Trueman Bradley is a genius detective with a difference, he has Asperger's Syndrome (AS).
Trueman leaves his hometown of Heartville, Illinois, and arrives in New York City, hoping to fulfil his dream of becoming a private detective, like his comic book heroes. He is soon told that a guy with AS could not possibly succeed as a detective. Undeterred, Trueman uses his exceptional mathematical skills to invent a crime-fighting equation, and with the help of his new friends and some amazing inventions, sets out to test his skills against the criminal world of New York. He is determined to show the police, his friends, and himself, that a guy with AS can become as good a detective as anyone else, maybe, even, one of the best.
Trueman Bradley - Aspie Detective is a fantasy adventure that will capture the imagination of anyone interested in Asperger's Syndrome.
Alexei Maxim Russell is a writer of fiction and non-fiction, with a cult following. He is primarily a writer of Fantasy, Crime fiction, Historical Supernatural fiction/non-fiction, Folklore and Philosophy.
His first novel, "Trueman Bradley - Aspie Detective", was published in 2011 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. It was the first work of literature to feature an openly Autistic detective and has acheived cult classic status in advocacy and educational circles.
His other works include "Trueman Bradley - The Next Great Detective,” "Instruction Manual for the 21st Century Samurai,” The New Home-Owner's Guide to House Spirits,” “The Hiker’s Guide to Nature Spirits” and the "Forgotten Lore" series.
Hi everyone. Alexei Maxim Russell here. Trueman Bradley has achieved a cult following in educational and advocacy circles and was the first novel in the history of literature to feature an openly Autistic detective as a protagonist. I based Trueman's character on my brother, who is on the spectrum. I conferred, extensively, with NYC friends in order to accurately depict life in NYC. Cheers.
This is an entertaining book that takes us into the mind of an Aspie. The sensitivities and the unique ways of thinking are presented in an endearing way. As the mother of an Aspie, I see the message in this book as: An Aspie can be a hero. It is about accepting the differences not "correcting" them. This book is also for the neurotypicals so that they can better understand Aspergers,and see it as a different, not inferior, way of thinking. The plot line with its comic book references and style, as well its fantastic gizmos add to the fun of the reading.
There are two aspects of this book.One aspect is to help people learn about Asperger's Syndrome.The second is to provide an entertaining mystery story.So to review the book, I will look at each aspect separately.The two aspects meshed fairly well but at times did rub against each other.
First looking at the teaching aspect.I think this was farily well done.I do feel like I know more about Asperger's Syndrome.At times, I felt like I had heard the same point so many times that I just wanted to say I got it already.I also felt the book had a tendency to make people with Asperger's Syndrome as superior to others.Only in one point does the author say, Asperger's make people differnt but not necessarily better or worse than anyone else.Having Trueman being a math genius in addition to having Asperger's Syndrome added to this confusion because at times it wasn't clear whether his abilities came ffom his genius or his Asperger's.I also had a small objection with the handling of Trueman's problems with idioms.Some of the "idioms" were just using a second definition of a word.Trueman also seemed to have no problems using idioms after they were explained to him.It seems like it would have been better to try and explain the idioms to Trueman so he could become familiar (and therefore comfortable) with them instead of always trying to avoid them.
The story aspect was entertaining but cartoonish.The story seemed to draw heavily on the inspiration of Slam Bradley and Dick Tracy comics from the 1930's and 1940's. Frankly this made parts of the story just plain unbelievable to me,especially the equations.Math can do some amazing things and it can help in solving crimes.(A great example is the TV show Numb3rs were math geniuses use formulas to figure out certain aspects of crimes.)But Trueman's equations seem to go beyond all expectations of reality.Let's look at just the poker equation.There are poker equations that can help with winning poker.But what they do is help you to figure the odds on whether you have a winning hand(or can get a winning hand) or if you should fold.They do not enable someone to get royal flushes hand after hand.Only stacking the deck or illegal dealing could do that.(Also one poker error given in the book is that it say a pair of threes is the worst poker hand. The worst poker hand is 2,3,4,5,7 of different suits.)Another thing about math equations was using infinty in the equation.I studied a fair bit of math and never heard of an equation that uses actual infinity in it.Maybe the author meant approaching infinity.If that is the case, then most computers can handle that type of equation.I understand that Trueman felt comfortable when his world resembled his beloved comic books.But the wrist TVs were just unbelievable.Why not stick with something that is not only believable but actually real,in other words, a smart phone.(I am a long time comic book fan.I had never heard of Slam Bradley before reading this novel.So I found it a little hard to believe so many people knew exactly who he was since I have found most non-comic book fans don't know that many comic book characters-except the most mainstream ones like Superman and Spider-Man.)I can truly say I can see Trueman as a functioning detective,maybe as a consultant to the police like Monk from the TV show.He is obviously smart enough, but he still has enough difficulties that would hinder him from actually working in the field.
Overall I would say the book worked better as a teaching tool about Asperger's Syndrome than as a mystery.That is not to say that the story was bad.It is merely that when it came to a choice between working on teaching and progressing the story,the author almost always went with teaching.I would love to hear the opinions of readers with Asperger's Syndrome on Trueman being a role model.I would recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn about Asperger's Syndrome without reading an actual medical text.
