off show focusing on these newlyweds. It seemed like they had it all....gobs of money, a mansion in Cali Five stars The reason I chose this book is because for a brief stint years ago I watched "Keeping up with the Kardashians". It was at the specific time that NBA basketball star Lamar Odom had a whirlwind romance with Khloe Kardashian, culminating in their star-studded wedding within a month of knowing each other. I was cheering them on that marriage would work for them. I even watched the spin-off show focusing on these newlyweds. It seemed like they had it all....gobs of money, a mansion in California, Lamar playing for the Lakers, etc. But years later they were going through divorce and Lamar nearly died. He found himself at a sleazy porn ranch in the desert where he OD'd. Famously, Khloe and the Kardashians bolted to his side holding court at the hospital where his life precariously hung in the balance. Khloe halted the divorce proceedings while things played out, so that she could make all decisions regarding his care. At one point it was almost certain Lamar would die, when he miraculously awoke from the coma. It was said Lamar would have to learn how to do things again like brush his teeth, but he defied all odds and made almost a 100% recovery. However, Lamar suffered several seizures and strokes while in a coma, so when he tried playing professional basketball again, things didn't work out. I don't know a thing about basketball and actually hate watching or learning about sports- period. Even so, this heartfelt memoir held my interest, and I finished it quickly. It usually takes me about a week to finish a book, but this was a page-turner. The writing style was intimate and free-flowing, as if Lamar was just talking to you. The core of his story was growing up in Queens, New York, and the impact his family life had on him. His parents were married only for a short time and Lamar wound up being raised in his grandmother's house where his mother Cathy shared her old childhood room with him. Then his mother got a job in a prison. She died young from cancer, and Lamar never got over it. His father Joseph was a Vietnam veteran who got addicted to hard drugs during the war. He was mostly absent from his life. Lamar's salvation (and sometimes curse) was his height and basketball talent. Even though I am sports illiterate, the trajectory of his career was easily digestible and interesting to read about. Lamar rose in the ranks at the same time as other famous basketball players such as Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Ron Artest and others. Kobe Bryant was such a great influence and friend that he considered him a brother. Reading this book, I couldn't help but like Lamar and sympathize with his struggles, while at the same time fretting about his lifestyle. He regularly used weed, and eventually dabbled in ecstasy and worst of all- cocaine. The millions he earned as an NBA player fueled his addictions. He regularly enjoyed parties where drugs and hookers led to orgies lasting into the wee hours. This destructive behavior was very disheartening to read about. There were surprise drug tests during his career which he sometimes falsified. Other times, he was caught and his employer, team and friends were very disappointed in him. The day after the biggest victory of his career he very nearly missed the parade after hard partying all night. He ruined every romantic relationship due to his rampant sex addiction. The book was originally released in 2019 but was recently updated. Perhaps he is capitalizing on his current participation in the cast of "Big Brother: Celebrity Edition". Lamar expands upon his grief over the death of Kobe Bryant and attendance at the funeral, giving speeches around the country following rehab and becoming closer to God (assisted by his adult son and daughter), and is very honest about his faults and trying to take life one day at a time. This was quite an interesting and enjoyable book written by an imperfect man with a genuine delivery. Thank you to the publisher BenBella Books for providing an advance reader copy via NetGalley.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Zupanc

    Trashy book The book has no content whatsoever. It is a story of what happens when an uneducated person gets a lot of money, doesn't know what to do with the money, just squanders it on superficial materialistic possessions. No depth about any of the relationships Lamar claims have been super important to him. Boring book. Waste of time reading it. One of the worst memiors ever. Trashy book The book has no content whatsoever. It is a story of what happens when an uneducated person gets a lot of money, doesn't know what to do with the money, just squanders it on superficial materialistic possessions. No depth about any of the relationships Lamar claims have been super important to him. Boring book. Waste of time reading it. One of the worst memiors ever.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Antonella

