THE INSPIRATION FOR THE CBS SERIES, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER BRADLEY COOPER
A burnout at thirty-five, months behind on his book, low on cash, and something of a loser, Eddie Spinola could use a shot in the arm. One day he randomly runs into Vernon, his ex-wife's brother, and his ex-dealer. Now employed by a shadowy pharmaceutical company, Vernon has something that might help: a new designer drug that stimulates brain function. One pill and Eddie is hooked. His book is finished within days; he learns and synthesizes information at a frightening rate; and he can go a long time without sleep or food. Naturally, he begins to play the stock market. But when Vernon turns up dead, Eddie makes off with the only stash of the drug in existence. Then come the side effects: black-outs, blinding headaches, and violent outbursts he can't seem to remember.
Alan Glynn's Limitless is a high-concept thriller for this Adderall age, and a haunting meditation on the allure and the curse of human potential.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I bought this book after seeing the film based on the book. I usuallly read the book before seeing the film treatment (with the understanding that book and film are two different art forms and look for different things in each). I did not expect the two to be identical. Having said that, the book was definitely darker than the film and offered a very pessimistic view of human nature and the corporate world. But I liked it! I was glad that I experienced both treatments. Taken together book and film are like two sides of a coin or alternate realities. Despite its gloom and doom the book was well written and hard to put down. BTW my interpretation of the main character's actions in the film are different from those of many other reviewers who saw them in a negative and selfish light.
Very good book, reminds me of a gritty, unhappy, version of "The R-Master" by Gordon Dickson. The one thought that kept circling through my mind as I read this novel (in one sitting) was: "Knowing all of this, would I still take such a drug?". In my case the answer would "Yes", so I have to wonder if I should be more sympathetic towards athletes who use performance-enhancing drugs, or indeed, anyone who uses any substance for simple pleasure. Highly recommended.
Revisiting my review several years later: This is really a 5 star book for me, as I've reread it several times and enjoyed it just as much each time, so it's going from a 4 to a 5. I enjoyed the movie, too, although the ending is quite different. Highly entertaining nootropic science fiction.
Maybe you've read about elixirs, golden apples, or the food of the gods in other monumental works of fiction, but what about MDT-48? If an obscure pharmaceutical drug were to fall into your lap, promising you access to the full potential of your brain, would you take it?
You can take Wall Street by storm. Your vitality is contagious, your eloquence hypnotic, and even when barriers present themselves they are vanquished. Your personality is magnetic. Your brain functions at such an incredible pace that even your greatest foe, time, is a minute concern.
MDT can unlock an unlimited capacity for stimulus, information and intuition. The brain has no bounds, but can the body keep pace? Is this really you? Are you a fraud? Maybe you're beginning to doubt the validity of your accomplishments, your identity. Do you no longer have a free will?
Alan Glynn cruises through these themes rapidly. His style is plot driven with the occasional flourish of fine prose.
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