Yes. This book takes you inside the mind of an autistic man in the not-to-distant future. The character, science and situations place you in a constant state of "what's happening next?", "how is he going to react?", "What's really going on?" - while at the same time drawing you into the "autistic state", making you look internally to your foibles, thinking and inclinations. Awesome job for a single book!
The solid first-person way of thinking, analyzing and reacting. The performance by Jay Snyder was exceptional. This is the first book in a long time that created a character so realistic that the only way I can imagine this being successful is in book form - no movie, just in-depth characterization.
No, but I will...
definitely, but did not have the opportunity.
I don't know how Elizabeth Moon could even "think" the way this character comes across. Makes me want to do research into autism and neurology, Fantastic job!
I loved, loved, loved this book, and wanted to hug the author for the way in which she portrayed this autistic man & all the very, very deep questions he & she posed. I saw things from many, many more perspectives than ever before - & I thought I was a fairly perceptive, empathetic, & mindful person. I could barely turn this off & continued chores long past the point of done, just to keep listening.
SPOILER ALERT!! I absolutely, positively HATED the choice she had Lou make, as I thought it denigrated all that had gone before; people have amazing worth AS THEY ARE, & who can say what "normal" is? Then the outcome? Too pat! A way to finish the book on an up note, only. It appears Ms. Moon didn't know where to go, after a point, so had Lou make his (awful, to me) choice, & then have everything turn out smelling sweet. That stank, in my opinion.
HOWEVER! This is still beautifully, wonderfully written, thought-provoking to the nth degree, & OH! Soooo worth a credit & your time. Just grin & bear it at the end, though.
The second half of the book was ridiculous and so seemingly disconnected with the beginning. There was so much time in developing the main character as likable and sympathetic. He was well grounded and the author seemed to make him self sufficient. Then when he was at his strongest the author makes him feel fallible and want to change. Then the whole change thing was horribly developed and just ended.
The main character before the change
The story succeeds on the strength of the first-person narrative voice. It makes the protagonist, Lou Arrendale, completely believable while also creating a view on the world that is believably autistic.
Jay Snyder's voices were believable and the differences between characters clear. His nuanced depiction of Lou Arrendale was perfectly balanced between flatness and a sort of geeky excitement.
There is a moment towards the end when Lou asks his manager if the manager's brother is going to take the treatment for autism and the manager's response reveals a great deal about him and his brother in few words.
This is not a book about action or adventure, but about people and situations.
This book is different from most of Elizabeth Moon's other books, but just as enjoyable. The viewpoint is unique and really interesting.
The reader does a great job also--I liked this audio rendition even better than the print book. He captured the struggle of the main character in dealing with the rest of the world very well.
Kea Giles (Asmus)
Well read by Jay Snyder, this book takes the reader into the mind and life of an autistic man in the near future. If you know someone who is autistic, or who has Asperger's syndrome, you'll feel at home with the character and get some good insight into how your friend, husband, son, or daughter might think. I especially liked the part about comparing an autistic person's facial recognition and other types of perception to that of a blind person. Also, good insight into how other people treat folks who think differently, who act differently.
MBaggins of Blue Star Mage.com
This very thoughtful book is not for folks looking for blowing up - there is only one almost blowing up. Nor is it for folks looking for steamy sex scenes.
This is a great book for us rocking chair philosophers, and for those looking for new amazing "here's the problem now, what if in the future . . . " science fiction.
It is a crucial book for looking at relationships. And of identifying the issues of how to read emotions. I was mesmerized by the careful, fearful, gentle thinking of the main character. So much of what he noticed in this chaotic world are things I have also noticed and thought about.
I have always liked this author.
This book took some fine research, The subject has been so hidden from us because of prejudice and fear of the unusual. She did such a clean and thought provoking job.
I really love it.
And Jay Snyder was perfect. The reading was often tough to clearly show who is speaking, and to signify the dichotomy of the characters: balancing what some perceive as problems of relating and speaking with the often brilliant abilities that they also exhibited. He did it beautifully. I was so impressed.
This is one I am keeping to re-read several more times.
The reader was competent, keeping my interest in what would have otherwise been a tiresome read.
If nothing else, this brings home the varied tastes of audible listeners. I thought the characters were two dimensional, without any depth or warmth. The protagonist's life, far from being a glimpse into a different type of mind, was tedious. I found myself not caring what happened to him. Generally, the motivation for character behavior was unclear and the storyline (especially that pertaining to forced medical treatment of employees) unbelievable. I like the idea but believe a short story might have been a better vehicle.
I can generally muddle through any production but I kept wanting to quit this one. But for the reader, I would have.
I took a chance on this one and was so glad I did. I thought it would keep me entertained in the car, but ended up listening to it whenever I had a free moment. And thinking about it the rest of the time! The story draws you in, emotionally as well as intellectually. And there is scifi, but the "sci" part is along biological lines. I would recommend it to any one.
I'm a voracious reader who unfortunately spends a lot of time on the road. Audiobooks make my life a lot better.
Although I certainly am a rabid science fiction fan (among other genres) I'm not sure I knew this was classified as science fiction when I bought it. Although it takes place in some future where the understanding of brain chemistry and how to manipulate it is far advanced over today, this setting plays virtually no role in the story except to set up the protagonist's eventual decision to be "treated." This book is a character study of mildly mentally impaired man and although it may suffer, as other reviews have suggested, from a case of "over-doing it," it certainly gives the reader/listener a working knowledge of how a GROUP of such folks interacts with each other and the "normal" world.
What seems to be lacking, however, is PLOT. A lot of individual incidents happen to Lou and his compatriots, and we get to know probably a dozen characters very well, but the rest of the story seems a bit rushed. When I realized how little time was left in the book when Lou finally went in for the "cure", I knew that it was either going to end on the way into the operating room, or end entirely too quickly. The latter is certainly what happened; the part of the story after Lou's treatment was WAY too rushed. I wish another hour or two of more richly detailed plot had been inserted at this point.
All the above being said, however, my recommendation would be: if you like a really good character study, getting to know a person whose mind works a little differently from the average and learning that his personality is at least as rich and complex as any of the "normals," then buy this audiobook.