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The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon
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The Speed of Dark (2002)

by Elizabeth Moon

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,887935,419 (4)2 / 208
  1. 110
    Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (infiniteletters)
    infiniteletters: Charlie is definitely not like Lou, true. But their experiences and perspectives have the same mental effect on readers.
  2. 110
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (tortoise)
    tortoise: Both are well-written novels with a first-person autistic-spectrum narrator. The Curious Incident has a better-constructed plot (the villain in The Speed of Dark is a bit cartoonish), but The Speed of Dark is I think more interesting as a commentary on autism.… (more)
  3. 20
    Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold (LamontCranston)
    LamontCranston: Pathological corporate greed, manipulation of the disabled/differently abled, and both for space applications, but Falling Free has a much more proactive response to being exploited
  4. 00
    The Island Keeper by Harry Mazer (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For not knowing enough yet.
  5. 00
    A Wizard Alone by Diane Duane (2wonderY)
    2wonderY: One of the young wizard's is autistic. For comparison of viewpoint and choices.
  6. 00
    The Multiplex Man by James P. Hogan (infiniteletters)
  7. 00
    Too Late to Die Young: Nearly True Tales from a Life by Harriet McBryde Johnson (infiniteletters)
  8. 11
    This Alien Shore by C. S. Friedman (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For the exploration of human intelligences and mental health.
  9. 01
    The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (hoddybook)
    hoddybook: A somewhat more lighthearted look...
  10. 01
    My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey by Jill Bolte Taylor (infiniteletters)
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English (90)  French (2)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (93)
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
Technically because E. Moon writes sf and fantasy and because [The Speed of Dark] is set in the near future one could make an argument for putting the book in the speculative fiction slot, but I choose not to because Moon's attention to how the high-functioning autistic person experiences the world is the core of the experience of reading the book and there is nothing speculative about that, not to me anyway. The premise is that in this near future there is a treatment, new and experimental (as in dangerously untried), that can "cure" autism. Lou is autistic and very very bright, continually underestimated by all the "normals" around him. At work, where he and a select group of other autists work on programming, a new boss wants all of them to take the treatment. Lou has other concerns as well, a "normal" who becomes jealous of his accomplishments. What carries the story though is simply Lou himself, earnest and hard-working, honest and insightful. A great read. ****1/2 ( )
1 vote sibyx | Jan 9, 2019 |
So, I did like the book - the writing was good - the protagonist is an autistic man who works for a high end research company doing pattern analysis. But, something was .. off. And I'm not sure what. As I think about, it might be because it feels like a "techno thriller", with the story moving forward for the sake of moving forward. But, I did get some insight into autism, and how people with autism think. Elizabeth Moon did an excellent job into getting into the head of an autistic man. Of course, this book is set in the future, and there are techniques in this universe that help autistic people live a more independent life. So, ultimately, its a product of the type of books written ~10 years ago, but it does have value in today's world. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Feb 18, 2018 |
Set in the near future, this book follows an autistic man who has managed to carve out a life for himself (with others who are also autistic) working for a pharmaceutical company. His manager wants to force them to take a new treatment to become "normal". This book looks at what normal is and how people fit into a society (or don't).
Enjoyed this book and the protagonist's perspective very much. The ending wasn't quite so appealing, but no spoilers. ( )
  quiBee | Jan 23, 2018 |
When one is experiencing the inner life of our main character Lou Arrendale, part of the last generation of autistic adults in a future where that medical issue has been dealt with, this book feels like a real accomplishment. As for the rest of the novel that this character study is incorporated in, well, I found it less than convincing. Whether it works as a rebuttal to the notion of the "other-abled" is another thing entirely, as I can well recall that in the decade before this book came out there was a controversy over whether restoring hearing to those deaf from birth was an assault on the community that the deaf had created for themselves; it seems likely to me with the outcome depicted in this story that Moon rejected that self-ghettoization too. In the end, there is no real option to accepting the challenge of the wider world. ( )
1 vote Shrike58 | May 22, 2017 |
I couldn't put this book down. Great characterization, and a compelling story line. Plus I like her philosophy of life.

I found it at the little free library - best book I've ever gotten from there. And now I need to buy my own copy.
( )
  CarolJMO | Dec 12, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elizabeth Moonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gardner, GroverNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Metz, JulieCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Snyder, JayNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Questions, always questions.
Quotations
Normal is a setting on a dryer.
I had to learn to say conventional things even when I did not feel them, because that is part of fitting in and learning to get along. Has anyone ever asked Mr. Crenshaw to fit in, to get along?
I wonder, not for the first time, why a woman friend is called a girlfriend and not a womanfriend.
Bad parents make things hard and painful for their children and then say it was to help them grow. Growing and living are hard enough already; children do not need things to be harder.
I do not understand the rules about interrupting. It is always impolite for me to interrupt other people, but other people do not seem to think it is impolite for them to interrupt me in circumstances when I should not interrupt them.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345481399, Mass Market Paperback)

Corporate life in early 21st-century America is even more ruthless than it was at the turn of the millennium. Lou Arrendale, well compensated for his remarkable pattern-recognition skills, enjoys his job and expects never to lose it. But he has a new boss, a man who thinks Lou and the others in his building are a liability. Lou and his coworkers are autistic. And the new boss is going to fire Lou and all his coworkers--unless they agree to undergo an experimental new procedure to "cure" them.

In The Speed of Dark, Elizabeth Moon has created a powerful, complex, and believable portrayal of a man who varies radically from what is defined as "normal." The author insightfully explores the nature of "normality," identity, choice, responsibility, free will, illness and health, and good and evil. The Speed of Dark is a powerful, moving, illuminating novel in the tradition of Flowers for Algernon, Forrest Gump, and Rain Man . --Cynthia Ward

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:18 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Moon's extraordinary, Nebula Award-winning novel is the story of an autistic man who is offered the chance to be "cured" by science. He must decide if he should submit to a surgery that might completely change the way he views the world and the very essence of who he is.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

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