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A Deadly Wandering

A landmark exploration of the vast and expanding impact of technology, rivetingly told through the lens of a deadly collisionOne of the year's most original and masterfully reported books, A Deadly Wandering by Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist Matt Richtel interweaves the cutting-edge science of attention with the tensely plotted story of a mysterious car accident and its aftermath to answer some of the defining questions of our time: What is technology doing to us Can our minds keep up with the pace of change How can we find balance Through Richtel's beautifully constructed narrative, a complex and far-reaching topic becomes intimate and urgent-an important call to reexamine our own lives.On the last day of summer, an ordinary Utah college student named Reggie Shaw fatally struck two rocket scientists while texting and driving along a majestic stretch of highway bordering the Rocky Mountains. Richtel follows Reggie from the moment of the tragedy, through the police investigation, the state's groundbreaking prosecution (at the time there was little precedent to guide the court), and ultimately, Reggie's wrenching admission of responsibility. Richtel parallels Reggie's journey with leading-edge scientific findings regarding human attention and the impact of technology on our brains-showing how these devices, now thoroughly embedded into all aspects of our lives, play to our deepest social instincts and prey on parts of the brain that crave stimulation, creating loops of compulsion, even addiction. Remarkably, today Reggie is a leading advocate who has helped spark a national effort targeting distracted driving, and the arc of his story provides a window through which Richtel pursues actionable solutions to help manage this crisis individually and as a society. A propulsive read filled with fascinating scientific detail, riveting narrative tension, and rare emotional depth, A Deadly Wandering is a book that can change-and save-lives.
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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


"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) "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) "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

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