The Boy Who Loved Too Much

A True Story of Pathological Friendliness
Narrated by: Heather Auden
Length: 10 hrs and 20 mins
5 out of 5 stars (40 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

What would it be like to see everyone as a friend?

Twelve-year-old Eli D'Angelo has a genetic disorder that obliterates social inhibitions, making him irrepressibly friendly, indiscriminately trusting, and unconditionally loving toward everyone he meets. It also makes him enormously vulnerable. Eli lacks the innate skepticism that will help his peers navigate adolescence more safely - and vastly more successfully.

Journalist Jennifer Latson follows Eli over three critical years of his life as his mother, Gayle, must decide whether to shield Eli entirely from the world and its dangers or give him the freedom to find his own way and become his own person. By intertwining Eli and Gayle's story with the science and history of Williams syndrome, the book explores the genetic basis of behavior and the quirks of human nature. More than a case study of a rare disorder, however, The Boy Who Loved Too Much is a universal tale about the joys and struggles of raising a child, of growing up, and of being different.

©2017 Jennifer Latson (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Always empathetic and consistently insightful, Jennifer Latson's deep dive into Eli's life not only illuminates an under-known condition, but made me rethink the very nature of human connection. I cannot recommend this book highly enough." (Kate Bolick, author of Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own)

What listeners say about The Boy Who Loved Too Much

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heartfelt and deeply honest

Very easy listen. Very well written, weaving facts with personal storytelling. Real insight into what it's like raising a child with special needs.

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Williams Syndrome

This is a very Informative, in-depth book about a boy with Williams Syndrome and his mother whom the author shadowed for three years. It is forthright, honest, personal, and well-researched. I was particularly intrigued by ongoing studies involving elastin and immunotherapy. Everyone can benefit from better understanding of the people around us who don't always always behave as we might first anticipate.

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Best Info to be Learned

Having a family member with Williams Syndrome this book really helped me understand it more fully.