    Whether you know of him from sport or pop culture you definitely heard of him. And all the trouble he was in. So it is only natural that he writes a biography as celebrities usually do. There is no shortage of heartache and issues in his life and there is nothing that the audience loves more than a redemption story. For all of those reasons and purposes, this should be more of a story. I guess I expected more depth and emotion but that was the writing style. He could get into it more but then ag Whether you know of him from sport or pop culture you definitely heard of him. And all the trouble he was in. So it is only natural that he writes a biography as celebrities usually do. There is no shortage of heartache and issues in his life and there is nothing that the audience loves more than a redemption story. For all of those reasons and purposes, this should be more of a story. I guess I expected more depth and emotion but that was the writing style. He could get into it more but then again people who search for fast trill while reading about downfall and Hollywood lifestyle will appreciate the fast read and some really "juicy" parts. Chapters were short and to the point. Overall, I wish that darkness is behind him and light is ahead. 3,5 stars

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cam

    I really enjoyed this memoir!!!! I’m don’t follow basketball so I wasn’t really familiar with him before reading this book. But it’s a very interesting read. He writes about his life growing up in New York. At a young age his father exits his life due to a drug habit and his mother died from cancer. He turns to basketball which changes his life forever. This a no hold barred book about his life in the NBA, personal life with his high school sweetheart and Khloe K, and his addiction to sex and dr I really enjoyed this memoir!!!! I’m don’t follow basketball so I wasn’t really familiar with him before reading this book. But it’s a very interesting read. He writes about his life growing up in New York. At a young age his father exits his life due to a drug habit and his mother died from cancer. He turns to basketball which changes his life forever. This a no hold barred book about his life in the NBA, personal life with his high school sweetheart and Khloe K, and his addiction to sex and drugs.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    Whoa! Just freaking whoa!! I learned so much about Lamar Odom. I love his positive outlook even after the negative.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    I only read this book cuz one of my coleague basically forced it on me and im polite so this aint my cup of tea firstoff This dude had a hard fucking life especially early. this does explain his mental state and drug use but doesnt excuse it. man ur 39 you gotta accept some culpability. yeah ur depressed and grieving and anxious but that doesnt mean you can just get away with anyting and cry at god. also this book had so many fucking name drop, oh yeah mike tyson was there.....like ok. but whatever

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Lobuono

    Not worth the paper it was written on! If you want to hear Lamar talk about his few accomplishments then buy this book. It’s chapter after chapter of him patting himself on the back & making excuses for his bad behavior such as drugging & whoring around. Don’t buy it.....I regret giving this man any money.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Powell

    In this updated version of his story, Lamar talks about his life after the Kardashians and how it has evolved. He has dedicated his life to God and vowed to be a better father to his children after all her has put himself and them through. It was insightful as an outsider to see where he came from and his rise from nothing into superstardom after making it to the NBA and dating famous women, including of course, Khloe. But he is much more than his addiction and his fame and I enjoyed reading abo In this updated version of his story, Lamar talks about his life after the Kardashians and how it has evolved. He has dedicated his life to God and vowed to be a better father to his children after all her has put himself and them through. It was insightful as an outsider to see where he came from and his rise from nothing into superstardom after making it to the NBA and dating famous women, including of course, Khloe. But he is much more than his addiction and his fame and I enjoyed reading about his life. I’m sure most don’t know his whole story, just his scandals, and it was refreshing to see his honesty about what went down from his perspective. Thanks to BenBella Books and NetGalley for this arc in exchange for my review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Book Reviews by Tara aka Queen of Memoirs

