A 39-year-old with Asperger’s syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder, Edward Stanton lives alone on a rigid schedule in the Montana town where he grew up. His carefully constructed routine includes tracking his most common waking time (7:38 a.m.), refusing to start his therapy sessions even a minute before the appointed hour (10:00 a.m.), and watching one episode of the 1960s cop show Dragnet each night (10:00 p.m.).
But when a single mother and her nine-year-old son move in across the street, Edward’s timetable comes undone. Over the course of a momentous 600 hours, he opens up to his new neighbors and confronts old grievances with his estranged parents. Exposed to both the joys and heartaches of friendship, Edward must ultimately decide whether to embrace the world outside his door or retreat to his solitary ways.
Heartfelt and hilarious, this moving novel will appeal to fans of Daniel Keyes’ classic Flowers for Algernon and to any reader who loves an underdog.
©2012 Craig Lancaster (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
I ignore genre labels. Some of my favorite books are outside my genre comfort zone. Listening to audiobooks is still reading. Not theater.
I cannot say exactly what made this book so special. The author uses a narrative tool that has been used fairly frequently recently and uses it very well. The main character's developmental problems are often trivialized as nothing more than idiocynracies or quirks in other books. This book treats the psychological problems of Edward quite seriously. And yet he uses them to slowly let you meet then understand Edward and the people who inhabit his life, those that are real and those that live in Edward's favorite TV show.
The lessons Edward learns as he slowly and belatedly grows up, the hurts he suffers, the irrational habits he cannot help, the relationships he struggles with, the slights he feel that always result in complaint letters, all of them help you understand a very complicated man. The author understands his character and uses these tools to help you understand him as well.
The narrator does a great job, although I would swear that Sam Elliott steps in and does the voice of Edward's father.
I really recommend this book. It is complex, layered, detailed and yet really, quite simple.
I always fear (and sometimes avoid) stories that have disability or impairment as central to the theme because of the tendency authors have to turn every person with disability into a life affirming angel or a sex crazed villain - and not much in between.
However, knowing a little about OCD I was well prepared.
What I wasnt prepared for was how well the topic was presented and how interestingly the main character was portrayed. Edward very quickly became a person I would gladly live next door to. Craig Lancaster has written a wonderful story for his first novel. Lets hope for more.
Say something about yourself!
I would recommend this audiobook to my friends who lilke intricate characters, a "real" story about adults trying to overcome their various difficulties in order to find a place in the world. This book reminded me of Ron McLarty's fantastic, whimsical THE MEMORY OF RUNNING, in that both books show how a lonely man grows and changes when circumstances force it.
I loved 39-year-old OCD/Asbergers sufferer (that seems llke soooo not the right word) interacts with 9-year-old Kyle. I love how Kyle looks at Edward without judgment and how he teaches Edward to laugh again and that disaster will not strike if he gets out of his routine.
i've never heard anything else that he's done, but I think he did a nice job here. I particularly want to commend his interpretation of the female characters. So often male narrators can ruin a book by making the women sound fake, shrill and just annoying. He did a lovely job here bringing Donna to life, and illuminating her sensitivity, her frailties, her kindness.
Oh, I think a dinner with Edward, Kyle, and Donna would be really fun. I'd love to see all their different personalities mix and bounce off one another. Would Edward order spaghetti, you think?
If you liked MAJOR PETTIGREW'S LAST STAND or THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY, you will enjoy this short, sweet book immensely.
I have always loved to read, and now I really enjoy listening to my books as well!!
This was a pleasant surprise! It is a quick, well written novel of a gentleman with Asperger's syndrome. You get to peek into his life for a mere 25 days, but Edward's evolution throughout is satisfying. I enjoyed the story--it progressed well, with a few twists along the way!
The narrator is perfect for this story--at times, I really thought he was Edward! This book is quirky, tender, sad, and laugh-out-loud funny--I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it to others.
**and I've already set up my "complaint" file--it seems like the perfect stress therapy to me!!**
This is a great book and the narration is excellent. I loved how I felt so involved in Edward's daily life.
When Edward meets Kyle for the first time.
Kyle..Luke Daniels portrayed the boy so well. He is a character who features infrequently but plays a pivotal role in Edward's life.
At times, I found myself laughing out loud. (Though the basis of the story is no laughing matter.) At other times, I cried with Edward as he faced the challenges of everyday life and relationships.
