Adderall Diaries: 8 Great Works of Speed-Fueled Literature

As Joshua Foer once pointed out, “depressives have Prozac, worrywarts have Valium, gym rats have steroids, and overachievers have Adderall.” Particularly, as it turns out, the literary ones — W.H. Auden was addicted to one of its cousins (Benzedrine, as it happens), just like James Agee, Graham Greene, John-Paul Sartre, Jack Kerouac, and Philip K. Dick. This week, we read Kate Miller’s “The Last All-Nighter” at the New York Times and were inspired to look into some Adderall lit, whether memoirs of addiction, novels, or just entire scrolls (yes, that one) written on the stuff. After the jump, a few great works of amphetamine literature — focusing on Adderall, Ritalin, Dexedrine, Benzedrine, just plain speed — and let us know if we missed your hyperactive favorite in the comments.


The Adderall Diaries, Stephen Elliott

But of course, with a name like that. Stephen Elliott’s “memoir of moods, masochism, and murder” starts with a dose of Adderall, dissolved in a lonely glass of orange juice. In this appropriately erratic memoir, Elliott’s drug abuse becomes a backdrop to a notorious murder trial — or is it the other way around?