    Darkness To Light is an extremely vulnerable body of work. After reading this book I now understand how troubled Lamar Odom really is. His is a sad story. When I read this book it felt like a man confessing his sins to a priest, but instead of confessing to a priest, he is confessing to the world. A purge of sorts. By writing this book he exposed all of his hardships and bad decisions for the world to see. Although he shares stories about celebrities such as Taraji P. Henson, Kobe Bryant, The Ka Darkness To Light is an extremely vulnerable body of work. After reading this book I now understand how troubled Lamar Odom really is. His is a sad story. When I read this book it felt like a man confessing his sins to a priest, but instead of confessing to a priest, he is confessing to the world. A purge of sorts. By writing this book he exposed all of his hardships and bad decisions for the world to see. Although he shares stories about celebrities such as Taraji P. Henson, Kobe Bryant, The Kardashian’s, Jessie Jackson and many others, don’t be mistaken. This is not a tell all book. Lamar does not bash anyone. Instead, he shares his truth with each of these people in a very respectful way. I already knew a lot a lot about Lamar’s life before reading the book. However, what made the book worth reading for me, was learning how Lamar felt, and what was going on in his mind as he experienced the many stories we’ve already seen play out in the media. One story I found very interesting is the REAL story of Jamie. Years ago Lamar had his own realty tv show with Khloe Kardashian. The show was named Khloe and Lamar. And in that show Lamar introduced the world to his best friend Jamie. Well, in this book Lamar spills all the tea ☕️ as he admits that Jamie was not his best friend after all. As a matter of fact, Lamar hadn’t seen Jamie since childhood. But the producers of the show wanted Lamar to have a white best friend on tv, so they called Jamie in to play the role😲. I was never a fan of Lamar, nor am I now. After reading this book, the thing I feel most for him is sadness. His addictions definitely robbed him of his talents and blessings. Lamar has suffered a lot of loss in his years. I believe he is still in a lot of pain from experiencing the passing of his mother, son, grandmother as well as other loved ones. I just pray he seeks therapy and gets the help he desperately needs.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    I started watching “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” right about when Khloe met Lamar, so when I saw this at the library I just couldn’t resist. (As a side note - why is the show so painfully boring now? I noticed a decline after all the significant others left, but I haven’t watched for several seasons now because it’s awful. Probably for the best, really, since I was always somewhat ashamed that I watched.) Anyway, I wasn’t expecting much from this book, and that’s exactly what I got - not muc I started watching “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” right about when Khloe met Lamar, so when I saw this at the library I just couldn’t resist. (As a side note - why is the show so painfully boring now? I noticed a decline after all the significant others left, but I haven’t watched for several seasons now because it’s awful. Probably for the best, really, since I was always somewhat ashamed that I watched.) Anyway, I wasn’t expecting much from this book, and that’s exactly what I got - not much. I always liked Lamar on the show, but after his drug use and repeated infidelities against Khloe came out I felt so embarrassed for her. Lamar admits to sleeping with over 2,000 women in this book (many of which are strippers), and almost always unprotected, and says he has paid for countless abortions over the years because of that. The whole thing just made me feel sick. I am sure Khloe is humiliated over some of the details in this, but I actually feel more sorry for his original girlfriend/baby-mama Liza. She stood by his side for years, bore 3 of his children, and was constantly cheated on with no real commitment ever made to her - yet he marries Khloe after a month. That had to sting! I was also disgusted that he was so busy getting high that he wasn’t with Liza when their youngest died of SIDS. I remember hearing about that a long time ago, but it was heartbreaking to read in the book. Overall, this book is probably 70% basketball (and wow does he hate Mark Cuban!), 29% drugs and sex, and 1% Khloe drama, mostly about how his family resented her while he was in a coma and she was calling the shots as his still-legal wife. It didn’t endear me to Lamar at all, but I actually just kind of feel sorry for him now because his life is a mess. I’m also interested in how Liza and Khloe feel about the details he put out about them, but I doubt they’ll ever speak up about it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    I'm a huge Kardashian fan so when this book came out, I was really interested in reading it. I ended up checking it out on Audible. It gave me a lot of insight into Lamar's life and what it's like getting into and climbing the ranks in the NBA. The book was really about mental health and addiction more than I expected it to be, mostly with Lamar acknowledging the truths of his life but still living in a state of denial and his journey to accept responsibility for his actions. I felt the words may I'm a huge Kardashian fan so when this book came out, I was really interested in reading it. I ended up checking it out on Audible. It gave me a lot of insight into Lamar's life and what it's like getting into and climbing the ranks in the NBA. The book was really about mental health and addiction more than I expected it to be, mostly with Lamar acknowledging the truths of his life but still living in a state of denial and his journey to accept responsibility for his actions. I felt the words maybe needed a little bit more polishing as the stories jumped around a little bit at times without real transitions. I also would have preferred if Lamar read the audiobook himself.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tina Robertson

