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The Speed of Dark (Ballantine Reader's Circle) Paperback – March 2, 2004
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“Splendid and graceful . . . A lot of novels promise to change the way a reader sees the world; The Speed of Dark actually does.”—The Washington Post Book World
“[A] beautiful and moving story . . . [Elizabeth] Moon is the mother of an autistic teenager and her love is apparent in the story of Lou. He makes a deep and lasting impact on the reader while showing a different way of looking at the world.”—The Denver Post
“Every once in a while, you come across a book that is both an important literary achievement and a completely and utterly absorbing reading experience—a book with provocative ideas and an equally compelling story. Such a book is The Speed of Dark.”—Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
“A remarkable journey [that] takes us into the mind of an autistic with a terrible choice: become normal or remain an alien on his own planet.”—Mary Doria Russell, author of The Sparrow
“A powerful portrait . . . an engaging journey into the dark edges that define the self.”—The Seattle Times
From the Inside Flap
Thoughtful, poignant, and unforgettable, The Speed of Dark is a gripping exploration into the world of Lou Arrendale, an autistic man who is offered a chance to try a brand-new experimental cure for his condition. Now Lou must decide if he should submit to a surgery that might completely change the way he views the world . . . and the very essence of who he is.
Top customer reviews
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The central character is an adult man with autism. I don't have autism myself, but I am somewhat obsessive-compulsive, and certainly wierd by most people's standarrds, although I don't usually think about it. By the time I was halfway through this book I was seeing the world differently, thinking in shorter declarative sentences, looking for patterns, and acutely aware of my difference. It wasn't a very comfortable feeling, but I couldn't wait to get back to the book.
I'm not going to tell you how the book plays out, except to say that this is an imaginative and wonderful piece of excellent writing, that will affect you forever. I can't recommend it too much. Well done, Elizabeth, well done.
Told in the first person, the reader is immediately immersed in Lou's world as he navigates the tricky, nuanced world of 'normals'. We are privy to Lou's observations and reasoning, and he's an interesting, good person who is trying to deal with work, hobbies .. and possibly love.
This is a great read, an intriguing story with a fascinating protagonist, believable secondary characters and a satisfying end.
Another good book with an autistic narrator is The Rosie Effect.
Elizabeth Moon shows that what I may see as a physical defect (autism) may just be different, with many caveats and/or benefits. The story provokes thought as to whether something core to a person, like autism, is indeed a defect and whether it is something that should be corrected.
I highly encourage reading this book for the wonderful story and universe Moon creates. This story opened avenues in my mind I didn't realize were shut or dark and over a decade later, I am grateful for that.
Rant: I am deeply frustrated at the pricing of this book. It was published in 2002 and the pricing for the Kindle and paperback is ~$12? For a reasonable price, $5-$6 I would re-buy this to have on my kindle. But not for $12.