I want to kill the author. But not really, because if I do, then the next one's not coming out. But I'd very much like to cause the author grievous bodily harm, after she's done writing. No, I don't seriously want to physically kill her (that would be counter-productive and defeat the purpose), but yes, I feel she is deserving of metaphoric evisceration. More on that later.
You know the drill. A series of thoughts, glimpses, things running through my head...in no particular order (or yes, there is an order; the order I had them as I was reading. Cohesively as a whole review, though, no particular order):
I think the handling of Elijah is really great. Really, really great, and it keeps striking me how great it seems to me. There are a couple of times when he almost seems neurotypical, or "regular-brained," but before the reader complaisance totally sets in, something happens to reminds you he's not. It's actually a bit exhausting to read, trying to keep up with his mind. It's great, though, and totally in character throughout, I thought. You get a great sense of his constant struggle with all those nasty neurotypicals he's surrounded by, and even the ones who aren't trying to be mean are a struggle to interact with.
Also, he's just such a woobie that I feel like I'm going to explode from squeeing all over the place.
I've learned a lot about autism and austistic behavior, actually. I thought it handled it really well, from someone who never really knew what autism meant. I'll admit that I did think autism was a sort of developmental disorder, and I probably had it confused with Down syndrome. It's not, though, and I've figured that out reading this. It handles it without talking down to either the MC or the audience and in a sense, normalizes it so that us neurotypicals can understand it. It's interesting to see how Elijah reacts to things versus how we'd think someone should react/"normally" would react. In a sense, the way he reacts isn't anything particularly weird, once we know his reasoning behinds how he reacts. In some ways, the way he reacts to things is far more logical than the way normal people usually react in certain situations.
On another hand, it's interesting how all the people around Elijah are trying to protect him from the gays. The best was from his ex-wife Beth. It almost seemed like she wanted to protect poor, defenseless little Elijah from the big bad sexual predator, which I found amusing since she's had sex with him before. Just because he has issues deciphering social mores doesn't mean he doesn't know himself, yo. It just means he has no idea what the hell is going through your
head and necessarily how to react to them. In a sense, they're kind of treating him like he's got an intellectual disability, which I suppose can be social commentary, as that is perhaps the common misperception about autism.
Sort of off color, but I get Aspergers now, now that I understand autism isn't an intellectual disability. I used to wonder how you get Aspergers in the autistic spectrum, as usually those are savant-geniuses.
Beyond all that, though, it's certainly really thought-provoking. There's the Inception element again, with the x on the palm.
The whole concept is the mnem is fascinating. I still don't quite get it, actually, don't quite graps the premise. Or rather, I grasp the premise, but the mechanics are a bit harder for me to understand. Is it like computer coding, or is it more like photoshop? Or maybe it's a mix of coding and Minecraft, except you're coding the blocks as you're stacking them. And how exactly are the packets run?
At times, Elijah was just heart-breaking. Absolutely heart-breaking. I mean, this:
I rolled up my sleeve. Penned on my arm in my own writing: If I prove I’m not selfish, Daniel will love me.
Just motherfucking this. Especially coming after he explains how he doesn't try to be selfish, that he knows a lot of people who are autistic tend to get called that, but it's mostly he doesn't know what to do to make other people happy because he doesn't understand their subtle cues D: Elijah you woobie. I want to wrap you in a blanket of love and cuddle you and make the big bad world leave you alone and stop bullying you.
I love the way Elijah tells you things. Stuff happens in the plot. He tells you a story from his past. The stories seem a bit random and out of the blue, but you kind of roll with it, and then he relates it to the thing that just happened and then it becomes just so devastatingly relevant, and then your heart aches for Elijah just a little bit more for reasons not immediately known to your conscious thought process.
It sucks how Bergman doesn't understand. She tries to, but through trying, she's ascribing her own biases to everything, and I feel like it's only going to hurt Elijah.
I figured it out, though. He instinctively feels threatened by Ryan, but since he has a hard time deciphering social cues, the subtle body language things that he could have told Bergman about to convince her that Ryan really is a threat aren't really conveyable by him. He doesn't even quite know what they are, so he has trouble articulating what exactly about Ryan is bothering him. He doesn't even have enough to go on so say something like, "It's how he looks at me, like ____."
And again, Elijah-bear, you poor little dear with your heart-strings-tugging and you make my heart ache.
And OMG he's got a Moriarty suit with the skull buttons and stuff. Okay, fine, Moriarty's suit didn't have skull buttons, but he had a suit and there were skulls, and that's close enough.
D: so much existential questions brought up, what with the subjective experiences and mental constructs versus reality and whether or not a person can actually get to know someone else or is it all postmodern and we can't really know anyone else unless we become that person, but then we'd still only know one person because we wouldn't be ourselves anymore and whaaaat
In the words of Troy Barnes, this book is wrinkling my brain O_O
Actually, in many ways, Elijah's more adept at reading social situations than first thought. He's just not as good at reacting to them and projecting his knowledge of them. In a sense, he doesn't just give away what he's thinking; his body doesn't subtly shift with that knowledge.
Autistic people would make great spies. Or great gatherers of information.
WHAT THE HELL. HOW THE FUCK CAN IT JUST END. Oh, sure. It's a trilogy
. Well, fuck you and your trilogy, you mother-of-a-fucking--
Goddamnit. God fucking damn it. DAMN IT ALL. You little cockteasing bi-
fuck a duck. fuck a fucking duck, you damn goat-sucking charnel heap of entrails. HOW CAN THERE JUST BE-
Look at this. Seriously. Sure, it leaves you with that beautiful little bit of hope. And yeah, the immediate stuff is wrapped up. But seriously, this is like the calm before the motherfucking storm and that fucking storm is not coming for another age, so we're stuck in a sort of limbo state until this can all be resolved.
Damn you to all hells. Damn you to a hell populated by Rebecca Black and Bieber and Cyrus clones who sing non-stop all the time incredibly loudly everywhere you go and you're doomed to forever wait in lines and never get anywhere and there's a crying baby that won't ever shut up and you're stuck in an airplane, all at the same time, and every other hellish thing possibly imaginable by humanity. Damn you that hell of all hells.