    Truth of addiction The flow of the book was all over the map. A little disappointed that he bashed the Kardashian's , that girl was loyal, loving and sincere in trying to save him from being judged or ending up dead. His story is a true reality in the life of an addict, torn relationships, depression, anxiety and job loss. Good insight on how addiction is often passed on from one generation to another. Truth of addiction The flow of the book was all over the map. A little disappointed that he bashed the Kardashian's , that girl was loyal, loving and sincere in trying to save him from being judged or ending up dead. His story is a true reality in the life of an addict, torn relationships, depression, anxiety and job loss. Good insight on how addiction is often passed on from one generation to another.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Darkness to light I like memoirs and I read alot of them butt this one was boring. There was very little in this book that I don't already know from watching tv or Instagram. It was expensive too. Darkness to light I like memoirs and I read alot of them butt this one was boring. There was very little in this book that I don't already know from watching tv or Instagram. It was expensive too.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany Tyler

    If you’re looking for a tell all book on his famous ex-wife and her family then this isn’t the book for you. In reality, pun included, this book didn’t shed much light into Lamar’s story in addition to what we already know. His story did serve as confirmation to me that all children deserve some type of therapy when they experience childhood trauma.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amy Winters

    Was it the best written book I ever read? No. What I loved about this book is that is 100% honest and candid. He told it all and kept it real. He didn’t blame anyone for his life or his decisions and has survived through immeasurable loss. I couldn’t stop reading it once I started. We really just have no idea what people are going through unless we walked in their shoes—his story was no different ❤️

  18. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth(The Book Whisperer)

    Raw and brutally honest, Lamar takes us on a journey through his ups, downs, and his battle with addiction. His life has some very sad moments and he does not hold back describing his wild moments and thoughts. This is a quick, but amazing read I highly recommend.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jeff burson

    Good book I flew through it. Good story about growing up in a negative environment, the life of college recruits, pro sports life, celebrity life, and addiction issues.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    3.5/5 Spicy but was hoping for spicier

  21. 5 out of 5

    NON

    Lamar Odom went through it all — he even died, for God's sake! I struggled getting through this memoir because it's filled with doom and gloom but I also took a lot out of his chaotic life story because it shine a light on mental illness, and one's tendency to self-destruct. Odom's honesty is admirable because he reveals a lot about different parts of his incredible journey yet he focuses a great deal on his sex and drug addictions to point out the numbing measures he took to runaway from his in Lamar Odom went through it all — he even died, for God's sake! I struggled getting through this memoir because it's filled with doom and gloom but I also took a lot out of his chaotic life story because it shine a light on mental illness, and one's tendency to self-destruct. Odom's honesty is admirable because he reveals a lot about different parts of his incredible journey yet he focuses a great deal on his sex and drug addictions to point out the numbing measures he took to runaway from his inner demons. Actually, the memoir title sums it up entirely.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shakeia Woodson

    I Just want to Hug Him One of the best memoirs I've ever read. Just WOW. I hope he has a prosperous future and always stay in the light! I Just want to Hug Him One of the best memoirs I've ever read. Just WOW. I hope he has a prosperous future and always stay in the light!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Danie

