Invisible Driving

By Alistair McHarg

Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

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Invisible Driving is a memoir of Manic Depression that takes readers inside the terrors, thrills, and triumphs of coming to terms with this debilitating and misunderstood mental illness. The manic narrator’s voice vividly recreates the feelings and sensations of mania, offering an unprecedented look at this fascinating and bizarre state of being. While behavior and thought illuminate the condition of mania, it is the protagonist’s language itself that most viscerally conveys what it feels like to be trapped inside a manic ‘high.’

The voice of the recovered narrator provides context, reliability, and credibility. Where the manic narrator is relentlessly entertaining and delusional, the recovered narrator is tough minded, concise, and determined to reveal the truth, no matter how painful. With a cold eye he examines the forces that shaped him in order to shed light on the psychological architecture driving the episode. The interplay between these two perspectives underscores the bipolar nature of Manic Depression; the greatest personal challenge is reconciling them. Ultimately, the narrator must confront his own worst nightmare and in doing so gain character, insight, and acceptance.

About the Author

Alistair McHarg spent his early years in Edinburgh and Amsterdam, moving to Philadelphia with his father, Ian, and mother, Pauline, at age six. He attended Germantown Friends School, Haverford College, and the University of Louisville. Convinced at an early age that fate had chosen writing as his calling, he followed a characteristically slow and circuitous path. McHarg has found employment as deck hand on a Norwegian tramp freighter touring South America, Bureau of Land Management Emergency Fire Fighter in Alaska, guide at a Canadian wilderness survival camp, truck driver crisscrossing Colorado’s continental divide, and inner city cabbie. Alistair has been arranging words on paper for a living since 1983. He is the author of three novels, a memoir, innumerable poems, hundreds of book, film, and music reviews, and an ever growing catalog of cartoons.

Softcover, 240 pages.

Psych Central's Recommendation:
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APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2008). Invisible Driving. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/invisible-driving/0001472
Scientifically Reviewed
    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Jan 2013
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

 

 

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