But now, he is on a high-speed train travelling from Rome to Modena, a failed novelist on the tail of a famous physicist whose memoir he is ghostwriting.
The more of another man's life he writes, the more his debt to his publisher is paid off. But nothing would be possible, not the journey, not the writing, not his beautiful wife who is waiting for him at the hotel, had he not experienced the life-altering, life-saving treatment for the darkness which had been hovering since the chemical spill in West Virginia.
As the narrator untangles the past in his bid to rewrite the future, he spirals across time, exploring memory, our sense of self and the ways we are connected. A devastating insight into depression, it's also a mind-expanding, exhilarating experience of the power of psychedelic therapy to transform a life.