    If you already have an opinion of Lamar Odom I think the feeling of this book could go in varying ways. I was brought to tears within the first few pages and again within the last few. I struggle with the diagnosis of sex addiction based purely on the fact that he was a cheater and I feel sometimes it is the excuse that is used to justify that kind of behaviour. Grief really does strike everyone differently and the affect it had on Lamar was life changing. Lamar Odom speaks candidly about the abus If you already have an opinion of Lamar Odom I think the feeling of this book could go in varying ways. I was brought to tears within the first few pages and again within the last few. I struggle with the diagnosis of sex addiction based purely on the fact that he was a cheater and I feel sometimes it is the excuse that is used to justify that kind of behaviour. Grief really does strike everyone differently and the affect it had on Lamar was life changing. Lamar Odom speaks candidly about the abuse he saw inflicted on his mother by his drug addicted father. Watching him beat and torment her in itself caused life long pain. His mother passed when Lamar was young and they had such a strong bond that it took him years, and probably even to this day, to find a way to come to real terms with that loss. He was himself, without directly acknowledging the fact, an absent father. He talks of his children with great pride and love and even says they are the reason why he made a miraculous recovery from his near fatal drug overdose. He speaks lovingly of the mother of his children, speaks fondly of the love he had with Taraji P Henson, and openly and honestly of his feeings for Khloe Kardashian. The majority of this book also details his basketball career from childhood to the NBA. A fan of basketball and Lamar as a sportsman will easily enjoy this book. Someone who knows him only from his reality TV days and subsequent and much publicized overdose will also enjoy this book... although saying ‘enjoy’ this book feels odd as Lamar has faced some terrible tragedies including the passing of his mother, the passing of his 6 month old son, the passing of his grandmother, cousin and friend. It is as much a book about his downfall as it is about his rise to basketball stardom. I easily read the entire book in one sitting and although I empathized with him I feel there was a lot of times where I could almost see why he did certain things but he was unable to connect the two himself. For the sake of his children as much as for himself you are left really hoping that he gets over his superman complex and sees what is really important in life, for he now knows, better than a lot of others, just how quickly it can all end.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kris

