(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Robison's third book starts with a bang-his description of the "malicious explosion" created by his teenage Cubby that has the boy, who has Asperger's syndrome, looking at 60 years in prison, is as disconcerting as it is captivating. Sadly, much of the book drops off from there as the author segues into the personal story of his own transition from adolescence to adulthood. While the social problems he encounters because he, too, has Aspergers, are appealing, the stories of his business dealings lack the appeal of Cubby's journey. The tales of bringing up his son, which are relayed in 55 short chapter-length vignettes and told in the accessible prose that made his book Look Me in the Eye, a New York Times bestseller, are decidedly hit or miss. For instance, "Tuck-in Time," which simply explains that kids like bedtime stories, gives little insight into Aspergers or to Cubby's personality. On the other hand, "Cubby Versus the School" and "Reading" give a personal and informative perspective on the challenges kids with Cubby's condition face when it comes to acceptance and learning. The story picks up in the last 100 pages, as Cubby, a brilliant kid with an inquisitive scientific mind, creates explosive chemistry experiments that bring charges from the local DA. With the ensuing investigation and trial, Cubby and the author are drawn into a crazy world that threatens to tear apart their already delicate lives and allows the book to live up to the promise of its exciting first five pages. Agent: Christopher Schelling, Selectric Artists. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
In his memoir Look Me in the Eye (2007), Robison wrote about his own Asperger's syndrome he was diagnosed with the form of autism when he was 40 years old. Here he asks the question: How does a man who lacks a sense of empathy and an ability to read nonverbal cues learn to be a father? And how does a man with Asperger's learn to recognize the same symptoms in his own child? (A key element in the book is Robison's son's own diagnosis, and Robison's reaction to his having missed seeing the signs for as long as he had.) In many ways, this is a traditional father-and-son memoir, but the added element of Asperger's gives the story a stronger emotional core: when Robison and his wife separated, for example, he realized he had been misreading a lot of what had been going on between them. It's a story of a man learning to be a parent, yes, but it's also and perhaps more importantly the story of a man discovering, as an adult, who he really is.--Pitt, David Copyright 2010 Booklist