bookczuk's Reviews > The Speed of Dark

The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon
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Oct 28, 10

bookshelves: bookcrossing, rabck, read-on-recommendation, alternate-history, taught-me-something, wow, didn-t-want-to-put-it-down
Recommended to bookczuk by: Judy Hante, Sandi Kallas
Recommended for: julia
Read from May 23 to June 01, 2010

There is a bird called the Ivory Billed Woodpecker. By the beginning of the last century, the bird had been nearly hunted to extinction. But a few years back, it's distinctive call just may have been heard in the backwoods of Arkansas. It was said to be so beautiful that when people saw it, they said, “Lord God! What a bird!” The name stuck. And now, I find myself saying, "Lord God! What a book!"

The Speed of Dark takes place in the not so distant future. The world is not that different, but in that time, a cure for autism has been discovered. Babies and young children who are afflicted can undergo a treatment early on to help overcome the quirks that are part of autism. Lou, the central character of this book, is a man in his thirties, born before the treatment became available and was too old to take it. He and his colleagues, all autistic, work for a company that puts to use their unique skills and abilities, particularly in pattern recognition.

But then a "cure" for autism, successful in animal testing, is offered to Lou and his colleagues. If they take the cure, they are assured of keeping their jobs. Safety and efficacy are unknown in the human population. Successful or not; it would change their worlds forever. And it can change who they, themselves, are, as well.

This was one of the absolute best portrayals of autism I have ever encountered. It is a story beautifully told. Lou's amazing mind unfolds to the reader. Having worked with some autistic kids, I know how brilliant they can be, but how they can be held captive by ticks and traits. But their minds are amazing. And so is Lou's.

A captivating read that I highly recommend.
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Reading Progress

05/27/2010 "Really loving this. It's making me rethink completely what "normal" is."

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