Monday, 29 September 2008

Book review - "Attention. Deficit. Disorder." by Brad Listi

Attention. Deficit. Disorder.

by Brad Listi

publisher: The Friday Project

ISBN-10: 1906321094

ISBN-13: 978-1906321093

Wayne Fencer spends the year following his former girl friend’s suicide struggling to come to terms with its impact on him. From the funeral he narrates the path of the year, from his discovery of her aborting his child to the cold realization that, unlike the epiphany many suicide attempt survivors record, Amanda wanted to die. Wayne wins a fortune on the stock exchange and spends it by embarking on a journey through Mexico and Cuba, where he hires a young prostitute as a traveling companion, to a marathon trek along the Appalachian trail hoping to find a point to his life.

This is a superbly written novel interspersed with snippets of biographies and dictionary definitions on words – somewhat intrusive at times, particularly when the words are well-known. It is a constant reminder that the reader is a voyeur into the protagonist’s story rather than being a confidante.

One of the devices one learns as a writer is that the protagonist, or hero, of a story must be either changed by the events within it or, after surviving and contemplating them, elect to remain unchanged. This is a story of the latter, although Fencer is at least comforted by the gradual realization that Amanda’s suicide wasn’t his fault..

The book has frequent references to the cinema, and the journeys that such stories take. Writers and film buffs might enjoy such discourses.

Attention. Deficit. Disorder. is a fascinating read, one which I enjoyed greatly. I was somewhat lucky to have won my copy, one of the limited edition rubber-bound covers which is a rubber fetishist’s dream. You can still get them HERE

Attention. Deficit. Disorder: A Novel


Caroline said...

I so want to read this, but can't bring myself to read the limited edition one. I need to buy the regular paperback.

Leatherdykeuk said...


I can understand your reticence in opening the pristine covers!

aims said...

Another must read for me Rachel. Good review.

Leatherdykeuk said...

Perhaps not a must-read, but a good one.