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Dummy: A Memoir
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Dummy: A Memoir

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  21 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
From the back cover: "A child in the 1950s, David Patten was labeled retarded, lazy, stupid--a dummy. Isolated by an autism spectrum disorder and dyslexia, David slipped into the dark underbelly of American life, spending time in a mental institution, a violent inner-city school for troubled youth, and an experimental home for schizophrenics. David's remarkable journey fro ...more
Paperback, 397 pages
Published 2012 by Jonquil Press, Berkeley, CA
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Lizze Gorski
Dec 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone.
I wasn’t prepared for Dummy, A Memoir, at all. In all honesty, it reads more like a movie novel than a memoir. The experiences that Patten lived through, were shocking and amazing. Knowing, as I was reading, that these actions and events actually took place gave everything an edge that I don’t believe it would have had if it were a work of fiction.

The honest, frank, and often no nonsense tone which Patten uses to tell about his life experiences, which would terrify most adults - let alone child
...more
Bert Edens
From my book review blog at:

http://kickinbooks.wordpress.com/2013...

This book was provided to me via NetGalley by Joslyn Press for the purposes of reading and reviewing it. Even though it was provided at no cost, I am under no obligation to give the book a positive review.

Since I finished this book, I’ve been stewing on what to write about, how to approach this review. I’m not sure where to start or what to say, and that’s a good thing.

Let’s start with why I read this book. As the parent of a sp
...more
Pam Camel
May 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"From his birth in 1954, David Patten was unbearably sensitive to the world around him. Unable to concentrate or learn the basics of reading and writing, he was punished and pathologized, labeled lazy, stupid, and a troublemaker. David was finally diagnosed with dyslexia, among other elements in the autism spectrum. But at a time when these disorders were little understood, David was unable to get the help he needed, and he gradually fell into the dark underbelly of American life. David's strugg ...more
Christina
May 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
While working through some of my son's quirks, I did a lot of research on ASD, auditory processing disorders, and ADD/ADHD, so this book instantly stood out and I couldn't wait to read it. David Patten is a very smart man, but because of the time period (1960s) and lack of understanding of learning disabilities, he was treated poorly and didn't have access to support. He was constantly punished and failed out of public school only to spend time in a violent inner-city alternative high school, a ...more
Dnicebear
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I am torn apart by the journey of Mr. Patten...struggling to survive in a culture that almost demands that to be an adult human means to be able to read. Patten is the same age as my husband, in fact, they lived in the same community co-op as youngsters, and they have the same first name. Then there is the California connection...Patten came here first in the 70s to live in an experimental home for schizophrenics...oooh, tough love, bad news, but he gets clear on how easy it is to let fear rule ...more
Ionia
Jun 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a look at the life of a man who has suffered, persevered and lived to tell his story for all of us to learn from and appreciate.

I was not completely sure what to expect when I began reading this, and at first was uncertain how much of the book was told from the actual person who lived it. After reading this, my eyes have been opened to a lot of things I had not realised before.

This memoir is moving, touching, painfully sad and inspiring all at the same time. If you have ever known some
...more
Emily
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I chose to read this book to gain an understanding of the mindset of a high functioning person on the autism spectrum. I received so much more than I expected. "Dummy: A Memoir" is a wonderfully honest and unique account of a truly one of a kind life. I was completely blown away by David's descriptions of his academic, social, and sensory challenges growing up. I was captured by his spiritual journey, and his constant struggle to persevere in a world in which he didn't feel connected. What an am ...more
Leah Daniels
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own


Inspiring story. The amount of struggle and hardships David faced over his lifetime would have been enough to break down any person. But being severely handicapped by his learning disabilities would have made it that much worse. Instead, he is a shining example of what is possible if you put all your energy toward a goal. I recommend this book to anyone.
Mary
Jul 09, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was deeply disappointed in this book. The "harrowing childhood & sucessful drug-dealing" part was the bulk of the book. but the "how I overcame my difficulties/what I learned that I can pass on" part was a scant few pages toward the end. It read like a supermarket tabloid.
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