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Under The Eye of the Clock

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  246 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
A remarkable work by several measures, Under the Eye of the Clock is the autobiography--told slyly through a third person alter-ego--of Christopher Nolan, struck at birth with brain damage and left paralyzed, spastic and mute. His first book, Dam-Burst of Dreams, written when he was a teen, was a collection of poems that exploded with linguistic virtuosity, earning him com ...more
Paperback, 207 pages
Published January 1988 by Pan Books (first published 1987)
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Nov 09, 2012 alissa rated it it was amazing
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
Paul Gaya Ochieng Simeon Juma
Time is not on my side. The novel was really inspiring. It tells the story of a young disabled boy named Joseph, the son of Matthew and Nore, brother to Yvonne. The family is coping and struggling with his condition, always encouraging him and lifting him up during his trying times. He manages to climb the man made mountains to excel in his literary skills despite some bad reviews from other quarters. An inspiring novel...
Oct 14, 2015 Suvi rated it liked it
As I have a mild form of Cerebral Palsy myself I'd read about Christopher Nolan before as one of the few celebrities with CP. I really wanted to like this book a lot more, but didn't. Main reason was the third person narrative, it kept me at a distance, and I would have liked to get closer. Sure, his language is beautiful and it was nice to get in his head, but I got the feeling that it was just a part of the truth. somehow it was all a bit too beautiful, there was too much support, understandin ...more
Aug 21, 2008 Linda rated it really liked it
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.
Jun 15, 2007 LISA rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mark Maguire
Aug 08, 2016 Mark Maguire rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most overlooked books of the last 30 years, not only b/c of the fact that Nolan wrote it with a stick attached to his head, but because of the language itself. It is Joyce-ian in many ways, but it is also Nolan's own voice. His descriptions are vivid, his narration is strong, his word use is brilliant. It only took me so long to read it, because of the heavy per se nature of the book, I could only take so much at a time. A great book though.
Alison Whiteman
May 08, 2015 Alison Whiteman rated it it was amazing
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.
Holly Weiss
Jul 09, 2016 Holly Weiss rated it really liked it
Recommended Kathy Owens. Compelling, strange, intense, evocative. Written by twenty-one year old cerebral palsy victim who communicates with the aid of a typing stick tied to his head.
Robert Glover
Jul 07, 2015 Robert Glover rated it it was ok
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
Aug 24, 2014 Joanne Otto rated it really liked it
Remarkable novel based on his own life by a young man who would not allow cerebral palsy to keep his story from being told.
Jan 13, 2016 SouthWestZippy rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction
Very hard to understand and jumps around to much for me.
Dec 10, 2015 Kellie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 - SO many beautiful quotes - a little slow
Nov 26, 2015 Wendy marked it as to-read
Mentioned in the book Wonder
Annie Weatherly-Barton
Aug 03, 2013 Annie Weatherly-Barton rated it it was amazing
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!
Feb 28, 2015 Julie rated it really liked it
very inspiring read
Jun 15, 2015 John rated it really liked it
Shelves: irish-authors, owned
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.
Jun 01, 2012 Allie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 21, 2011 Heather F rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 12, 2013 Lucy rated it liked it

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
Jun 21, 2015 Jasmine Langdon rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 04, 2012 Jason rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 16, 2013 Ann rated it it was ok
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 really liked it
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.
Aug 10, 2014 Fay rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 10, 2009 Jason rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 28, 2012 Karen Fiandaca rated it liked it
Easier to read than The Banyan tree and helps to understand the author - autobiographical but in third person and different name.
Dave Cunningham
Oct 09, 2012 Dave Cunningham rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 17, 2010 Matthew Davidson rated it it was amazing
Excellent book that has changed my way of thinking about how I fit into this world.
Sabne Raznik
Jun 25, 2013 Sabne Raznik rated it it was amazing
Every person living should read this book. See my review on Yahoo Voices.
Jan 03, 2008 Alex rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, bonkers
Almost literally unbelievable. A beautiful accomplishment and a beautiful book.
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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.” 7 likes
“Restfully reassured by his new friends, Joseph now nominated God in a new light, 'Man is God hesitant and God is Man hesitantly trying to help.” 0 likes
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