Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Limitless” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.81  ·  Rating details ·  4,662 Ratings  ·  511 Reviews

A burnout at thirty-five, months behind on his book, low on cash, and something of a loser, Eddie Spinola could use a shot in the arm. One day he randomly runs into Vernon, his ex-wife's brother, and his ex-dealer. Now employed by a shadowy pharmaceutical company, Vernon has something that might help: a n
Paperback, 336 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Picador (first published 2001)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Limitless, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Limitless

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
I'm always saddened when this happens. You see a movie, made after a book, and you get the feeling there is some dense, convergent story in the book that had to be greatly simplified to fit into movie form. Instead, what you get is an unfocused, chaotic story with a disappointing ending.

On a technical level the book is well written. The language is rich, but easy to read and the characters are believable, if not very relateable.

The structure is where the book fails. It seems like the writer sta
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, but very different from the movie. Recall that this book was originally named "The Dark Fields" and written by a brooding Irishman. Don't expect the same story arc or ending as you find in a Hollywood movie named "Limitless."

All that said, I enjoyed the movie and the book for different reasons. They tell different stories and tell them in different ways. In the movie, Robert De Niro has a line that goes something like "Your powers are unearned to date. Nothing is unearned." I thought this
Nasrin Saberi Shakib
I watched the film adaptation (Limitless) before reading the book. Usually it is the other way around for me. I thought the book went into the social impact of the drug much better than the movie did. It accomplished this partly by delving into the experience of other users, besides the protagonist. The main premise, as other reviewers have noted, is a new designer drug that enhances the intelligence. The main character, Eddie Spinola, lives an uninspiring life as a contract writer hurrying to m ...more
May 15, 2011 rated it did not like it
I decided to pick this book up because I saw the movie trailer and thought it looked really good. I really hope the movie is better than the book, for once.

The story line seemed promising, but it never picked up. Sure, there were a few parts that started to get exciting, but there was nothing in this book that kept me wanting more. There were way too many irrelevant slow paced parts in the book, a handful of pointless characters (Ginny, especially), and the ending was awful. My husband told me I
Sep 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction, 2011
You will possibly know this as the Bradley Cooper movie Limitless (if you go searching for the book, look it up under the movie's title - I don't think it's published under the original title any longer).

The main character, Eddie Spinola, acquires some medication that makes him insanely smart. He absorbs information and processes it so quickly that he learns new languages in a day and is able to play the stock market like a toy xylophone. Unfortunately, the drug has its downsides as well, as on
Apr 04, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I decided to read the novel because I enjoyed the movie so much. I had taken my family to the movie and they really enjoyed it too. Had the movie been true to the book, I don't think that would've been the case. I believe the changes were done intentionally so that the movie would have much more entertainment value.

I agree wholeheartedly with the reviewer who praised Alan Glynn for the research he did on the various subjects touched on in the book. It very much feels when you read the book that
Jennifer Willis
Apr 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you were offered a pill that would make you smarter, more focused and infinitely more productive, would you take it? Would you bother to ask about the side effects first?

Protagonist Eddie Spinola isn't initially told what this tiny pill will do for -- or to -- him, but he knocks back the MDT-48 anyway, and his life immediately becomes a thrilling (and unmanageable) roller coaster.

I've not seen the movie, "Limitless," based on this book by Alan Glynn. The film previews got me interested in the
Jun 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw the trailer to the film Limitless some time ago, and thought “Cool – that looks excellent” and then didn’t get a chance to see it at the flicks, so when I saw the book cheap on Kindle (a cool £1) I thought I’d give it a bash.

I didn’t realise that the book had actually been re-released under a different name to tie-in with the film. The book was originally published in 2001 and was called The Dark Fields.

I have to admit, I was completely drawn in right from the very beginning.

Eddie Spinola
I think having seen the movie, made the book less enjoyable, all the key plot points are in the movie; minus all the long drawn out jargon that the author uses. There are some interesting things in the book that didn’t translate in the movie, but its too simlar. In the end the movie is much more enjoyable.
Tyler Simard
Feb 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Alan Glynn wrote the novel "The Dark Fields" Which was later changed into "Limitless". This book is a definite page-turner for me. I am reading this book after seeing the movie several months ago. I notice that many parts were interpreted in the movie and I am recieving a whole new insight on the plot of the story. It is interesting to see the differences between the film and the book. Limitless is a great example of the word Automaton. The dictionary definition for Automaton states the followin ...more
Laura Freed
When I first started this book, I wrote: Wow. This book is blowing me away. If the movie is half as good as this I'll be surprised!
Then I got mid way through (maybe not even midway) and while the action scenes were page turners, the author had a tendency to give excruciating details about what Eddie Spinola (great character name!)was learning about when he took the "limitless" drug. It was like a condensed history lesson about things I could care less about and that did not further the story alo
I picked this book up on a whim as I had seen the film a while ago and hadn't realised that it was actually based on a book.

