Reviews Comments: I wanted to like this...
I wanted to like this...
...but within four chapters I had to abandon book. This isn't a story about an autistic boy. It's a story about a rude, uncouth boy with a label pasted on his forehead. I have Asperger's Syndrome. I went through seven years of school with people with varying degrees of mental retardation and autism-spectrum disorder. This brat doesn't resemble a single one of them in any degree. He's a poor rip-off of Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man in kid form. It makes the book impossible to read. I didn't even get into the plot proper because the setup was so obnoxious I wanted to burn the book. (I would have if it weren't a library book.) When Tropic Thunder said "Never go full retard", they weren't talking about novels. This is a wasted opportunity on a truly sad scale.
I also have AS, and I thought this was decent, although the framing device of Chris' perspective was rather painful and tedious to read. Been a while, but is it outright said anywhere in the book that he has any kind of autism?
comment #18526 Robotnik 17th Mar 13
Well according to Haddon, he's really meant to more of just an outsider. He's not the most likable protagonist, but it is interesting seeing things from his point of view. I think part of it isn't looking purely at his view, but making inferences. He's very matter-of-fact but sometimes his priorities change on a whim which annoys me.
comment #18548 blueflame724 18th Mar 13
He's interesting up to a point, but after a while, he stops acting consistently. He became less a character and more a series of different characters tapping in and out. When he's more socially competent/developed than he was in the last scene, you expect him to stay that way, but he then slides back. I know there are good days and bad, but the lack of consistency made him impossible to fully crystallize as a person.
comment #18550 fenrisulfur 18th Mar 13
THANK YOU. I was beginning to think I was the only person who hated the book. My hatred didn't really have anything to do with autism, I just found it incredibly boring.
comment #19439 ading 19th May 13
I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels like this. I'm yet another person with AS who despises this book. It's things like that that give Aspergers a bad name, what's worse is I actually had people at school start judging me based on this book: assuming that I must be an antisocial Jerkass, math genius and Straw Atheist because the book says so. These are all the exact opposite of me. On another note, I also hate the book for just being plain bad writing. I nearly fell asleep reading all those long, dull, drawn-out sentences.
comment #19500 BigKlingy 23rd May 13
^^ Although some people I've speaken to only like it in a campy way, but I feel even that is overrating it.
comment #21863 ading 3rd Nov 13
The problem with very limited numbers of portrayals of autism/Aspergers/any minority is that people tend to make judgements based on very little information and a very limited portrayal. Having multiple portrayals makes it easier, and sends people the message that not every member of that group is the same.
comment #21870 BonsaiForest 4th Nov 13
People with no psychological expertise usually just assume anyone who is smart and socially awkward has autism.
comment #22107 ading 18th Nov 13
....Except that the author has specifically said the kid does not have autism, and in fact his disorder is deliberately left ambiguous.
comment #22118 Smoko 19th Nov 13
If that's the case, then this is an example of the media and/or general public running with a "fact" that's never expressed.
comment #22119 BonsaiForest 19th Nov 13
Oh, so THAT's why people told me to read this book as a child, saying i'd be able to "relate" to the main character. it all makes sense now. ...I always hated it, never got far
comment #22135 ElectricNova 19th Nov 13
They assume that two high-functioning autistics are specifically alike. :/ I myself had to learn how different we are.
comment #22153 BonsaiForest 20th Nov 13
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