rachel's Reviews > Marcelo in the Real World

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork
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's review
Jun 20, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: ya, 2010
Read from June 20 to 25, 2010

This book is original as far as YA plots go (a mystery and coming of age set in a law firm), and the ending was lovely and made my heart ache a little bit.

However, I wasn't a huge fan of Marcelo's voice. A quick Googling reveals that there is a possibility that someone with Asperger's may refer to him or herself in the third person, and use first names instead of "you" to refer to those they're conversing with (admittedly, I thought Stork made this up). But in writing, not using pronouns just sounds cartoonish and exaggeratedly robotic, rather than anything like the breathing humans with Asperger's I have known.

I also thought it was odd that Marcelo would be able to have the level of self-awareness of his social eccentricities to explain things to the reader; for example, to be so aware of how and why he doesn't understand metaphor. Would someone with Asperger's really try to explain away their behavior socially?

So I'm still looking for a book that conveys this condition with nuance. I am also wondering if that's even possible. There's a whole physical dimension to it that maybe can't be captured in writing.

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Reading Progress

06/23/2010 page 124
39.0% "Over 1/3 of the way through and I still don't know if I like it or not. The voice is so stilted as to be cartoonish, but Marcelo's discussions with Wendell about love and beauty, while transparently setting Wendell up to be BAD, are interesting."
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