I was first sent this book by a colleague. As it is clear in its purpose as an "educational" book, I was worried it may be dry and boring. On the contrary, the plot is pacey, fast-paced and almost impossibly entertaining. This is the first time I have ever called a book a "page-turner". As an educator, I was gratified to see it got so many recommendations from psychologists(as was my colleague) and so I could be confident the portrayals and stances about Autism were accurate.
Russell uses some very subtle devices in this book, so it takes some sense of perception to be able to see just on how many levels he's writing. Some adults who lack the ability to see the subtleties of Russell's writing may not like the book. But for children and for the well-read adult, this is a rare treat: an original and imaginative addition to the world of YA literature. I highly recommend it and think it should be made into a TV show or film as the protagonist Trueman Bradley is very likeable and one gets the impression he is very "real" which demonstrates the author's skill at writing fresh and realistic dialogue.
Recommended for children, Young Adult or the discerning adult reader.
Written in the voice of a person with Asperger's Syndrome Trueman Bradly: Aspie Detective is a modern hero. This book is suitable for readers from young adult onwards, and I think it would translate well into an animated movie along the lines of The Invincibles.
I read mostly older authors and not many new ones but a few stand out and this is one of them. it almost seems like Russell created a new genre here and so it is exciting. I have no idea what to call the genre. This book has an underground following, it sems, and I can see why. Hard to explain why but I am in love with this book, it is easy reading and really very hard to put down. it is a mix of very strong atmosphere and protagonist development. the mixture of fascination and easy reading make it the ultimate page turner. Although it uses a lot of old genre cliches it does it on purpose and in doing so makes something brand new. It is kind of like the Simpsons, some people just see the entertainment but others are more perceptive and see all the double entendre and all the subtle, clever references. Trueman bradley is the same. it seems simple but if very well crafted and has a lot of layers. hard to explain, but I've had to read it five times so far. it is a spell-binding book and always fun to read and reread! For science and math lovers too, it is very intelligently written. It also says a lot about autism rights, but its so entertaining I often forget it is meant to be educational.
i am in love with this book! it is just the kind of book you like to read to pick up your spirits fun to read and reread. you really come to love trueman especailly and so I hope AMR is planning to write another trueman book. love it! ;)
The character Trueman Bradley and his traits were detailed well. Could see the author's research in it.
But being a detective novel, I was expecting to see how Hero solves cases and mysteries, using his unique skills and analysis. I found it disappointing that, the author never explored it. Using imaginary equations and fantasy gadgets to solve crimes, didn't work for me.
As someone with relatively mild Asperger's, but enough to have marked me as Weird my entire childhood, this book strikes me as being at cross-purposes with itself. On the one hand, it spends a LOT of time and energy explaining (over and over and over again) more - or less - common aspects of Asperger's, to such a degree that a reader with no prior understanding of it couldn't be blamed for thinking the hero was being held up as in all ways an example of ANY person with Asperger's, even after Nora's speech in the hearing to the contrary. But to me, he seems as close in resemblance to any person with Asperger's as he does to anybody without it. All that [frankly unbelievable] brilliance with mathematical equations that solve non-mathematical things, such as where to find the evidence? Even an equation that can predict unpredictable events and spell out instructions in advance on how to behave in those situations? Down to throwing a well-timed drink onto a bad guy's shirt in order to achieve an end that Truman doesn't even see coming? Please.
So this is a book that wants to be a book about a guy with Asperger's who has comic-book level superhero mental capabilities and an over-sized desire to be a great detective. I might have given that book 4 stars. Maybe. But trying to make it also so VERY "hitting the reader over the head" with education on the traits of people with Asperger's, especially explaining the same traits too many times over, that made it sub-par on both counts, in my book. A few asides never repeated, sure, probably necessary, but not a whole unabridged textbook on the subject.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
This got off to a promising start. Trueman Bradley, a young aspie who has just inherited a fortune sets out to fulfil his dream of becoming a detective in New York. However, it soon goes off the rails. The first thing that irritated me was Trueman calling Mozart's 40th symphony a song! For someone who, it has already been established, is very precise this does not make sense. To call a symphony, (simple definition in case you're not sure: a long piece of music for an orchestra, usually with four movements,) just doesn't make sense.
But that apart, where this fails is as much with the other characters, they just do not ring true. Nora, the female detective with whom he joins forces, supposedly has a doctorate in criminology, yet is pretty clueless at times. Additionally, she, along with the other two adults they get together with have absolutely no qualms about benefitting from Trueman's generosity when he proposes to invest a million dollars in setting up an agency, providing them each with a job. Surely responsible adults would at least hesitate, and offer cautionary advice, especially to a vulnerable young aspie?
Add to this the (unexplained in detail) mathematical equation that can pinpoint a culprit to an exact address, and that's before the story becomes really improbable!
As a fellow aspie, I applaud the author's attempts, a shame it is not more credible. More accurately this novel should be categorised as a fantasy, either way, it rather defeats the object of raising awareness regarding Asperger's Syndrome.
I liked this story. It follows a private detective with Asperger's Syndrome named Trueman Bradley, as he navigates his live and first big case in New York City. It's well written and follows the life of someone on the Spectrum very accurately, with the mannerisms, quirks and social cues.
This is an easy read. At first I really liked it. However, once the protagonist, Trueman, is described as having unrealistic special powers which glorifies his condition, I was turned off. The descriptions and definitions of Asperger Syndrome used within the plot are inaccurate.