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The Only Boy in the World: A Father Explores the Mysteries of Autism

3.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  55 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
The Only Boy in the World is a memoir, an investigation into what makes us human, a study of aberration, and a love story. It's about all the odd ways journalist Michael Blastland's autistic son, Joe, has of seeing the world and understanding others, and what that tells the rest of us about how we also tick. Through the strange stories of Joe's scrapes and confusions, he m ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published August 29th 2006 by Da Capo Press (first published August 18th 2006)
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Iamshadow
Dec 04, 2015 Iamshadow rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
This is a re-read for me; my original review was: "I expected to like this book a lot more from the reviews I read beforehand. Though Blastland's explanations for Joe's behaviour are interesting, I never really engaged with it. I may re-read it another time, to see if I 'click' better with it."

Given that in the first chapter, the author draws parallels between his son's behaviour and the behaviour of chimps and determines that chimps' social behaviour makes them more eligible for inclusion in wh
...more
Sarah
Aug 04, 2010 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
i read about 50 pages in this book and i just could not get into it. i found myself constantly rereading paragraphs. this author had a completely forgettable voice. i thought that the subject would be really interesting, and it may have been, had it been written by someone else. if i struggle through a book, i usually make myself finish it, but i have now come to the realization that i only get to read so many books in my life and the list is very long. so, now i'm going to be a lil more choosy ...more
Jenn
Sep 13, 2007 Jenn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a special ed teacher I was excited to see that this book was listed as one of the year's best books for 2006. I was honestly surprised at how much this book opened my eyes. I have worked in special education for the past 8 school years, and I had a number of "ah-hah!" moments. It is written by the boy's father, and put a different viewpoint on this world. I highly recommend this book.
Rosa
Jul 24, 2007 Rosa rated it really liked it
Shelves: summer2007
This novel is strongest when the author brings in stories of his own son, who has autism. At times, the quoting of researchers is helpful and fascinating (and my much adored Professor Paul Bloom makes many an appearance), but the author uses way too many block quotes. In a few chunks, I got tired of wading through research and philosophy and skimmed to get back to the human side of the story.
Becky
Jan 09, 2014 Becky rated it liked it
I got a lot out of parts of this book. Especially when the author was writing about his personal experiences. It got a little philosophical in parts for me.
Michelle
Dec 27, 2010 Michelle marked it as to-read
Shelves: biography
It’s about all the odd ways journalist Michael Blastland's autistic son, Joe, has of seeing the world and understanding others, and what that tells the rest of us about how we also tick.
Cammi
Jan 24, 2008 Cammi rated it really liked it
A beautiful tribute to a boy with autism and the father who loves him.
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