The story is told from the point of view of Eddie Spinola, your average heading towards mid-life crisis type of guy, who is suddenly given the chance to turn his life around with a mystery drug provided by his ex brother in law. The sudden improvement in his ability to think and do things that seemed to be beyond him before provides for an exhilarating ride as he explores t
Mar 28, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm wavering between 2 and 3 stars on this one. I love the premise, the idea - and it's not far-fetched at all - that a pill could help us utilise our full mental potential. How addictive that would be! Glynn's writing is good as are his characters. If anything he overdid the research in my opinion: there's way too much information regarding how his MC conquered the stock market - pages of it. For me he should have summed this all up in one paragraph: For the next couple of months I analysed and ...more
Apr 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: SciFi urban mystery fans
Recommended to Angie by: Christmas gift
This was very similar to the movie. I had actually seen Limitless before I read the book and as I'd loved the film wasn't sure at all how the book would hold up. I loved it.

The books about a new super drug that allows you to preform 200% but there is a major downside. The come down is a total bitch! I loved the characters, and its was wonderful seeing in my mind Bradley Cooper as Eddie Spinola. The book moves at a fast pace and when the deaths and confusion start it go from good to excellent.
Jul 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the movie Limitless. If you saw the movie, you should still read the book. It's intriguing, and the ending is different. Remember, this is the original story. I couldn't give it five stars due to some repetitive situations between the halfway and three-quarter points of the book, but still a fun ride. Overall, a recommended read. I look forward to reading Winterland, even though I haven't even looked to see what it's about yet.
Carly Marino
I'm sorry but I loved this novel. I read it in like a day. It was fast paced and an interesting idea. And the TV show was the best but they canceled it. Wahh. But this isn't a TV show review, it's a BOOK review. haha. So I wanted to say that the book is fun, exciting, and a page-turner. For me anyway. A drug that makes you smarter but has consequences. Very cool.
May 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Film je puno puno zanimljiviji.

I'll give Alan Glynn credit: He kept me engaged throughout this book, and I really did want to find out what happened to his slacker protagonist who suddenly gains mental superpowers when he takes a miraculous new drug.

I can also judge this book without having been affected by Bradley Cooper-mania and the movie version, which I missed. The story begins when Eddie Spinola, a lonely, frustrated copy editor for a New York publisher, bumps into his former brother in law, and agrees to take a pill th
Breanna Domingos
The book called "Limitless" presents itself exactly how it sounds. It is creative and as out there as possible. While reading this book I discovered that my two favorite characters were the main character, Eddie Morra, and Vernon Grant, his ex wives brother. These two characters controlled and influenced the entire story due to a coincidence. Eddie also influenced my appreciation of this book by his quick character change. He goes from a broke and divorced hood rat to a high class man who is no ...more
Lone Automaton
Sep 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked the movie tie-in version of this novel at a secondhand store under the title "Limitless". I had seen the film when it was in theatres and decided to give the book a go.
I went into it not expecting much. It was a great film, but somehow I couldn't see it being a compelling read, but I was pleasantly surprised.
the book reminds me a little of "American Psycho" or "Fight Club". It's hip, sleek, addictive.
Despite his obvious flaws I found the main character immediately likable and wanted him
David Lucero
Jun 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw this movie because the main character was a writer, burnt out and clueless. As a writer myself I can say I know the feeling. Anyway, I wasn't too thrilled about watching the movie because Bradley Cooper was the lead actor. It's not that I don't think he's any good, but rather he played the role of creep in 'Wedding Crashers' so well that whenever I saw him in another role I couldn't shake the character he played in Wedding Crashers. Well, that has all been erased. Not only did Cooper do a ...more
May 17, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book is the literary basis of the highly likable movie "Limitless" starring Bradley Cooper and Robert Deniro. The book and the movie are that rare breed of identical twins that are actually easy to tell apart. They share many of the same players, or people who add up to the same players, and the paint largely the same picture.

However, the book for me is actually lacking when compared to the movie. 1. You know the outcome, through the storytellers own devices, after the firs
Jan 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tech_fi
A vivid imagery of time lapsed reality distorted by fragmented moments both out of body and out of character. MDT-48, a designer drug for the intellect and recollection becomes the quick addiction of Eddie Spinola transforming him from a struggling author of sorts into a high powered stock market trader and broker of multimillion dollar company mergers.

