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Under the Eye of the Clock

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  210 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Deprived of oxygen for two hours at birth, Christopher Nolan almost died, but he lived to write, at age twenty-one, this award-winning autobiography, told as the story of one Joseph Meehan. Nolan's birth injuries left him quadriplegic and completely unable to communicate, so for years no one suspected that his mind, though imprisoned in an inert body, was burning to expres ...more
Paperback, 163 pages
Published February 1st 1989 by Delta (first published 1987)
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F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote this advice to a young friend whose writing he found wanting: "You've got to sell your heart, your strongest reactions, not the little minor things that only touch you lightly, the little experiences that you might tell at dinner."

Christopher Nolan had the courage to turn life into art, to write his soul onto paper. The result is a novel that soars and dips with young Joseph Meehan shifting restlessly between self-pity and delight, wry humour and despair, cynicism
Aug 21, 2008 Linda rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Linda by: my neighbor
This young man had no ability to speak 'til his father taped a stick to his head and placed a computer keyboard in front of him. 20 years of thought rushed out as his first book of poetry, including some invented words to best describe his view of the world. This is his second book: an autobiography. Amazing. Inspirational. Think ability.
If I could give 10 stars to a book, this would be it!

Christopher Nolan's "Under The Eye Of The Clock" is an autobiographical account of his incredibly awe-inspiring and miraculous life. Born a cripple, he could have been consigned to the rubbish heap but instead and against all odds became a celebrated writer of this Whitbread Book winner, "The Banyan Tree" as well as an early book of poems. Without taking anything away from Joseph Meehan (a self portrait of Nolan), he couldn't have overcome his
Alison Whiteman
This book was remarkable first because the author wrote the entire novel using a stick attached to his head to hit the letters on a keyboard. He was severely disabled. His writing was much like James Joyce. I read this in graduate school at The Evergreen State College. We were the first Master in Teaching class in the school's history and I lead a team to obtain an endorsement in special education.
Robert Glover
What a unique and interesting book. Poor Christopher Nolan was born without the ability to use his body and could only type using a special tapping device on his forehead. What a challenge. Within his impotent body, however, a powerful mind thrived. He wrote several books, including this one, in his short life.

His language is clipped where you expect detail and spacious where you expect brevity, and convoluted to a point where it makes it difficult to tease out a meaning at times. It was more li
Joanne Otto
Remarkable novel based on his own life by a young man who would not allow cerebral palsy to keep his story from being told.
Danielle W
Jul 15, 2015 Danielle W marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Referenced in Wonder.
Annie Weatherly-Barton
This book is just so beautifully written and almost poetic in its language. Moving, sad, uplighting and sometimes very funny. Christopher Nolan is such a bright, engaging young man with what might be seen, by some, as insurmountable physical problems due to his disability. Not so. His ability to write so brilliantly at such a young age is astounding. Honest, down-to-earth reality of his life but with presented with such humour and courage. Another book that I would give 10 stars if I only could!
very inspiring read
Interesting read from the perspective of a disabled boy who found a way to express his talents. It is amazing what he ocercame in life.
I wasn't totally in love with this book, and for that I feel nothing but guilt. I mean, it was written by a guy who has absolutely no controlled body movement other than his eyes and it's an impressive feat. There were lovely moments of careful writing and great descriptions, but the beauty comes much more from the writer's story than the story he tells.
Heather F
Amazing!!! Christopher Nolan was a brilliant author trapped within a paralyzed and mute body, typing one letter at a time with a stick attached to his head. Not only did he finish school, including some college, he had an amazingly positive attitude in overcoming other obstacles. This book really makes me re-think my attitude.

I wanted to like it more than I did considering who it was written by and how it was written, but I found it difficult to follow at some points and didn't know a lot of the words he used! But it is inspiring and I appreciate and really respect the effort gone into writing this
Jasmine Langdon
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This award winning inspirational book did change my life in terms of being able to see my own life as completely unencumbered in comparison and absolutely floored by the level of intensity and focus required for the author to create this completely original work.
I wanted so badly to like this better. The story is inspiring, but I found the writing too hard to follow. God bless Christopher Nolan, though, for so boldly facing his challenges, and his family and friends for so boldly supporting him!
Mar 02, 2008 Marilyn rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Marilyn by: Wynona Huefner
Remarkable story of a severly handicapped and greatly gifted boy, his struggles, the support of his family, particularly his mother, and his triumph. What a painful, remarkable, triumphant journey.
In the young adult book Wonder, the authur made reference to Under the Eye of the Clock. This brilliant third person memoir is the adult intellectual equivalent of Wonder.
Beautiful book. inspiring story of Christopher Noaln who died Feb. 20th, 2009. Some of writing style reminds me of Kerouac's "Dr. Sax."
Karen  Fiandaca
Easier to read than The Banyan tree and helps to understand the author - autobiographical but in third person and different name.
Dave Cunningham
Christopher Nolan was a total legend! I was gutted when he died in February 2009 at the age of 43. A great author.
Matthew Davidson
Excellent book that has changed my way of thinking about how I fit into this world.
Sabne Raznik
Every person living should read this book. See my review on Yahoo Voices.
Almost literally unbelievable. A beautiful accomplishment and a beautiful book.
I was unexpectedly seduced by Mr. Nolan's writing in this, his autobiography.
senator jensen
May 28, 2009 senator jensen is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
so far it has opened another stratosphere of thought.
Johan Simons
memoirs of a spastic poet
beautifully written
Aidan marked it as to-read
Sep 03, 2015
Sabutcher marked it as to-read
Aug 31, 2015
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Christopher Nolan, Dies at Age 43 1 29 Feb 26, 2009 08:28AM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Christopher Nolan was an Irish poet and author, son of Joseph and Bernadette Nolan. He grew up in Mullingar, Ireland, but later moved to Dublin to attend college. He was educated at the Central Remedial Clinic School, Mount Temple Comprehensive School and at Trinity College,
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“It was at moments such as these that Joseph recognized the face of God in human form. It glimmered in their kindness to him, it glowed in their keenness, it hinted in their caring, indeed it caressed in their gaze.” 5 likes
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