Title: The Life List of Adrian Mandrick
Author: Chris White
Narrator: David Aaron Baker
Love, obsession, addiction. Bird-lover Adrian Mandrick is always experiencing all three, which together make a perfect storm. When his estranged mother leaves him a voicemail, a domino effect of poor decisions throws Adrian’s life into disarray. Attempting to drown the emotions in the drugs he prescribes, Adrian numbly meanders along, missing family events, and disrupting a life he loves.
Throughout the story I struggled between sympathy and contempt for the main character, who has kind intentions but allows himself to fall back on his addiction. His constant high means he isn’t completely present anywhere, except for when working on his life list – a collection of birds he’s spotted over his lifetime. It’s a thoughtful novel that highlights the fragility of human relationships and how someone else’s decisions could impair the rest of your life.
I enjoyed the narration by David Aaron Baker, whose calm and matter-of-fact tone contributed some stability in a story that was otherwise spiraling out of control.
If you’re in the mood for a book that will provide a different perspective, I recommend this listen. It’s a touching story told from an addict who otherwise has a seemingly wonderful life. It’s thought-provoking and reinforces the importance of gratitude.
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