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.