Early Word, Belated August, Early September...
The Adderall Diaries: A Memoir of Moods, Masochism, and Murder
by Stephen Elliott
The Adderall Diaries is phenomenal. With jittery finesse and a reformed tweaker's eye for detail, Stephen Elliott captures the terrifying, hilarious, heart-strangling reality of a life whose scorched-earth physical and psycho-emotional dimensions no one could have invented — they absolutely had to be lived. By all rights, the author should either be dead or chewing his fingers in a bus station. Instead, he may well have written the memoir of an entire generation. --Jerry Stahl
Be very afraid... Somewhere along the gamut between amphetamine-mined gonzo lit and brilliance, author and cultural critic Stephen Elliott, who’s most recent novel is the supremely misnomered Happy Baby, who’s most colorfully titled may be My Girlfriend Comes to the City and Beats Me Up, and who has hit the requisite mark in Best American Non-Required Reading, this time around zeroes in with his truth-in-advertising tome The Adderall Diaries: A Memoir of Moods, Masochism, and Murder.
Talk about melancholy and misery mine... Beleaguered by a hardscrabble Chicago past with crime, sex, hard-core drugs, and violent family problems, and current difficulties with writer's block, substance abuse, relationship troubles, the author was just resuming a daily regimen of Adderall ingestion as he begins his book. (Off the drug, he lacks concentration for writing). Back on it and experimenting with its rapid-fire effects, he was better able to augment his energies into writing down his high-wired thoughts. His new book would be about a murder trial getting underway in San Francisco, where he had re-settled. In the spring of 2007, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Hans Reiser was accused of killing his Russian-born wife Nina, whose body had yet to be found. The author's interest in the case was generated by a confession of Reiser's friend Sean Sturgeon, with whom Nina had an affair. The confession reminded Elliott of his father's shot-a-man-in-Reno-just-to-watch-him-die tale that he killed a man who had publicly humiliated him the year before Elliott was born. From there, Elliott’s fashions a work that is gracious and gothic, scattered and scorching, that takes in the decline of the Silicone Valley and the advent of Paris Hilton, incorporating themes of crime, murder, drugs and sadomasochistic sex… and all the while pondering personal confession and American introspection.