Quick Reads: “The Answer to the Riddle Is Me” by David Stuart MacLean

The Answer to the Riddle Is Me

By David Stuart MacLean


David MacLean awoke one day in 2002 to find himself in an Indian train station without passport or memory. Delivered to a mental hospital, where he was assumed to be a junkie, he was eventually diagnosed with amnesia—a bad reaction to an anti-malarial drug. Written in terse, vivid prose spiked with blackouts and violent hallucinations reminiscent of a Ken Kesey classic, MacLean’s story of the yearlong quest to regain his life reads like fiction, and reminds us that while memories may be painful, truth is all too often elusive.

This review originally appeared in our January/February 2014 issue of Mother Jones.


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.