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The Adderall Diaries: A Memoir Paperback – September 28, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover 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
Top Customer Reviews
Events are not presented in chronological order, yet the narrative is understandable and relatively easy enough to navigate nevertheless. While not for everyone, particularly those with tender sensibilities, this book is a remarkable read. Those who peruse its pages will be rewarded by the creativity, insight, and pure art-form that comprise Elliot's writing. The subject matter is incredibly disturbing, yet like Adderall, a Schedule D amphetamine from whence the author's addiction lent the book its name, once you fall into the story it is extraordinarily challenging to break free.
In some ways a real-life version of John O'Brien's heartrending Leaving Las Vegas, Elliot's book was supposed to have been a true-crime drama, yet it morphed into an autobiography along the way. The backdrop is the nearly six month trial of Hans Reiser, a brilliant but curmudgeonly Linux programmer, who was accused of killing his estranged wife Nina. Despite hiring a respected attorney, Hans' narcissistic personality, peculiar behavior, and condescending manner undermine his case before the jury.Read more ›
Steven Elliot was from Chicago, where his Cambodian father settled after immigrating, his mother died a premature death from MS (multiple sclerosis), leaving his father a young widower. He soon remarried, and started a new family. Elliot spent most of his teens in a boys home, unwanted/unclaimed, his father appeared in court, mostly to provoke Elliot in rage; refusing to disclose his home address.
Elliot would spend most of his young adult life homeless, keeping his possessions including his snowboard and bicycle in his car. In traveling he noted Nevada 50 as "the loneliest road in America." He had many friends, the lovers he had were usually inappropriate for him. He was attracted to women who hurt/humiliated him, masochism he was well aware of, yet unable to change, powerless to prevent.
Elliot was contacted by his father who wrote negative insulting reviews for his books on Amazon; he also earned extra income writing, journalism, and filing reports for 20/20. Elliot noted Geoff Dyer's book: "Out of Sheer Rage" and how Dyer worked through a major depressive episode studying the writing of D.H. Lawrence. William Styron the author of "Darkness Visible", spent time in mental hospitals, often incoherent by pills and treatment, was cared for by his wife in his later years, meeting her as a brilliant young writer.Read more ›
If you are looking for an autobiography, a true crime novel, a depiction of life with drug addiction or even just an introduction to S&M, you can find much better. It was hard to finish (and I wouldn't have, except it was for a bookclub).
The author , obviously, has had a tough life. It seem miraculous that he managed to grow to adulthood.
The murder case he is covering is one that I am familiar with. Unfortunately. I was disappointed that the testimony of Nina's little son was not covered . But, I probably missed the point. This book reveals such personal sufffering.
It sounds like a lot of plates to keep spinning and Elliott does it with seeming effortlessness (which is never effortless when you try to write such things). The pace never lags, and the compelling, beautifully written voice never lets you down.
His work has an admirable honesty, lovely, sharp, intelligent prose, and a great ability to bring the reader into the emotional landscape of the text.
I could go on, but the short version is that this is one of the best books I've read in a couple of years and I'd HIGHLY recommend that you read it too. 5 stars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great Book! Great Author! Very detailed! I can relate to all view points from this Adderall driven author. The ups, the downs, and all of the in betweens..Published 1 month ago by Jacki Knobel
Boring.... I felt like this book was all I've r the place and jumped around for too much. Also I would have liked it if the author delved into more details about the drugs and sex.Published 2 months ago by Peter DeVries
Confused about the title. There was certainly a lot more issues than federally.Published 3 months ago by kathy linden
If I was the authors dad I would write horrible things. You will need to read to get the reference.
This was different than what I expected and have insights into a lifestyle... Read more
I saw the film first which is good because the book is so much better.Published 4 months ago by lynreich