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600 Hours of Edward Paperback – October 23, 2009
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Question: 600 Hours of Edward grew out of National Novel Writing Month in 2008. How did you knock out a complete novel in just 24 days?
Craig Lancaster: I think the answer lies in time, in two senses. First, when I set to writing 600 Hours, it had been many years since I'd attempted fiction. But in the intervening time, I'd become a much better writer and self-editor because of my professional life as a journalist, and I'd experienced enough to draw a character who was quite unlike me or anyone else I know. Second, I was writing so quickly--nearly 80,000 words in 24 days--that I simply didn't have the luxury of worrying about whether it was good. That was enormously freeing. I just wanted to finish a novel, something I'd never done before. In some significant ways, everything that's happened since has been a bonus.
Q: What did you know about Asperger's Syndrome heading into the book, and what did you learn along the way?
CL: Well, I knew that it was the likely syndrome for the character I had in mind: a guy who is relentlessly devoted to his rituals and for whom shades of gray and social niceties present distinct challenges. Beyond that, I focused the research I did--and it wasn't much--on two things, behaviors and traits. I purposely steered clear of the clinical and diagnostic stuff, because I didn't want to write that kind of book. I wanted Edward to be remarkable because of who he is, not because of his particular disorder. I figured if I stuck to the things he was likely to do and the way he was likely to see the world, I'd draw him properly for the purposes of the story. Thankfully, people who know that world far more intimately than I do have told me that I captured it accurately. That was a big relief, and I'm grateful for all the folks who have continued to educate me about autism.
Q: You didn't initially plan for more than one Edward book, but word is you've since reconsidered.
CL: True. In fact, the first chapter of the sequel, titled Edward Adrift, is in the back of the new edition of 600 Hours of Edward. I maintained for a long time that I'd told the most interesting part of Edward's story, but I was wrong. When you live with someone as long as I've lived with Edward, you see new possibilities. He had more places to go and more people to meet, and once I started tugging at the threads of the new story, it revealed itself nearly as quickly as the first one did. It was really cool to be back inside his head.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"It's a spare, elegantly crafted whizz-bang of a book that, on its surface, is as quiet and orderly as Edward Stanton, but underneath, also like Edward, a cauldron of barely repressed rage and desire seeking escape." --Missoula Independent
"Craig Lancaster has created a wonderful character and put him in a memorable story." --The Bookmonger (Barbara Lloyd McMichael)
"This endearing hero deserves the fine ending the author has bestowed on him. The final pages leave the reader wanting to know what happens next for Edward, in his newly acquired red Cadillac." --The Lively Times
"This is a wonderful book. Mr. Lancaster's journey ... into the imaginative pages of fiction was one well taken, for himself, for readers and certainly for the lovingly created Edward Stanton." --Montana Quarterly
"... a nearly perfect combination of traditional literary elements, mixing crowd-pleasing sappiness with indie-friendly subversion, a masterful blend of character and action ..." --Chicago Center for Literature and Photography
Top customer reviews
I don't know what genre this is, to classify it because it's a story.. As the title states, it's 600 hours - 25 days in Edwards life, it's the day to day accounts on this man's life. It may sound boring, but he does have Asperger's and OCD, so every day, he repeats his activities, but it's the anecdotes - his comments, his thoughts that make this story so great. So much so, for me I want more than 600 hours of Edward!! As soon as I finished this, I purchased the 2nd and 3rd book.
It's not a cliffhanger ending, this is book is very much a stand alone, never was the need to follow up - but I'm so glad the author did. It was published in 2012 from what I gather, so I'm late to the party, as far as it been a 'current' book - but it's great! I can't wait to get more Edward...
I just LOVED LOVED LOVED this book and I loved Edward! Edward was 39 years old, had Asperger's Syndrome and extreme OCD. He lived alone in a house his father bought for him. He does not work anymore (with his condition he hasn't been able to for awhile). He pretty much doesn't interact with anyone except his parents occasionally when he goes over for dinner. His father mainly communicates with Edward through letters from his lawyer, rather than just talking to him. Edward writes daily "letters of complaint" that he never sends - about almost EVERYTHING and to everyone and to anyone that he finds fault with. He keeps a daily log of the weather and other items. He does not like conjecture, only facts. He loves vocabulary words and I really connected with him on that level, ha ha. When a single mother, Donna Middleton, and her 9 year old son, Kyle, move in across the street Edward's life is changed as they worm themselves into his life and become his friend. I loved seeing Edward's growth throughout the story.
The writing is delightful and I just couldn't wait to listen to the book every day. It is definitely in my top ten books read in 2017! I immediately downloaded the 2nd book in the series the day I finished this book and started listening. The narrator is perfect for the book, kudos to him!
I HIGHLY recommend this book!
Then I fell in love with Edward and his comments really made me laugh. I felt so badly about the way his dad treated him and I wanted to be his friend. So by then, I was hooked.
Towards the end, the detailed descriptions of the Dragnet episodes were just too much once again. I kept thinking they might add something to the plot so I forced myself to read them. Finally, I had to start skipping them to save my sanity.
I was disappointed in the non-ending. What I wanted to find out most was left out and put into his next book about Edward. I absolutely hate when authors do that - I feel cheated out of an ending that the author KNOWS people want to know about a certain situation.
I guess the author thinks it's going to make you buy his next book but with me, it just assures that I will never buy another one of his books because he cares more about making money than completing the story. I invested a lot of hours into this book and I feel that I deserved to find out the answer to a huge question he left unexplained.
The book is funny most of the time, but full of heart, too. I especially like the letter that Edward's father wrote to him. Edward reading it and contemplating about it was emotional as emotional could get.
Before I even wrote this review, I had gone ahead and ordered the next Edward book. I am now a fan and follower of Craig Lancaster.