Review: Limitless — Alan Glynn

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To Go: 57

Book List
41. The Gift — Nora Roberts
42. A Winter Solstice Celebration — DiDi LeMay
43. Limitless — Alan Glynn

Pathological procrastinator Eddie Spinola finds his life fading to mediocrity — in his mid-thirties he’s working as a lowly copy writer at a publishing company, and has little to no time left to complete a fair sized assignment. Just as he begins to accept that, even with very little responsibility in his life, he’s out of his depth, he comes across MDT-48, a “smart” drug that harnesses 100 per cent of his brain power. He becomes the perfect version of himself, but quickly finds that the side effects might not be worth it. And when he looks into the lives of other MDT users, he finds out that they’re either dead, or dying.

It was, in a word, excellent. Limitless was thrilling, horrifying, and painted a complex and interesting picture of, on the surface, the powers of overwhelming addiction and, at the core, crippling greed. For the most part, it was incredibly fast-paced — following the trajectory of his Eddie’s new life — though there were moments where the story sort of plateaued. This was often when he was in his “normal” stages (i.e. not taking MDT), and was most likely deliberate, to emphasize the difference between normality and the extraordinary.

Limitless was, overall, quite fantastic (one of my favourite challenge books so far), barring one small problem I had with it: the narration could, at times, be comparative to that of a children’s book. It read like: I did this, then I did that, then I did this, then I went there, and I saw these people, then we went here, and there, and I went back home, and I slept. I ate a bagel with cream cheese in the morning, then I had a cigarette and a beer. Usually it wasn’t a problem, but it was more emphasized in his stages of “normality.” I’m still not sure if it was deliberately done to emphasize Eddie’s two different lives, or if it’s merely a writing style, but occasionally it grated.

Regardless, it was an impressive tour de force of a novel. I’d definitely recommend it. (Though, unfortunately, the movie looks like it barely followed the original story and makes me slightly less interested in seeing it.)

Next book: Stuff White People Like — Christian Lander

– Kelsey

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