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BookReviewsInvisibleDriving

In Invisible Driving, Alistair McHarg tells the exhilarating tale of the third and most severe of three manic episodes experienced before he began treatment for bipolar disorder at age 39. This excerpt is one of the tamer chapters in a story of boundless bliss, amped-up creativity, sexual binges, and self-destruction.

In a story both poignant and laugh-out-loud entertaining, McHarg gives us a vivid, shocking, full-frontal inside-out look at his four-month manic odyssey.

In a you-are-there narrative, McHarg whisks us with him on his wild ride, dazzling us with his cleverness and wit. He writes about frighteningly uncharacteristic behavior with brutal honesty; he expresses his manic thoughts and actions in graphic language, just as he experienced them. This memoir is rated R.

“The music, cadence, speed, disjointed logic, and self-satisfied, smug, lightning fast, god-like view of the world, strafing high above the heads of commoners like F-14 jets, provided the overriding texture of my data – I knew it was the center of my story,” says McHarg.

In alternating chapters, McHarg looks back on this harrowing time and tries to make sense of it, to separate the manic McHarg both from who he was before and who he became after.

“For me,” he says, “manic depression was a gift, dealing with it; just as writing this book changed me for the better.”

For those living with bipolar disorder, Invisible Driving both validates and educates. For friends, family and others, the book paints a clearer picture of bipolar I mania than any half-dozen other books on the subject.

You may find sections disturbing, offensive, and provocative, but you won’t soon forget this book.

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