Mini-Review: 600 Hours of Edward

I love this book.

It’s one of my favorites.

book cover and link

(That’s actually a quote from the book. Read the book, then you’ll know it’s funny.)

Mom and I read this book a few years ago. I think a coworker gave it to her. This was long before I realized I was on the spectrum, but of course autism has been a special interest of mine for a long time, and so we read quite a few books related to the topic.

This one is a work of fiction, yet reads like an amazing memoir. Edward is a 40-year-old man with Asperger’s and OCD. He is very realistically drawn and like my mom says, “You really root for him.”  As the title implies, the story takes place over a period of 25 days.  Although his world does get rocked, Edward first introduces us to his daily routine in a very repetitive fashion.  I remember when I first read the book finding parts boring and annoying (like the few pages he devotes to describing his top ten football games).  But when I read it a second time, I didn’t mind.  I recognized that the repetition and the “annoying” parts really work to give you a feel for what it’s like to know or to be someone with Asperger’s.  I will give a content warning – there is some profanity (mostly from his father) and the topic of sex is brought up.  But for mature readers this is still an excellent read.

As I read it this time I saved a few quotes to share with you.

First, dinner.  I will have the DiGiorno’s pizza.
It’s good, but it doesn’t taste like delivery, no matter what the TV commercial says.  I don’t think delivery has a taste.  It’s nonsensical.  Delivered pizza has a taste, but that’s not what the commercial says.  Imprecision frustrates me.

I love this guy.

I arrive early for two reasons: First, as I said, the lighting and wood paneling and the soft music help set me at ease.  Second, Dr. Buckley’s other, less-organized patients are always getting the magazines out of order.  I sometimes need the full 10 minutes to organize the magazines by titles and date.

Have I mentioned I like to organize things?

And of course another one of my favorites, because I have had this same problem in the world of online dating.  His therapist asks him about a woman he’s talking to online.

“She’s very pretty.”
“Anything else?”
“Her grammar is atrocious.”
“I think a high grammar standard may be a losing fight on the Internet.”

(Oh, his Letter of Complaint to the eHarmony founder is great, too.)

A final observation struck me this time as I closed the book – hope.  Despite all of his personal and situational struggles, the book left me feeling hopeful.  And that’s a pretty cool thing.

Another cool thing?  There’s a sequel!  And it’s awesome!