    You know that feeling when you accidentally watch 96 episodes of Entourage in a row then follow it up with 47 episodes of Ballers. Or when you leave TMZ on auto-play and fall asleep and it’s still going hours later. Or maybe re-read those old Bret Easton Ellis novels that seemed so cool way back when. Yes, that feeling. The one where you want to take a shower for a week and scrub your skin till it’s raw. That’s the feeling you get from this book. It’s not the only feeling. In between the relentles You know that feeling when you accidentally watch 96 episodes of Entourage in a row then follow it up with 47 episodes of Ballers. Or when you leave TMZ on auto-play and fall asleep and it’s still going hours later. Or maybe re-read those old Bret Easton Ellis novels that seemed so cool way back when. Yes, that feeling. The one where you want to take a shower for a week and scrub your skin till it’s raw. That’s the feeling you get from this book. It’s not the only feeling. In between the relentless drugs and parties, the strippers and hookers, the failed drug tests, the purchasing of a plastic penis on eBay to avoid said drug test (long story), the lies, and the infidelity, there is something else going on as well. There is a terrible sadness that permeates each page. It’s everywhere – in Lamar Odom’s addiction, in how he approaches the game of basketball, in all his relationships. This loss, his mother who died when he was 12, and later the death of his own son, is always present. And is never resolved. Lamar Odom’s legacy is a strange thing. Put his name into YouTube and you’ll find Kardashian episodes, Wendy Williams interviews, every headline boasting the requisite ‘…shares all’ tag. You have to scroll a long way before you find any basketball. And Lamar Odom was really good at basketball. Because despite his lifestyle, he was able to do something that Karl Malone, that Charles Barkley, and many other legends were not able to do: win an NBA Championship. In fact, win two. True, no one is going to pretend Odom led the Lakers to victory. This was Kobe’s team. But he was way more than a role player. For Kobe completists, and this seems even more poignant now, the question of whether there’s anything new here about the Black Mamba that we haven’t heard before is answered with a resounding no. Kobe was exactly who you thought he was – for an 11am practise, Kobe arrives at 5am, roughly the same time Lamar falls out of a nightclub. In this, Kobe shares something with another superstar who died young: Prince. When Odom meets Prince, he is, well, Prince: elegant, detail-obsessed, charismatic, music pouring out of him. With the famously quiet, and very deep speaking voice. So Kobe was Kobe and Prince was Prince. And if I were to ask you who out of the 2004 USA Olympic basketball team did not take part in a Turkish nightclub debacle that involved 200-foot yachts and NBA security vans rescuing players from the paparazzi, and you guessed Tim Duncan was the lone stay-at-home, then you were right on that front as well. On the topic of the Olympics and all things maritime, there is a great scene on the team’s ‘hotel’ (an $800 million ocean liner) when, disappointed with coach Larry Brown’s team selection, “LeBron, Melo, D-Wade were so upset, they gathered in the ship’s computer room at mid-night one night.” A meeting surely chaired by Gerard Butler. Taraji P. Henson comes across as a shining example of, well, pretty much everything good. Pat Riley (with the exception of one betrayal) also does well. Kobe, as mentioned, also gets a gold star – he even left a pre-season game to be at his team mate’s hospital bedside). Mark Cuban – in an episode that is strangely reminiscent of a Golden State Warriors investor shoving Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry during Game 3 of the 2019 NBA Finals – took to heckling Odom from the stands. This was while Odom was playing for the Mavericks. His team. The heckling escalated and “Cuban extended his right foot and kicked my shin. ‘come on, motherfucker!’ he shouted.” If there were a specific genre for books by athletes about something other than their day job – a kind of middle finger to the ‘Stick-to-sports!’ mantra – then Darkness to light might form one end of the book shelf, with former Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett’s recent offering holding up the other. Odom’s journey is one into the terror of the inner self; Bennett’s is an exploration of the horror of the external. Fun, huh? But whereas Bennett takes the racism he finds head-on, Odom lets it drift past him, as something that is just there. ‘I had become so used to being hustled, bought, and sold by adults that nothing was very much of a surprise.’ No one is there to look out for him while he’s getting exploited by coaches and principals of a seemingly endless list of high schools all somehow named after the great theologians of Christianity. And no one is there when a room full of teachers humiliate Odom into having to prove to them that he could read and write. Not much would change with superstardom. On the reality show Khloé & Lamar, Jamie Sangouthai is introduced as Lamar’s best friend, but is barely mentioned in the book. Odom says: ‘Jamie ended up starring on Khloé & Lamar as my best friend. My boys were pissed about that because he had just showed up. They knew he wasn’t my best friend, but the producers needed someone who was white.’ I’ll leave that one with you. For people like Odom, and his Lakers team mate Ron Artest about whom Odom shares a great anecdote too long to get into here, he says this: ‘I didn’t talk about my depression or anxiety – hell, I didn’t even have those words in my vocabulary yet.’ I raced through this book, but not necessarily in a good way. I wanted it to be over. I wanted Lamar Odom’s struggles to be finished. And when we reach the end, after the drugs, the depression, the coma, the everything – and the 30-day luxury rehab which feels like trying to use a handkerchief to shelter from a hurricane – we realise it’s never going to be over. “As for me, I’m still an addict.” When Lamar Odom says this, it doesn’t feel like the ‘one day at a time’ type of statement by the newly sober; rather it sounds like someone saying they have no intention of stopping drugs, ever. Working with Chris Palmer, the quality of writing varies a lot. In many places early on there is a lot of over-telling, a lot of pre-empting (‘It was going to change everything forever’ type of thing), or the idea that “I felt + adjective + adjective + adjective” will somehow let the reader into the emotions of the person we’re reading about. Just show us the jittering glass of water – we’ll fill in the rest. We know it’s a T-Rex approaching. But towards the end of the book – and particularly during the scenes where Odom overdoses in Las Vegas and ends up in a coma – the writing really starts to shine. It has an almost poetic quality, fragmented like his life, broken like his chain of thought, where we’re given just enough to see and feel what is going on. The bleakness of the ride to Vegas through the desert, to what was his almost-end – it’s very good. And even though we know Odom does come through, there was a moment where I wasn’t sure if he was going to make it, so powerful was the writing. It got me.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    Goodness, but this book was light on substance. Lamar Odom is a spoiled and selfish narcissist who rails at his difficult life as a depressed and anxiety-ridden man, but has felt no remorse for the MANY bad things he's done/people he's hurt. He cops to (but never really apologizes for) cheating on every woman he ever "loved" (I think we can all figure out why quotes are needed there), not being a strong presence in his children's lives, taking handouts/bribes starting in high school, doing all t Goodness, but this book was light on substance. Lamar Odom is a spoiled and selfish narcissist who rails at his difficult life as a depressed and anxiety-ridden man, but has felt no remorse for the MANY bad things he's done/people he's hurt. He cops to (but never really apologizes for) cheating on every woman he ever "loved" (I think we can all figure out why quotes are needed there), not being a strong presence in his children's lives, taking handouts/bribes starting in high school, doing all the drugs, cheating his way into - and through his only year of - college, and more. But throughout this book, there is a lot of "woe is me" attitude that makes it quite clear that he takes no responsibility for his mistakes. His athleticism afforded him the opportunities that so many don't ever receive, and he squandered them all. Not once in Darkness to Light did I detect even the slightest bit of personal growth in that man. So, it looks like I have just reviewed Odom as a person instead of reviewing his book. Sorry. But it was also an awful book to read. Corkscrewing timelines (he's 9, then 12, then 10, then 14, then 17, then back to 16...), flat sentences, and nothing redemptive to be found... Odom needed a better ghostwriter to make the memoir more interesting and/or to make Odom appear more sympathetic. "I have had sex with over 2,000 women" just doesn't do it for me (I'm rolling my eyes so hard here at the bragging, which is found on nearly every page). 1 pathetic star

