Week 7 Response

So last week my group presented the book The Adderall Diaries by Stephen Elliott. One painfully obvious fact was that very few people actually read the book, so the discussion was pitiful. It only involved my group members, the professor, and maybe two other people. I didn’t really want to express my opinion of the book in class because it didn’t agree with the popular consensus, so I’m going to talk about it here where no one can object or interrupt me.

I chose to be in the group presenting this book because of the title and the author’s last name. Bad reasons I know, but I really had high expectations for this book and sadly, it fell short. It’s an interesting book, sure, but Elliott was all over the place. As someone who has ADHD and is prescribed a lot of Adderall to control it, I was looking forward to reading this memoir expecting it to basically say everything that I think and feel about Adderall. My expectations were a tad unreasonable, but still. I can’t figure out why he called it The Adderall Diaries when his use of Adderall is hardly even mentioned and when it is mentioned, Elliott glosses over it very briefly. The title is really misleading, especially if you consider the fact that the book is also labeled a memoir, but it’s primary focus is a murder trial. I mean it started out as a true crime novel, then it somehow obtained the label of memoir. I just don’t get it. We are given brief snap shots of Elliott’s life and love affairs, but the only thing we follow through and through is the murder trial. I was deeply disappointed by this book. I feel like Elliott has so much good material that he withheld from this book. I don’t know, maybe I need to read it again. Maybe I’m missing something. I guess it’s a good thing because I don’t need another Elliott out there making waves in the writing world. I mean, it’s hard enough having to follow T.S. Eliot, I can’t imagine trying to make it as a writer with another Elliott running around (although I’m sure there is one that I’m forgetting right now). But yeah, I guess what it comes down to is that he didn’t write anything like what I wanted him to—or what I thought I was getting into, so I was caught off guard. Maybe some of his other stuff is more what I’m looking for, and I’ll probably give him another chance just because he and I have the same last name!

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1 Comment

  1. D’oh! I wish you would’ve mentioned these things in class — they’re really, really good points, especially about reader expectations!

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