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The Adderall Empire: A Life With ADHD and the Millennials' Drug of Choice Format Kindle
|Longueur : 180 pages||Word Wise: Activé||Composition améliorée: Activé|
|Page Flip: Activé||Langue : Anglais|
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I was left wanting more from Smith in his reflections on himself on Adderall. Those that were there were poignant and riveting, but I felt that the subject could have been explored more.
Ultimately, I found the book engrossing, a short read, and recommendable. The story is unfinished and inconclusive (as it should be), missing some parts, and in need of a bit more refinement. But, what is there is vivacious, honest, and fascinating. I look forward to what Smith puts out next, as I'm sure it will build well upon this great first effort.
It also reads very much like a private diary. Some parts are very personal and feel intrusive, almost like you should put it away and not invade any longer. But of course you keep going to find out what will happen.
The author succinctly documents the effect of Adderall in his life and other alternatives that had positive results. It is an important read for anyone interested in the study and impact of ADHD. It is also at its core simply a great and entertaining read. Thoroughly enjoyed it!
THIS HOMAGE would function better if the entire Adderall Empire were a road trip. But only the tacked-on epilog in the last few chapters is on the road. Besides, this material only reprises earlier jaunts across New Zealand and Australia. Despite the fabricated parallel with On the Road, Smith's closing road trip isn't particularly eventful. Yet toward the conclusion are Smith's worthwhile thoughts about life after Adderall.
MANY QUESTIONS remain. While I value Smith’s brevity, I wonder about the unexplored territory: I wish that the author had delved into more particulars about Adderall's damage: How much of it is permanent and how much fades away? Does maturity help with the effects of ADHD? Did Smith wind up returning to the Adderall Empire a year later? What fills the void? Surely just drifting between Washington and California isn't the answer.
LOVE LIFE. Post-Adderall, how is Smith’s love life? He starts to think about true vs. false relationships: But true love remains an elusive and partially developed theme. How does Smith interact with other Adderall users and past Adderall users? Do they try to tempt him? What could he tell the parents of youngsters whose doctors recommend Adderall? What do Smith's own parents and brothers think about his choice to stop the treatment and go feral? In fact, how have family views changed over the years?
ON THE DEMERITS SIDE: Unfortunately this book is a minefield of grammar errors and typos. These lapses cost the book one star.
SMITH'S EASY-GOING STYLE is often solid journalistic writing. Then mania breaks out into nonsense or incomplete sentences that run together. At other times, Smith experiments with poetry. This poetry can enlighten, but just as often sounds artificial. The style doesn't match his other writing. Smith is wise to separate these experiments from his narrative. Which style represents the “real” Smith? How much did Adderall (and other drugs) influence the author? How much is coming from the heart and mind of the "unenhanced" Smith?
STARVING. Sometimes, especially as the end of the story draws near, the book starves for meat. Maybe this is the reason that the author saw fit to reproduce several pages of a blog. But this blog is a slog. It should have been easy to excise. The whole story is a superficial attempt to acquire one woman's phone number every day for a month. Smith’s prose is better than this, but not for these mercifully few pages.
THIS BOOK RECALLS The Catcher in the Rye more than On the Road. Especially in the denser early chapters, Smith makes a convincing Holden Caulfield. Later on, as he matures, he casts shadows On the Road, but never with conviction.
NOW COMPARE SMITH'S STORY to Julie Flygare’s. (See Wide Awake and Dreaming.) The same maturation process proceeds in Flygare’s tale, although age and environment differ. Like Smith, Flygare wrestles with her life while entangled in prescription stimulants. Yet Flygare suffers from a different disease, narcolepsy/cataplexy. Unlike the ADD community, the narcolepsy community hasn’t yet officially recognized the perils of speed.
LIKE ADDERALL EMPIRE? TRY... (1) Naked Lunch. (2) Howl. (3) The Dharma Bums. (4) The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. (5) Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. (6) Listening to the Grateful Dead, Europe ‘72.
I RECOMMEND (7) the movie Magic Trip with Ken Kesey, Merry Pranksters. The bus "Furthur" is loosely a relative of (8) the Who's "Magic Bus" in Hooligans and (9) The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour bus.
---(10) Vertigo, recalls Smith’s tower image, the paranoia, the falling, and the surreal isolation.
---(11) On Speed: The Many Lives of Amphetamine by Nicholas Rasmussen explains the fascinating history of speed. (That includes Adderall.) The book covers the impact of speed on the arts, music and literature. You'll find stories of rock artists, athletes, and politicians, and how amphetamines (mostly negatively) impacted their lives. Reports cover Benzedrine and methamphetamine by military personnel. Most of the war stories concentrate on World War II, but some mention the Korean War and Vietnam. (The German military abandoned methamphetamine use because side effects such as hallucinations made it hazardous.)
---(12) The Sun Also Rises is Ernest Hemingway’s famous account of Lost Generation life in the 1920s. Here one finds parallels with the Beat Generation: Redefined, confused, abbreviated romance, drinking, and road trips. The bull run at Pamplona is an added thrill. Only Hemingway could live it and describe it as he did.
---(13) The Ritalin Fact Book: What Your Doctor Won't Tell You explains problems with stimulant treatments. These include Ritalin, Adderall, etc. By Dr. Peter Breggin.
Firstly, it feels like it was written by someone with ADHD. The good in that is that the voice is "true" but it also means that certain passages are long-winded and manic and clearly Smith spent a lot of time with a thesarus. So where a sentence might be "the sky is blue" it becomes "the sky is cerulean, azure, sapphire" etc. and the actual point of the sentence gets lost. You see this most when he feels passionate about something (his descriptions of young girls is almost uncomfortable because the repetitious use of synonyms for their beauty and breasts is embarrassing).
At a long-view, this story is about a boy growing up with ADHD that isn't diagnosed until he's in high school. By that time, he's unable to differentiate how much of his "problem" is his personality and how much is his disorder. When he streaks a high school football game, he blames ADHD which feels like a cop-out. You're allowed to be reckless and silly without pointing the finger of blame. When he starts taking Adderall he finds that it helps manage his mania a bit although the side effects are what he calls the "Adderall Empire." But he continues to find himself making poor choices and getting in trouble and, basically, being a teenage boy. But he blames his disorder instead of accepting that it's his personality. I'm not doubting that he has a disorder, but the things that he describes are more like stereotypical "jock" behavior rather than ADHD -- the picture of him with Tucker Max should tell you everything that you need to know. So if you're looking for insight about what it feels like to live with ADHD, this might not be the book for you. It could literally be any teenage boy's stories.
This is a self-published book and about 25% of the content is his medical reports. There are numerous typos and editing problems throughout which need attention. The story overall is solid, albeit a bit braggy (again: personality vs. disorder) but not what I was looking for and based on some other reviews, it wasn't the insight that other parents/teachers were hoping to find either.
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