Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Best Boy

Cover image for Best boy : a novel 
Best Boy
By Eli Gottlieb
Liveright Publishing, 2015, 248 pages, General Fiction

A middle-aged autistic resident of a therapeutic community where he was sent as a young child rebels against changes in his environment by attempting to return to a family home and younger sibling he only partially remembers.

Eli Gottlieb’s latest book has been getting a lot of buzz, and it’s no wonder. You don’t normally find fiction written from the perspective of someone with autism. Todd is an interesting, simple sort of man who just wants to be happy. His condition makes it so that he’s not really sure how to attain that goal. It was interesting to see how all of the clues to what was really going on in the story were there; Todd knew about them, he just didn’t pick up on the importance of the clues because his mind processes things differently. I don’t know much about autism, so I don’t know if this is an incredibly accurate portrayal of how someone with autism sees the world. However, it seems like a pretty good guess and it’s given me a lot to think about.

While this book has a pretty high aim, don’t be turned off by the premise. This book is easy to read and has some unexpected moments of humor. It deserves all of the buzz it’s getting.


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