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Under the Eye of the Clock

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  279 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
Deprived of oxygen for two hours at birth, Christopher Nolan almost died, but he lived to write, at age twenty-one, this award-winning autobiography, told as the story of one Joseph Meehan. Nolan's birth injuries left him quadriplegic and completely unable to communicate, so for years no one suspected that his mind, though imprisoned in an inert body, was burning to expres ...more
Paperback, 163 pages
Published February 1st 1989 by Delta (first published 1987)
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Nov 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 07, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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...
Aug 21, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The autobiography of a young man with cerebral palsy who defies the misconceptions and unending obstacles of his disability. Some parts were wonderful, while others seemed lacking and without direction. Some swearing also detracted from the book for me. I read this book solely because it was quoted in Palaccio's best-seller, Wonder. It took me a while to get through, and while I appreciate Nolan's grit and determination, I wasn't overly impressed.
Jim Puskas
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
Surely a remarkable achievement by Nolan in view of the tremendous obstacles he had to overcome, in some degree paralleling that of Helen Keller. Perhaps most impressive is the indomitable spirit of Nolan, boy and man. An inspiring true story. And yet, why only two stars?
First, because the story doesn't really go anywhere; Nolan succeeds in finding ways to communicate and he gains admittance to good schools. End of story. And then there's his all-singing, all-dancing, all-encompassing, allegoric
Jun 15, 2007 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
Robert Glover
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
Annie Weatherly-Barton
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!
Mark Maguire
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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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,
More about Christopher Nolan...
“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.” 8 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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