A Deadly Wandering: A Mystery, a Landmark Investigation, and the Astonishing Science of Attention in the Digital Age (Paperback)
October 2014 Indie Next List
“A Deadly Wandering is a riveting account of the fatal tragedy and subsequent seminal legal -- and moral -- battle that led to texting-while-driving bans being signed into law. It links neuroscientific research, legal undertakings, and narrative nonfiction that is full of vivid, heartbreaking, real-life characters to expose and objectively question our modern glorification of multitasking and technological connectedness. Richtel's exceptional reporting will absolutely change the way you think about the devices that keep us online, and you will close this book transformed. This is one of the most important books of our time.”
— Julia Sinn, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
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.
About the Author
Matt Richtel is a Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times reporter and bestselling nonfiction and mystery author. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, Meredith, a neurologist, and their two children. In his spare time, he plays tennis and piano and writes (not very good) songs. Visit him online at www.mattrichtel.wordpress.com.
“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.”
— New York Times Book Review (Editor's Choice)
“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.”
— Christian Science Monitor (One of the 10 Best Nonfiction Books of the Year)
“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.”
— Ray LaHood, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation
“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.”
— Douglas Preston, co-author of The Monster of Florence
“A masterpiece of reporting, insight, and empathy. ... A beautiful, cautionary tale that reads like a novel, and that we disregard at our risk.”
— Robert Kurson, author of Shadow Divers
“A Deadly Wandering is more than a page-turner. It’s a book that can save lives.”
— Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows
“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.”
— Jon Huntsman, former governor of Utah
“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.”
— Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit
“A gripping book. ... This is human drama and the latest knowledge about obsessive technology woven together in memorable style.”
— Ralph Nader, author of Unsafe at Any Speed
“A compelling, highly emotional, and profoundly important story.”
— Kirkus Reviews (Starred; a Best Book of the Year)
“Illuminates the perils of information overload... Raises fascinating and troubling issues about the cognitive impact of our technology.”
— Publishers Weekly
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.”
— Winnipeg Free Press (A Best Book of the Year)
“Exhaustively researched. ... Richtel brings a novelist’s knack for unspooling narrative conflict to bear on Shaw’s real-life drama.”
— San Francisco Chronicle (A Best Book of the Year)
“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.’”
— Minneapolis Star Tribune