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Not Even Wrong: Adventures in Autism by Paul…
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Not Even Wrong: Adventures in Autism

by Paul Collins

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This was a wonderful book. This was a fabulous book. This may be the best book I've ever read about autism, with the exception of Temple Grandin's [Thinking in Pictures].

Paul Collins is an historian. He is also the father of a son with autism. This book is kind of hard to describe. It combines history (people of the past with autism and those who dealt with/ reacted to them), and a memoir of his experience of life with his young son with autism, and some modern-day developments in dealing with autism. It is well-written and engaging. There were moments when I laughed out loud -- not so much that the material was funny, but simply out of RECOGNITION, because I'd lived the experience with my son and it was so good to see someone putting a loving spin on what so many people recount with gloom.

So many autism memoirs make me sad because I relive unhappy times, or wish I'd done things differently. This one reminded me why I love my son so much, and made me better appreciate the special view he has of life.

Enthusiastically recommended to anyone even remotely interested in the topic of Autism!!! ( )
2 vote tymfos | Apr 17, 2014 |
What a wonderful book. Collins writes about autism from both a journalistic and a personal standpoint. His stories about Morgan, his autistic son, are tender and loving, while his explorations into the science of autism are incisive and simply fascinating. There are revelations here for the layperson interspersed with a very well-written memoir. Highly recommended. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Informative, emotional, sophisticated, and ultimately optimistic

- No substantive concerns

This is such a lovely book that I wish that you would read it so we can talk about it. Paul Collins and his wife learn that their son is autistic (probably in the Asperger's range, though he doesn't say). Collins evokes a parent's vulnerability and tenderness in relation to his son. The story of their son Morgan and their relationship with him is interwoven with historical material on feral children, savants, artists, scientists, and other probable autists. I am reasonably conversant with the literature on autism spectrum disorders, but I learned several new facts from Collins and enjoyed his restrained excoriaton of Bettelheim.

Collins is a good writer and I hope to read his earlier Banvard's Folly: Thirteen Tales of People Who Didn't Change the World soon. I enjoyed the juxtapositions of family and historical tales, particularly since these conjunctions lend a pattern-seeking layer to the reader's experience. I would have liked to know more about Morgan's mother, Jennifer. She is the most elusive character in Morgan's story.
( )
  OshoOsho | Mar 30, 2013 |
I appreciated the twin narratives of this book. It broke up the monotony of yet another autism memoir, as I was reading quite a few at the time. The historic perspective lent by the second narrative definitely added something new to my reading and understanding of autism. It was edifying and affirming as I had immediately begun to think along the lines of Kaspar Hauser and feral children when I started this journey of trying to understand my own little wild man. It was well conceived and well written. ( )
  paperhouses | Jun 12, 2011 |
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"When Paul Collins's son Morgan was two years old, he could read, spell, and perform arithmetic in his head, but not answer to his own name. A casual conversation - or any social interaction that the rest of us take for granted - is, for Morgan, a cryptogram to be painstakingly decoded. He seems to live in a world of his own: an autistic world." "Not Even Wrong picks up where the national bestseller Sixpence House left off, bringing Paul Collins's trademark blend of personal observation and forgotten stories from history to bear on his son's autism. As Morgan is diagnosed, Collins realizes why he has been drawn to one unusual tale: that of Peter the wild boy, the nearly mute feral child discovered in the Black Forest in 1725, who went on to caper through Kensington Palace, meet Swift and Defoe, and haunt the births of Romanticism, zoology, and even the theory of evolution. Interweaving Peter's story with his own family's struggles with Morgan's development, Collins delves into the lives of autists, finding their traces in numerous tales of solitary eccentrics who made astonishing scientific and artistic advances. His quest takes him from an English churchyard to the Seattle labs of Microsoft, from a Wisconsin prison cell block to the streets of Vienna, and to the offices of scientists leading the inquiry into this only faintly understood disorder. And finally he begins to see the outlines of a story that connects the life of a wild boy to his own life, and to Morgan's."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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