600 Hours of Edward focuses on accomplishments. It is a heartwarming story that shows us what we can achieve if we take one step at a time. It clearly demonstrates what the human spirit is capable of if one is determined enough. The narrator is superb. If you love an underdog, this book will appeal to you. Give it a try.
I have not read the print version but the narration brought Edward to life.
I thoroughly enjoyed Edwards letters of complaint and how they evolved toward the end. I also enjoyed the evolution of his relationships. There were far too many memorable moments throughout this book to highlight any one in particular.
Of all the narrations of all the audiobooks I have ever listened to, Luke Daniels surpassed them all! I feel the narration was critical to this story in particular to capture the many quirks and eccentricities of Edward. Luke Daniels nailed Edwards character in addition to the other characters of this book. He did an extraordinary job, even down to the slightest fluctuations of voice such as Edward remarking on words that he loved, which were expressed with pure delight. You could feel every one of Edwards highs and lows throughout the book. I enjoyed every second of it!
The letter from his father!
This is the type of book that comes around once every ten years. It is masterfully written. It is technical and creative writing at it's very best. Although the ending was superb, I grieved when it was over as I never wanted it to end. There was so much depth and humanity to the characters of this book and I genuinely cared about every one of them. I especially adored Edward. I wish I could be his neighbor and friend.
I liked it. I liked it so much, I'm going to read it again.
Edward's letter from his father, and how he reacted and processed the information.
Edward's date with Joy
Edward has a very logical story....
I was looking for a recommendation for a book similar to the "Rosie Project" (i.e., an author who could deal with a difficult subject in a humorous, but still realistic manner).
This book was very different, but equally as good for different reasons. Craig Lancaster does a good job dealing with the full range of issues that all of us have faced at some time or other while still making us laugh.
I would highly recommend this..I don't think you would be disappointed.
Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy
I read this book on my Kindle, loved it, saw it available on Audible for a great price, and jumped on the opportunity to revisit Edward on audio! Luke Daniels did a great narration--he really captured the spirit of Edward. He added immensely to the listening experience.
This is similar to a coming of age novel only Edward is 39 years old. He has Obsessive Compulsive disorder and Aspergers syndrome, a mild form of autism. Despite these handicaps, he is very intelligent. Yet, he has lived a very closed and stunting existence until he is befriended by a 9 year old neighbor boy and his mother. Edward has a gradual awakening of sorts along with all the struggles that come with "growing up" and dealing with an overbearing, withholding father. Gradually Edward, with the help of his longstanding therapist, begins experimenting with change and more participation in the outside world.
Edward is a sweet, lovable character, and his story is humorous and touching. It is a quick easy read. Highly recommended.
This was such an unexpected treat. Touching. Funny. Real. And ultimately uplifting.
The narration is also perfect. In fact, I went in search of more books read by this author and found, to my extreme surprise, that there was a sequel. Of course I downloaded it, knowing that it could never match "600 Hours," but I was simply glad not to have to let go of Edward just yet.
"Heartwarming and humane"
When we meet Edward, at 39 years of age (well, 39 years and (about) 280 days) at the beginning of the novel, we see that his routines have paved the way to a life that is filled with routine, devoid of challenges, but ultimately isolating. He has no friends, and has a particularly strained relationship with his father, a wealthy local politician who pays all of Edward’s living expenses but keeps him at a distance, physically and emotionally, unable to come to terms with his illnesses. However, during the 600 hours - 25 days (count them – I did) I spent with him, Edward is shaken out of his routines by events, both happy and poignant, that force him to re-examine his carefully-controlled life. He tries online dating; he begins interacting with his new neighbors, a single mother, Donna, and her 9-year-old son, Kyle. Ever so slowly, Edward starts to connect with other people. Not every interaction goes smoothly – online dating is different from ‘more traditional’ dating - but over the course of the 600 hours, we start to see a transformation (I love the word ‘transformation’) in Edward. His relationship with the Donna and Kyle shows signs of developing into a meaningful friendship. The nightly letters of complaint (none of which, on the advice of his therapist, are ever sent,) start to become more reflections than complaints. And all the while, Edward slowly, on his own terms, makes his way into a society that he has avoided for so long.
Craig Lancaster builds Edward’s character through spare, straightforward prose that keeps the story well-paced and readable, and adds just the right amount of emotion, so that by the end, we are rooting for Edward and the remarkable 600-hour journey he has made, and that we seem to have made with him.
The narration in this wonderful tale is magnificently done, with the voice of Edward in all his moods and reflections, of the different people with whom he interacts capturing a world that is both engaging and fulfilling.
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