Nov 11, 2009

600 Hours of Edward by Craig Lancaster

600 Hours of Edward

600 Hours of Edward- Craig Lancaster

From Goodreads-

Edward Stanton is a man hurtling headlong toward middle age. His mental illness has led him to be sequestered in his small house in a small city, where he keeps his distance from the outside world and the parents from whom he is largely estranged. For the most part, Edward sticks to things he can count on...and things he can count. But over the course of 25 days (or 600 hours, as Edward prefers to look at it) several events puncture the walls Edward has built around himself. In the end, he faces a choice: Open his life to experience and deal with the joys and heartaches that come with it, or remain behind his closed door, a solitary soul.

600 Hours of Edward is a wonderful, inspirational story of a man who has Asperger's Syndrome. This was a quick read for me, I couldn't get enough of Edwards story. This is author Craig Lancaster's first novel, and he really did a wonderful job portraying the life of someone with Aspergers.

Edward is such a endearing character, it's very hard not fall in love with his idiosyncrasies. I was captivated by his huge heart, and his funny, quirky ways. At the beginning of the book, we definitely see a pattern in his life that's comforting for him. That is what he prefers, and needs to function in life. He needs to abide by schedules, and routines, but slowly as the book progresses we see his schedule getting interrupted, and new people coming into his life. At first he is very troubled by it, but slowly he realizes what he is getting...friendship, and a life. Donna, and her son Kyle are new neighbors, and when kyle befriends Edward, a friendship is struck, and Edwards grows from this new friendship. A big part of the book is Edwards relationship with his dad. It is a very sad, and disheartening to see how father and son relate to each other. I was rooting for Edward to get the love, and respect he deserved. He also takes a dab at online dating, hilarity ensues. I couldn't stop smiling while I was reading about the date.

Every morning Edward has to document the time he woke up, and the previous days forecast. He takes this data, because he likes to see the patterns, and he prefers facts. Every night he watches a Dragnet episode, but only the episodes that are in color, 1967 through 1970, and they have to be watched in order. Every chapter begins with the data about the forecast, and the time he woke up, and every chapter ends with a brief description of the Dragnet episode. I love that he starts every paragraph about the Dragnet episode with the episode number, when it aired, the episode's name and him mentioning it is "one of his favorites".

One of the most enjoyable parts of 600 Hours of Edward is his letters of complaint. After the "Garth Brooks incident", when he wrote 49 letter of complaints to Garth Brooks, which resulted in Garth Brooks getting a restraining order against him.  His therapist comes up with the idea to write the letters of complaint but never mail them out. He writes complaints to many people throughout the book. They are very funny, and I laughed quite a bit reading those letters.

600 Hours of Edward really is a great, charming book, that touches your heart. I laughed, I cried, and I was sad when the book ended.

Rating: 4.5/5

This copy was sent to me by Riverbend Publishing for review.

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