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The Toaster Oven Mocks Me: Living with Synesthesia by [Steve Margolis]
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The Toaster Oven Mocks Me: Living with Synesthesia Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 216 ratings

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Length: 157 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

A debut memoir focuses on a rare condition involving the senses.
 
Early in this work, Margolis provides the following definition of his affliction: "Synesthesia is a condition where one sense is stimulated, but two senses respond." Specific manifestations may vary, but the author first addresses his perception that each letter or number has a specific color. He then prints an entire page of text in color, as he sees it, and the effect is definitely disorienting. In the prologue, when young Margolis was tasked with unscrambling letters on a chalkboard in front of the class, he encountered an additional difficulty because the letters began to argue with one another.Thus, the author adds another layer to the story, reflected in the title, as he sometimes perceives voices or sounds emanating from inanimate objects. Margolis later explains: "I don't hear their voices per se. They don't have faces or mouths. I hear them as thoughts or impressions."
 
 
During his college years, a chance encounter with a poster featuring the curious word "synesthetic" led him to discover that he was not entirely alone. As fascinating as this situation may seem, there is much more to the story that makes his case even more unusual, including an ironic twist whereby the coping mechanisms and compensation strategies he had developed on his own and came to rely upon no longer worked properly. Still, through all of this turmoil, Margolis only shared his secret with one other person; even his wife remained in the dark.
 
 
The act of publishing this book is his big reveal, although he admits that he considered using a pseudonym. (If it's a safe assumption that Margolis eventually opened up to his wife, one wonders why he omits that potentially dramatic moment from the text.) Overall, the author writes in an easily accessible style with a pleasant combination of self-deprecating humor and vivid descriptions of key incidents. The organization of the text into four main sections--Discovery, Concealment, Education, and Acceptance--reflects a journey that many will likely recognize and embrace.
 
 
Margolis' memoir should certainly resonate with readers who have ever felt somehow outside of the norm in any number of different contexts. This delightful book about coping with a disorder delivers important lessons for parents and educators as well as younger audiences. 
-- Kirkus Reviews 
--------------------
"The Toaster Oven Mocks Me" is a humorous, fascinating and heart-warming look at synesthesia via the life and mind of Steve Margolis. His courage and honesty touched me deeply as he shared his journey from a place of fear and shame to one of acceptance and joy when he accepts his condition then ultimately embraces it as a true gift. 
-- Charlotte Abel, bestselling author of "The Sanctuary Series"
--------------------
It's hard to not like an author who encourages satisfied readers to post reviews on Amazon while others might want to "reduce your medication and read it again." And even more bonus points are awarded because the cleverly titled THE TOASTER OVEN MOCKS ME does a bang up job of not only clearly explaining but also humanizing synesthesia, a little known and much misunderstood condition "where one sense is stimulated, but two senses respond," such as when black and white letters appear to be glowing with colors, as happened to author Steve Margolis.

 He takes readers on a magical mystery tour of his five (well actually four) stages of dealing with synesthesia - Discovery, Concealment, Education and Acceptance. Here the reader is introduced to the author's world of growing up in Southern California where "John Wayne coming out of the post office, Dean Martin eating in a restaurant, or Bob Hope getting gas on Ventura Boulevard" are as common as shopping at Topanga Mall, the state's "first fully enclosed and air conditioned mall."

 But it's hardly a nurturing setting for a child who sees the world in a seemingly wacky way - even his friends accuse him of sniffing glue when he describes a baseball as being covered with flying red tentacles.

 This fascinating stuff is made even more compelling by the author's sense of humor and reaction when the condition temporarily goes away.  Readers should come away entertained, amused and - surprise! - having learned something as well.
-- 3rd Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published eBook Awards

Product details

  • Publication date : July 13, 2015
  • File size : 1823 KB
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 157 pages
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • Page numbers source ISBN : 1517613450
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
  • Language: : English
  • ASIN : B011JQH2M2
  • Lending : Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 216 ratings

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
216 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on November 19, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on April 26, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on February 27, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on March 30, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on March 16, 2016
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Top reviews from other countries

Clive Ryan
4.0 out of 5 stars I've been waiting for a book like this!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 23, 2016
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One person found this helpful
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Little Miss Dx
5.0 out of 5 stars If only we could all see in COLOR (COLOUR)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 18, 2018
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John Naylor
5.0 out of 5 stars I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in synaesthesia.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 21, 2016
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SJChelt
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 31, 2016
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Izzy
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and fascinating
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 20, 2016
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One person found this helpful
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