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The Adderall Diaries: A Memoir Paperback – September 28, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
As a writer stymied by past success, writers block, substance abuse, relationship problems and a serious set of father issues, Elliott's cracked-out chronicle of a bizarre murder trial amounts to less than the sum of its parts. Not long into the 2007 trial of programmer Hans Reiser, accused of murdering his wife, the defendant's friend Sean Sturgeon obliquely confessed to several murders (though not the murder of Reiser's wife). Elliott, caught up in the film-ready twist and his tenuous connection to Sturgeon (they share a BDSM social circle), makes a gonzo record of the proceedings. The result is a scattered, self-indulgent romp through the mind of a depressive narcissist obsessed with his insecurities and childhood traumas. Elliott is an undeniably good writer, but his voice has more to do with amphetamines than the author himself or the trial at hand. Elliott's frustration with himself is contagious; any readers expecting a true crime will be bewildered, and those familiar with Elliott (My Girlfriend Comes to the City and Beats Me Up) will find more (or less) of the same.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
“Elliott may be writing under the influence, but it's the influence of genius.” ―Vanity Fair
“Elliott writes with a grace and precision that calls to mind Truman Capote's landmark work, In Cold Blood. He, too, is fascinated by questions of motive, how our capacity to love is disfigured into evil, and our tangled mechanisms of denial.” ―The Boston Globe
“A searing, self-conscious memoir of drug addiction, obsession and art as a means of survival.” ―Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“It opens with this line: ‘My father may have killed a man,' then continues for 208 taut, high-wire, brilliant pages . . . With candor so raw it makes me never want to use ‘fiercely honest' to describe another writer's work.” ―Las Vegas Weekly
“You won't find a more provocative, masterful, thrilling ride than this.” ―San Francisco Chronicle
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I completely related to the writing struggles, still don't have any interest in BDSM, and found the true crime aspects fascinating.
As were some of the Adderall comments. I agree with Elliott that speed is speed; but also that Adderall is or has been in the past extremely helpful for my focus during episodes of ADD or whatever it was/is.
I have to admit to being somewhat bored by forced, hard driving prose--OK we get it, tough childhood. Someone mentions James Frey's A Million Little Pieces mixed with Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. I agree with the comparison.
The Adderall Diaries memoir aspects seem at times to be more like semi-novelization, but Elliott is making a good point about memory and how it plays tricks, distorting recollection.