Lou Arrendale is a member of that lost generation, born at the wrong time to reap the awards of medical science. Part of a small group of high-functioning autistic adults, he has a steady job with a pharmaceutical company, a car, friends, and a passion for fencing. Aside from his annual visits to his counselor, he lives a low-key, independent life. He has learned to shake hands and make eye contact. He has taught himself to use "please" and "thank you" and other conventions of conversation because he knows it makes others comfortable. He does his best to be as normal as possible and not to draw attention to himself.But then his quiet life comes under attack.
It starts with an experimental treatment that will reverse the effects of autism in adults. With this treatment Lou would think and act and be just like everyone else. But if he was suddenly free of autism, would he still be himself? Would he still love the same classical music - with its complications and resolutions? Would he still see the same colors and patterns in the world - shades and hues that others cannot see? Most importantly, would he still love Marjory, a woman who may never be able to reciprocate his feelings? Would it be easier for her to return the love of a "normal"?
There are intense pressures coming from the world around him - including an angry supervisor who wants to cut costs by sacrificing the supports necessary to employ autistic workers. Perhaps even more disturbing are the barrage of questions within himself. For Lou...
©2002 Elizabeth Moon; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.
Nebula Award, Best Novel, 2003
Listening is not the same as reading, but it is still fun
Normally I just go for straight Sci Fi and ignore everything else. It is my way of escaping the doldrums of this world. I rate this as one of the best I have ever listened to. My other time was the Girl with the Dragon Tatoo. I think this one is at least as good.
Its hard to pick a favorite character. You tend to like one or the other more or less depending on the situation. Just like life.
The thing about audio books is that having a single person reading to you is sometimes a little annoying. I do wish women read female characters and men the male characters. Everything else requires a bit of a mental shift. Still Jay Snyder made it work. In fact I took this book because he was the reader.His style keeps me interested.
Definitely could not put this one away. I had it playing while I was going to sleep so that I don't lose a moment.
I relate to these autistic characters in a way that makes me want to have my friends listen to this. Maybe they would understand me more. I hope there will be more books featuring these guys.
As a parent of a son diagnosed with Autism - the book made me think. it was the basis for many interesting discussions at my house. If autism could be cured - would you take the treatment?
this book also offered some interesting insights into the world of autism.
Want to know what it's like to have Asperger's? Elizabeth Moon shows a real understanding of the world from the eyes of the Neurodiverse. The story's solid, but not a nail-biter/page turner. While described as a science fiction, the story is about people, not tech. As someone who's worked with many individuals "on the spectrum," I believe this is a must read!
Checking out Brandon Sanderson's work
This is a pretty interesting story, told from the point of view of a functioning autistic adult in a time when autism has been cured for those treated early enough. It is very well written and very well read. The performance does a great job with the various personalities in the book making it very enjoyable. The ending feels like the author was trying to get finished (but it still is interesting). While it is still a good ending, to many things are left undone. But overall, I really liked the story.
I could relate to this book, having a condition that makes me need to think about my behavior being within the norm. Elizabeth Moon did a good job but the end was a little rushed.
The summary of this book sounds intriguing, and it is rated well. I liked it at the beginning, as the author does an interesting and admirable job of getting the reader into the mind of a man who is mildly autistic and of developing his likable personality. I think the narrator does a fine job of portraying the main character as well.
However, that portion of the book continues on long, long after it has ably done it's job -- entering and far surpassing the "OK, I GET it" stage.
Finally, after 5 hours of listening, I felt that I was still in the exposition, and the the once-interesting techniques of portraying the autistic thought process had, through this overexposure, become as tedious as reading a parts catalog; and I gave up.
This book might be one that polarizes opinion -- some enjoying it greatly, and some for whom it is not at all a good fit.
Original story, I never heard anything like it. I liked it a lot. I have worked with people with autism all my adult life and this did not seem fake. Amazing! Great narration too.
I found this book in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy category, but it is neither. Instead, it's a bildungsroman about an autistic man. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't what I was looking for.
Full of insights into both the "normal" and autistic mind, some of them profound. If someone had described this story to me in more detail, I doubt I would have chosen this book. But I found myself fascinated by Lou, his view of the world as an autist, and his struggles with the decision whether or not to undergo the treatment. I was genuinely moved by the author's portrayal of this quietly remarkable character.
Greatly contributing to the enjoyment of the audio book experience was the wonderful narration. His rendering of character was spot on. He gave subtlety to the expression of Lou's character that made him utterly believable. This narrator was also very good at delineating the characters through tone, pitch, accent, etc., to such an extent that I often forgot that all characters were played by the same voice actor. In lesser hands, this audio book may well have fallen flat. Instead, it was a very enjoyable experience that made me both think and feel.
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