28 Seconds: A True Story of Addiction, Injustice, and Tragedy

28 Seconds

When I came across 28 Seconds: A True Story of Addiction, Tragedy and Hope  , I also discovered this TedX Talk (July 20th, 2013) with the author, Michael Bryant.

The theme was Redefining Success and Failure. Bryant states, “I thought I could run the world. I thought I could control everything that happens to me and I learned, of course, that it’s not that way.”

“A moving description of a painful yet wholesome path from hubris to humility.”

says Toronto Star. AND… Globe & Mail below: (Review page here)

“The story that fate handed [the author, Michael Bryant] on an unsavoury platter is not merely the stuff of fiction, it is the stuff of the greatest moral dramas in the literary canon. … By chastening him so thoroughly, by forcing him to bare his soul so openly, his angels have transformed him from a callow opportunist into one of Canada’s most compelling political figures. And a pretty good writer to boot.”

I love excerpts and I thought the Prologue was a great introduction to this true story….


At dusk on the night that everything changed, my life was almost embarrassingly triumphant. I had an impressive new job. I had two glorious children. I was celebrating the 12th anniversary of the marriage that produced them. My parents and siblings were alive and well. At age 43, my future was featured favourably and often in glossy media.

Any day now , Hello! magazine was due to run its series on the perfect couple with the perfect kids, the perfect home, the perfect careers: he a political force shrewdly biding time, building connections and influence away from elected office; she an entertainment lawyer to the stars; the children enrolled and thriving in French immersion at Toronto’s toniest public school.

Fast forward, however, and you might think I’d become Job’s apprentice.

On August 31, 2009, on a strip of Toronto known as the Mink Mile— the ritziest stretch of high-end retail shops in Canada— I was involved in the death of a man. Later, I was charged with killing him.

In 2010, those charges were dropped and the legal ordeal ended. But so did my marriage. In 2011, my younger brother died suddenly in his thirties of a rare heart condition. We were holding hands when he passed away.

Until the night that everything changed, I was one of fortune’s favoured sons, and the inside of a jail cell seemed as unlikely a destination for me as the far side of the moon. Until then, by almost any measure, I was on a roll. Everything I’d ever sought out, ever dreamed of, ever imagined had become true in my life.

Bryant, Michael. 28 Seconds: A True Story of Addiction, Tragedy and Hope (Kindle Locations 86-99). Penguin Group (Canada). Kindle Edition.


“I have read a lot of memoirs, from a lot of clean and sober addicts. This shows a perspective and insight that is uncommon. A gripping, gripping read. Anyone can identify with being “falsely accused” of something, legally or otherwise. Michael Bryant doesn’t tell his story alone, he tells the story of his families hardship from being part of a front-page-story, the tragic life and loss of Darcy Sheppard and the dysfunction of a legal, mental health and criminal justice system from a rare birds-eye-view.” ~ Review by Joe on goodreads.com

See purchase links for 28 Seconds: A True Story of Addiction, Tragedy and Hope


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