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The Boy Who Fell To Earth Paperback – 1 March 2012
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About the Author
- Publisher : Bantam Press (1 March 2012)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0593060849
- ISBN-13 : 978-0593060841
- Dimensions : 15.24 x 2.39 x 23.5 cm
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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The main character, Lucy, is a single mum (the father left when he discovered his son was 'retarded') with an autistic son Merlin. Her mother convinces Lucy that her son needs a father figure in his life so she sets about finding a partner. Each man runs for his life when Merlin's behaviour drives them away. At each step of the journey to find a man more characteristics of Asperger's are revealed.
If you have ever known someone with Asperger's you will recognise many of these characteristics. If you haven't you owe it to yourself to find out so if you meet one you will understand why they behave like they do.
This novel, however, was a great disappointment. It portrayed the son as a cliche of Asperger's and the humour was so forced and overt that is was cringe-worthy. I suggest you avoid this book and spend your time on a more worthwhile read - like a phone book, for example.
Lots of laughter as I read this book. Kathy Lette brought it all together in an amazing journey through life.
Looking forward to reading some more of her books.
Top reviews from other countries
Essentially the plot of the novel is that of so many chick-lits - a harrassed, imperfect 30-something woman's quest for the happily ever after. I have to say that I didn't particularly warm to Lucy in her quest for love, to be fair I didn't really care if she got laid or not. I wanted to know about her and Merlin.
As far as the practical reality of parenting a child like Merlin, as many other reviewers have pointed out, it seems generally inaccurate (maybe she coped with a diagnosis in Australia or maybe that's how it was 20yrs ago). The schools, NHS and support services in this are utterly useless. In reality, it wouldn't have cost a fortune to get a diagnosis (NHS!, Merlin would have had a statement of SEN to ensure he was able to access the curriculum abd Lucy would've been overloaded with advice and support. My sense was that this was exaggerated for comic relief but I would be concerned about recommending this book to someone with a recent diagnosis in case it got them panicked.
And it is the relationship between Lucy and Merlin which I found to be the redeeming feature of the book. Despite everything that happens you know that there is a really strong, loving bond between them. As well as rewarding and funny, parenting any special needs child can make you frustrated, angry and exhausted and this is evident in Lucy. But you know that despite her complaining, she wouldn't swap him for the world. The end is truly lovely.
I had great hopes that this would be a novel that really went into the day to day reality of living with a learning difficulty in a way that would raise awareness in the wider population as well as maybe teaching me something new. But essentially it is just rather formulaic chick-lit. However, maybe I'm being harsh - who's to say this isn't a good way to raise awareness. It would be interesting to hear what a chick-lit fan with no experience of ASC thinks.
Kathy Lette must have found this book quite cathartic to write as well as very personal and that in itself needs commending because it is extremely difficult to talk about, never mind write about raising a disabled child for fear that the bigoted among us won't understand what we are trying to say and just think its another book trying to get the sympathy vote. All I can say is well done Kathy Lette for raising this subject and making it personal. A riveting read!!!