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Bad Animals: A Father's Accidental Education in Autism Hardcover – May 1, 2012
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"(Bad Animals) is reflective, touching, humourous and heartbreaking. It is a memoir about life, witten by an extremely talented author." -- Kelly Wilton, Montreal Families
“With self-deprecating humor and searing honesty...Yanofsky reveals the painful frustration and the powerful bond of love between him, his wife and their 11-year-old autistic son, Jonah. An eloquent memoir... [Bad Animals] ... also addresses the broader issues involved with parenthood.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Writers show their capacity for greatness when they point their talent at something they love. Joel Yanofsky has done just that: written a marvellous book about a child he adores—his son.” (David Gilmour, author of The Film Club)
“Joel Yanofsky has taken on just about the hardest of literary tasks, writing about life with an autistic child without succumbing either to sentimentality or bitterness—producing a book that seems both truthful, in its refusal to put too bright a face on a hard reality, and tender, in its insistence on the mysteries of love.” (Adam Gopnik, author of The Table Comes First and Paris to the Moon)
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
I hope he writes Bad Animals: the sequel.
To be repetitive, this is above all an honest narrative, and the writer is not afraid to make himself unlikeable, and we see a lot of the effects of autism on a family (extended) and a marriage. We see a lot about the "culture of autism" currently and historically, and get not only a great overview of therapeutic techniques and approaches, but many examples and specifics that make them much more understandable than much of the "instructive" literature does. It's also provides a great overview of autism-related literature; I sought out a number of other books compellingly discussed here. The author has conducted interviews with seminal autism writers and reports on their changes in attitude over the years. In the spirit of great historical literature, or works such as "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" or "Moby Dick", "Bad Animals" provides us with a tremendous amount of well-researched knowledge while we think we're just reading a story.
If I had to recommend just one book on autism spectrum disorders, this might be it...
I liked the honesty of the book, and I really appreciated all of the discussion about how other people’s reactions affected the author and his wife. That was useful information, and I have to say that I liked his wife’s ideas for an appendix. Or—here’s an idea for the author—publish a short book yourself (maybe for ninety-nine cents, or $2.99)) with suggestions for those of us without an ASD child. What do we need to know? What minefields do we avoid?
I also loved the descriptions of the author’s interactions with Jonah. I think perhaps more of those—and maybe a little less about how hard this book was to write—would have made the book even stronger. But it was a good read, and I hope we hear more about Jonah in the future.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Enjoyed the self deprecating humour. Despite the seriousness of the subject written with a light touch. Very 'american'? Read morePublished 19 months ago by John Zizys
I loved the honesty and real-ness of the whole book. I felt right there in the lives of them all, rooting for Jonah. Read morePublished on April 3, 2014 by Nancy M. Akahoshi