Tuesday, November 14, 2000

Two Versions of Asperger's

i recently finished two books that were similar,
In that they were both autobiographies of weird people...

The Curious Case of the Dog
in The Night-Time
Running with Scissors

The Dog in the Night-Time is apparently a fictional account of a Highly functional Autistic Boy, Possibly Aspergerian, or somewhat intermediate between Classic Autism & Asperger's...
At any rate; He attempts to solve the case a Dog that is murdered in his neighborhood, and discovers the identity of the murderer only because s/he confesses this to him about 2/3's of the way through the book. It is meant to be a quirky account, but it fails me in that at the end, it reverts to the conventionality of a typical 'teen' book, when the moral is revealed; that despite his many handicaps, he can accomplish anything he sufficiently desires.
Another annoying element of the book was that although it was meant to told in the first person, it periodically reverts to a 3rd person description of things that are going on, specifically during dialogue & 'adventure' sequences... While it is revealed that Christopher has something like an eidetic memory, the dialogue segments are still very 3rd personie... Like many fictional autistic characters, Christopher has 'too many' 'special gifts'...??? Usually, An Autistic person has one or possibly two special gifts, such as date calculations or genuine eidetic memory, But Christopher has just about all of them that are mentioned in the literature...!!!

Running with Scissors has this same flaw; when the central character of this book, who is alleged to be a real person, and the events described, actual events, eventually find success and happiness, as do most of the other characters that are pulled through the book with him.
It reads something like a David Sedaris book, although David is usually at the center of the weirdness, acting as it's principle instigator; while Augusten ( Running with Scissors ) is struggling to be comparatively normal, while everyone else around him is transquirkily insane...!
Augusten's book is also a little 'lighter' than Sedaris, lacking the dark mischievious undertones--
But he attempts to make up for this with graphic insertions of homosexual acts & parental &/or psychiatric abuse.

Both books were enjoyable enough,
But neither rose up to where i would heartily recommend them.
If you like to read alot, then by all means include them on your reading list,
They are both easy reads and will allow you to pass through them, within a day or two,
if they prove unworthy of contributing to your personal spiritual growth... ( ? )

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