by Alan Glynn

Firstly, please excuse the movie cover.  I hate movie covers on books.  BUT I only picked up this book after I saw the movie.  Usually, I'm the one who has read the book first, and then watched the movie.  I was disappointed by the movie, and figured (/hoped) that the source material must be better. 

"I had a sense that I - or, rather my life - was expanding exponentially and that before long the various spaces I occupied, physical and otherwise, were not going to be sufficient to contain me..."

Eddie Spinolo is an almost middle-aged copywriter who lives in a rundown apartment in New York City.  He has an ex-wife from a short-lived cocaine marriage from a decade ago.  He smokes a lot and eats unhealthy foods. Generally, he lives a mediocre life. 

One day he bumps into his ex-brother-in-law (and ex dealer), Vernon Grant.  Eddie is introduced to a new drug, a "smart drug", called MDT-48.  Through a series of rather quick and unfortunate events, Eddie comes into possession of Vernon's entire supply and his list of clients.  Eddie takes one hit, and his life is changed forever.  He produces his best quality of writing ever in his first two days on the drug.  He can read and understand complicated materials in minute amounts of time and can learn other languages in days.  He finds himself taking more and more MDT-48 to stay sharp, intelligent and witty.  

Taking out a loan from a Russian mobster, Eddie delves into the world of the stock market.  He seems to be able to accomplish anything, with the help of his secret pill.  His quick success skyrockets him into a billion dollar corporation, advising the head of the company.  

Suddenly, Eddie begins to feel these lags in time. He'll be walking down the street and suddenly find himself two blocks over.  He "comes to" in the middle of conversations, in which he is entertaining a group of people.  He experiences more and more lapses in time, in addition to crushing headaches.  Eddie is having troubles with his Russian backer, who now wants MDT-48 for himself, and with his performance in the company.  

Eddie's stash is dwindling, so he turns to the names in Vernon's book.  He finds that each one of them is now dead or sick.  Eddie's fate seems to be sealed.  He ignorantly believes, though, that he can go one being brilliant forever.  

When Eddie's MDT-48-fueled success story comes crashing to a close, I felt satisfied.  Eddie burned too fast and too brightly, for a short while.  Were his short months of success, fame, power, and intelligence worth it?  Or should he have remained mediocre forever?  I liked the ending of the book a lot.  It was real, unlike the Hollywood ending presented in the movie.  The author allowed me, as the reader, to come to the conclusion that lying to your brain was bad.  Eddie was a misguided dreamer for thinking that it could go on forever. 

Limitless is a very fast-paced read that I recommend whole-heartily.  Read it. Don't watch it.  Unless you're just interested in a movie with a bad ending and a good-looking Bradley Cooper.

♥ Meg xoxo

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