  26. 4 out of 5

    danielle Roque

    very dadbookg his life.. Very sad book.... Very sad man..nothing in his life, including his wife touch his soul.not even his children. .,Actually he is without a conscience. The only reason he survived. The horrific collapse he suffered is the excellent condition of his body. Basketball saved him..

  27. 4 out of 5

    Karyn Bolton

    Keep Living in God’s Light I totally loved the book it’s one of the greatest comeback stories. God Bless you Lamar, Destiny,LJ, and Aunt JaNean.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn

    I loved watching him and Khloe. So glad hes doing better. Short book with a little glimpse into his life.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    A lot of tragic things have happened to Lamar Odom throughout his life. It’s hard not to have sympathy. I don’t follow basketball at all but knew of him through watching KUWTK and Khloe & Lamar. His mother died of cancer when he was only 12 years old. She was diagnosed and died within months. His dad, a veteran, was a heroin addict who was not in his life (until Lamar was making millions as a NBA player). Lamar was an only child. Many of his family members have passed. He became a father at 18 y A lot of tragic things have happened to Lamar Odom throughout his life. It’s hard not to have sympathy. I don’t follow basketball at all but knew of him through watching KUWTK and Khloe & Lamar. His mother died of cancer when he was only 12 years old. She was diagnosed and died within months. His dad, a veteran, was a heroin addict who was not in his life (until Lamar was making millions as a NBA player). Lamar was an only child. Many of his family members have passed. He became a father at 18 years old. Eventually he had three kids. In 2006, his last child died at 6 months due to SIDS. Lamar’s cousin was murdered in 2011. On the way to the funeral, the vehicle he was in hit a motorcycle that hit a child and the child ended up dying. A friend of his died from flesh eating disease in 2015 due to using dirty needles when using heroin. He experienced depression and abused drugs. He almost died in 2015 after overdosing. His kidneys were failing, had multiple heart attacks, seizures and strokes and was on life support. He was a two time NBA champion and made millions. He’s lost millions in bad business decisions and on drug and prostitutes. He’s even sold his Lakers championship rings. I really loved Lamar from the reality shows. He was funny and seemed to be a good guy. Despite Khloe and Lamar dating for only 9 days and getting married within a month, they truly seemed perfect for each other. It’s too bad his addictions and mental health issues have sabotaged his life. He was recently on Celebrity Big Brother and seemed healthy. I still find him funny. Some of the things in the book you probably need to take with a grain of salt bc he is not the most credible person. Lamar had an undeniable basketball talent. He’s also 6’10”. He definitely got special treatment due to his skill. He did the bare minimum in school. He got removed from some schools due to grades. Someone wrote his SAT’s and his scholarship from university was rescinded. He eventually declared for the NBA. His first team was the Clippers, whose owner was cheap, racist Donald Sterling (who in 2014 was forced to sell the team, banned for life from the NBA and fined $2.5 million due to his racist behaviour). Lamar threatened to kill his wife. He harassed her and her family with constant calls and checking up on. He admits to cheating in any relationship he had. He claims to have slept with two thousand women. He used to disappear for weeks on end during his binges. He ruined his career to get laid and high when he was considered one of the best basketball players. He was the first Laker to win NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year. This book was an interesting read about Lamar Odom’s life. I enjoyed it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    Disclosure: I received a complimentary eBook copy in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own. Lamar Odom “From Darkness to Light” - what a read, what a life. In telling his story we start near the beginning in Queens, New York. Lamar describes growing up with his mother and grandmother close by while his father dealt with his fair share of addiction issues. In an attempt to deal with challenges of life Lamar was able to find solace with a basketball and went on to become a sought after play Disclosure: I received a complimentary eBook copy in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own. Lamar Odom “From Darkness to Light” - what a read, what a life. In telling his story we start near the beginning in Queens, New York. Lamar describes growing up with his mother and grandmother close by while his father dealt with his fair share of addiction issues. In an attempt to deal with challenges of life Lamar was able to find solace with a basketball and went on to become a sought after player in his youth with the world at his feet despite his childhood. It all seems to go downhill with no brakes after his mother passed away when he was still a teenager. Odom goes on to speak in depth about his heartbreak as he was being scouted and trying to figure out his place in the world of basketball. He goes into quite a bit of detail about coaches, friends/teammates he made along the way as well as his career accolades. Intertwined in this dream coming true Lamar begins to share with us the pain and soon to come drug addiction that both began to surface and he tried so hard to hide throughout it all. Not only did he lose his mother, he lost cousins/friends before the age of 30 as well as losing a son, Jayden. While the basketball aspect is a massive part of this book even a casual fan of the sport should absolutely give this book a read. It was quite humbling to read about someone else’s life with such honesty without going into all of the private details. It was such a heart wrenching, honest, and humbling read and possibly one of the first books in awhile where I was fully on the ride with him - absolutely rooting for him. I actually read this book in roughly 4-5 hours as I could not put it down. I appreciate Mr. Odom’s courageousness in sharing with the world his struggles. Fame, money, or what have you, no one is immune to what life can dish out. If you have ever wanted to read a story about a man who felt like the underdog, who felt pain and came out on the other side choosing to be better regardless - this is absolutely the memoir to read. It’s praises are being sung in the reviews here but anyone reading review and considering buying the book themselves - I highly encourage you. It was by far one of the hardest to put down books I have read in years.

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