A Deadly Wandering: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention (Hardcover)

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Virgie's Staff Pick's (September 2014): A Deadly Warning by New York Times journalist and Pulitzer Prize winning author Matt Richtel has changed my life … seriously! I think about this true story all the time, and I realize the impact it has had on me!

This non-fiction book is a riveting account of our country’s first texting-while-driving manslaughter case, a 2006 Utah double fatality. Richtel explores all the people and families involved – driver, victims, attorneys, investigative scientists – as he shows us the impact and the life changes this accident precipitated. He cites a vast amount of scientific data research presenting a fascinating look at the science of attention—and inattention. This account reads like a novel, full of vivid, heartbreaking real-life “characters”—to expose and objectively question our glorification of multitasking and tech-connectedness. Although Richter does not impose his own judgements related to this research, I finished the book with my own strong opinion! This is a must-read! It will absolutely change the way you think about the devices that keep us online.

— From Virgie's Picks


From Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Matt Richtel, a brilliant, narrative-driven exploration of technology’s vast influence on the human mind and society, dramatically-told through the lens of a tragic “texting-while-driving” car crash that claimed the lives of two rocket scientists in 2006.

In this ambitious, compelling, and beautifully written book, Matt Richtel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York Times, examines the impact of technology on our lives through the story of Utah college student Reggie Shaw, who killed two scientists while texting and driving. Richtel follows Reggie through the tragedy, the police investigation, his prosecution, and ultimately, his redemption.

In the wake of his experience, Reggie has become a leading advocate against “distracted driving.” Richtel interweaves Reggie’s story with cutting-edge scientific findings regarding human attention and the impact of technology on our brains, proposing solid, practical, and actionable solutions to help manage this crisis individually and as a society.

A propulsive read filled with fascinating, accessible detail, riveting narrative tension, and emotional depth, A Deadly Wandering explores one of the biggest questions of our time—what is all of our technology doing to us?—and provides unsettling and important answers and information we all need.

Praise For…

“Richtel’s compassionate and persuasive book deserves a spot next to Fast Food Nation and To Kill a Mockingbird in America’s high school curriculums. To say it may save lives is self-evident.”

“Keen and elegantly raw. ... Not just a morality tale but a probe sent into the world of technology. ... Richtel draws all the characters with a fine brush, a delicacy that treats misery both respectfully and front-on.”

“Americans are addicted to their technology, putting us on a modern day collision course with very real consequences. Matt Richtel brilliantly tells the story of the aftermath of a deadly distracted driving crash. His portrait is riveting. I could not stop reading, and neither will you.”

“A portrait of our digital age that will deeply frighten you and cause you to reevaluate many common aspects of your ‘connected’ life. ... An extraordinarily important book that everyone—and I mean everyone—should read.”

“A masterpiece of reporting, insight, and empathy. ... A beautiful, cautionary tale that reads like a novel, and that we disregard at our risk.”

A Deadly Wandering is more than a page-turner. It’s a book that can save lives.”

“Matt Richtel’s riveting book is narrative nonfiction at its finest. ... This book should be placed in every school and legislative chamber in the country.”

“This book does that most amazing of feats: it makes cutting-edge scientific research feel relevant to the choices we make every time we get in a car, sit at a desk, or talk to our friends and family.”

“A gripping book. ... This is human drama and the latest knowledge about obsessive technology woven together in memorable style.”

“A compelling, highly emotional, and profoundly important story.”

“Illuminates the perils of information overload... Raises fascinating and troubling issues about the cognitive impact of our technology.”

Intensely gripping, compelling, and sobering... A Deadly Wandering gives the potentially lethal risks of the digital age a very human face -- one which we can, if we’re honest, readily see in the mirror.”

“Exhaustively researched. ... Richtel brings a novelist’s knack for unspooling narrative conflict to bear on Shaw’s real-life drama.”

“Each page is... irresistible. ... A richly detailed and compellingly readable exploration of the ‘clash’ between our brains and the electronic devices that, for many of us, have become essential to ‘every facet of life.’”
Product Details
ISBN: 9780062284068
ISBN-10: 0062284061
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: September 23rd, 2014
Pages: 416
Language: English