Jeremy's Reviews > Schuyler's Monster: A Father's Journey with His Wordless Daughter

Schuyler's Monster by Robert Rummel-Hudson
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's review
Aug 06, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: biography

Robert Rummel-Hudson does a great job describing what it is to be an early parent. I imagine many parents are like me, wondering if their kid is ok, wondering what it means if other kids their age are doing things your kid doesn’t do. His daughter Schuyler (pronounced Skyler) seems to be the normal, happy kid, but has an undiagnosed disease, her “monster” waiting to surprise them. The monster is polymicrogyria, an very rare (only 100 cases were known at the time) brain malformation that has totally impaired Schuyler’s ability to speak.

It’s about his life, this isn’t fiction, and his life is where the book really seems to stumble. I was endlessly fascinated, worried, excited and emotional while reading about the discovery of what Schuyler had,and how they fought to diagnose and treat it. But then out of nowhere a chapter about an affair he had, or where he was working, or some other facet of his life that was completely boring. The life seemed to leave the book every time the focus left Schuyler or her monster. By the last third, I was skimming past these few chapters just to get back to the emotional story of his daughter.

The descriptions of attempted treatments, doctor’s attempts to diagnose her, and the eventual machine that gives her the ability to speak in her own way are all great. The story movies quickly as they cross the county looking for the best place for their daughter who can’t talk, a real testament to how much they cared about giving her the best possible life. Other than those few wandering chapters, the book is really amazing.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
August 6, 2008 – Shelved
January 8, 2018 – Shelved as: biography

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