I couldn’t put this down, speed reading with vivaciousness akin to Eddie’s own reading ability whilst consumed by MDT-48. I simply couldn’t wait
I didn't see the movie, though it looked somewhat interesting. I'll catch it when it's on FX in like 3 years. In the meantime, I found out that the movie was based on a book! So instead of waiting for the movie, I picked up the book for free to see what the plot was all about. Yeah, it was pretty much what I expected. I actually thought the book would be worse then it was and it really wasn't awful. I wish the author dove more into the history of the drug or what happened to all the people that ...more
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Basically a modern retelling of Flowers for Algernon, moreso than the movie.

I enjoyed the inspiring "zero to hero" story in the first half. One or two moments struck me as a neckbeard's fantasy such as when Eddie impresses a girl by telling her about the mechanics of wind and how it's formed. Yet it has a merit of truth to it, because depending on how you say something--the more charismatic you are, the more interested the listener is.

In the second half I was questioning almost all of Eddie's ac
Nov 08, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Carmen by: Movie
This wasn't a very good book, because it was not very well-written, not because the concept was poor. There is a drug that makes you all you can be. You are productive, driven, creative, and you can learn very fast. This makes you (usually) rich and powerful and thin. But if you ever stop taking the drug, you don't just “go back to normal”. You suffer blackouts (well, you do this even while on the drug, and sometimes get aggressive and kill people and don't remember it), have headaches, insomnia ...more
Natalie K. Martin
I watched the film a few years ago and didn't even realise it was a book. I was a bit sceptical at first but it's fantastic. The story kicks in straight away and it's written in a way that makes you really feel the effects of the drug in Eddie's system. He goes from being a struggling, jaded writer to frankly an amazing, intellectual, knowledge hungry and often scary person under MDT's effects.

The story is well thought out and even though there are technical bits in there about stock markets and
Daniel Mihai Popescu
They took a good book and made a lame movie. Now the book is reviewed on my blog,

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Challenge Fac...: Stacey & Jennifer C. - Limitless 9 18 Dec 23, 2013 03:24AM  
Read the Movie: Dark Fields - Limitless 1 26 Jul 27, 2012 06:22PM  
  • Dark Times in the City
  • Another [アナザー] 4th period
  • Mad Skills
  • Alien Encounters: The Secret Behind The UFO Phenomenon
  • Falling Glass
  • The Reincarnation of Peter Proud
  • Verlies
  • The Rising (Inspector Devlin, #4)
  • Mystery Man
  • City of Lost Girls (Ed Loy, #5)
  • Steampunk Holmes: Legacy of the Nautilus
  • Unlikely Killer
  • The Damned Season
  • Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
  • Web of the Visorak (Bionicle Adventures, #7)
  • The God of the Labyrinth
  • Matcher Rules
Alan Glynn is a graduate of Trinity College. His first novel, The Dark Fields, was released in March 2011 as the movie Limitless by Relativity Media. He is also the author of Graveland, Winterland and Bloodland, for which he won the 2011 Irish Book Award.
More about Alan Glynn...

Fiction Deals

  • Star Sand
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Chasing the Sun
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Hidden
    $3.99 $2.00
  • Jubilee
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Where We Fall
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Over the Plain Houses
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Mustard Seed
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Count Belisarius
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Memory of Things
    $7.80 $2.99
  • Julie of the Wolves
    $6.24 $1.99
  • To Hold the Crown: The Story of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York (Tudor Saga, #1)
    $11.99 $2.99
  • A House for Happy Mothers
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Lace Makers of Glenmara
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Quaker Café (Quaker Café #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Whiskey Rebels
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Honest Spy
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Gone Crazy in Alabama (Ala Notable Children's Books. Middle Readers)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • We Are All Made of Stars
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Mercer Girls
    $4.99 $1.99
  • While the World Is Still Asleep (The Century Trilogy Book 1)
    $5.49 $1.99
  • Tulip Fever
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.: A Novel
    $9.99 $1.99
  • 600 Hours of Edward
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Prayers for the Stolen
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Daughters of Palatine Hill
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Very Valentine
    $10.99 $2.99
  • The Cellar
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Clouds (Glenbrooke, #5)
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Ireland
    $10.49 $2.99
  • Funland
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Secrets of Mary Bowser
    $7.24 $1.99
  • The Comfort of Strangers
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Endless Night
    $4.49 $0.99
  • Lilac Bus
    $7.99 $1.99
  • God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Unremembered Girl
    $4.99 $2.49
  • We're All Damaged
    $3.99 $1.99