limitless – alan glynn

Limitless (or The Dark Fields)

I saw the trailer to the film Limitless some time ago, and thought “Cool – that looks excellent” and then didn’t get a chance to see it at the flicks, so when I saw the book cheap on Kindle (a cool £1) I thought I’d give it a bash.

I didn’t realise that the book had actually been re-released under a different name to tie-in with the film.  The book was originally published in 2001 and was called The Dark Fields.

I have to admit, I was completely drawn in right from the very beginning.

Eddie Spinola is a bit of a noone.  He’s working on a rather dreary book that is part of a wider series, but he’s finding it hard to meet his deadlines.  He is single, living in a small messy apartment and not exactly realising his dreams.  After a chance encounter with his ex brother-in-law he tries a new designer ‘smart’ drug (MDT-48).  This focuses his mind in such a way that anything seems within his grasp (hence the title) – like ‘Viagra for the brain’.   Nothing could have prepared him for what happens next.

The over-riding moral of the story I guess is “Don’t do drugs kids!”, but I couldn’t help reading the whole book thinking “Oh my God – I NEED this stuff.  I need it NOW!”.  The idea of being able ot take a pill that literally spurs you into action without feeling mentally, emotionally or physically drained is just so appealing.  OK, so there were rather tragic side-effects, but the whole point of drugs is that you believe that YOU would be able to control it.  I’d at least like the opportunity to try!

I obviously haven’t seen the film (yet), but I can see why the book was chosen to be made into one – the writing is extremely fast-paced right from the beginning, and draws you into Spinola’s world effortlessly.  It’s not a great literary masterpiece, but it is extremely enthralling, and a real page-turner (or button-stabber in my case).

Would make a great holiday read – but was also fab for the Tube, although I have to admit that I was so engrossed at one stage, that it was only when a cleaner actually got on the train one night that I realised we’d been sitting at Walthamstow for about 3 minutes.  I could’ve ended up on my way back towards Brixton!!


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