Skip to main content

Book Review: 600 Hours of Edward

I've just finished reading the novel "600 hours of Edward" by Craig Lancaster. I loved it. It was unexpectedly good (because normally I read in a different genre). It was really engaging and very difficult to put down. My only complaint is that there weren't 700 or 800 hours. I was
enjoying it so much that I was sad when it ended.

Craig... I think we need a sequel.

600 Hours of Edward features an Aspie protagonist (Edward). It's the first novel I've read which does so. At first, I wasn't sure exactly how well I'd be able to identify with Edward. After all, he's a fiercely OCD aspie with a fixation on weather and Dragnet. His social issues are also so severe that he's generally unemployable. Since I've never been unemployed, I didn't think that I'd relate all that well.

I was surprised. It's true that in the beginning, I didn't identify with him much at all but as I got further and further into his character, I found myself identifying more and more with him.

To be frank, although the book is about a series of events, it's the character study that is most fascinating. I've seen it compared to "Flowers for Algernon" and in some way, this makes sense since Edward does manage to "grow" as a person. In many ways though, the message it presents is better than "flowers". Edward might grow but he doesn't really change. Acceptance is a better word than change - and more appropriate to aspies of today. The acceptance isn't once-sided either. Everyone needs to grow and adapt.

This book gives you a chance to climb inside the mind of an aspie. Edward's innermost thoughts and motivations are revealed to us. It's funny because I could find myself identifying with many of his motivations. The date scene is particularly funny and I can remember thinking similar things myself on dates. The pull of routine and the need to provide "too much information" is overwhelming at times.

The book is somewhat repetitive, starting almost every chapter with the same phrases. This may be a little annoying for some people but it pulls us firmly into Edward's world. His world is repetitive because OCD and Aspergers are repetitive conditions which require strict routines.

He likes routine and he knows when his routine is disrupted. It causes him great anguish.

I was reading about Edward's OCD issues, particularly his noting down the weather and his waking times. I thought about how time-consuming that particular ritual is and I thought to myself, "Gee, I'm glad that, I don't have those sorts of rituals"...

Then, at some point while reading the book, I went out a bought a DVD and found myself compelled to update it in my catalogue. The need to do so itched at me until I scratched it.

I am exactly like Edward.

His comments on watching Dragnet at exactly 10pm didn't gell with me either. I'm particular about watching Doctor Who but I'm not fixated on times. Not since I got video cassettes. Of course, before the advent of video, I can remember pitching hissy fits or not talking to my parents for a week if they caused me to miss an episode.

Edwards "letter therapy" is also quite interesting. I've always been a bit of a letter writer myself and I must agree, it really does help you to cope with the frustrations of everyday life. It's part of the reason why I, and many other people blog about things that are happening in our day-to-day lives.

600 hours of Edward is an absolutely fascinating book. If you're an aspie, you'll see yourself in it. If you're married to an aspie or if you're caring for one, you'll get a fascinating glimpse of their thought processes.

It's truly recommended reading.

600 Hours of Edward is available on Amazon.
There's a post from Author: Craig Lancaster about writing the character here.
There's another good review here.

This copy was sent to me by Riverbend Publishing for review.


Thanks for the review! This book is definitely going on my "To Read" list.
Rafael Pozos said…
I might try reading it. It may be too painful for me as I am an aspie and have suffered a lot of what has been described here.
Stat Mama said…
Great review! I definitely plan to read this.
ASFA IRC said…
Our book club read it and loved it. I have worked with a young lady in high school who was my library aide and later volunteered for me and even substituted for me in the library. We have had a ten year relationship as teacher, employer and friend. She is an inspiration.

Popular posts from this blog

Why Do Aspies Suddenly Back-Off in Relationships? (Part 1)

One of the most frequent questions I'm asked is why an aspie (or suspected aspie) suddenly goes "cold" and backs off on an otherwise good relationship. It's a difficult question and the answers would vary considerably from one person to another and would depend greatly on the circumstances. Nevertheless, I'll try to point out some possibilities. Negative Reasons I generally like to stay positive on this blog and assume that people are not necessarily "evil" but simply misguided. Unfortunately, I do have to acknowledge that there are some people out there who take advantage of others. I read a book a few years ago on "sociopaths in the workplace" and I was stunned by the figures. They suggested that sociopaths were so common that most workplaces (small business) had at least one or two. The fact is that there are lots of people out there who really feel very little for others and who are very manipulative. I'd like to say that aspies are

Why do Aspies Suddenly Back Off in Relationships (Part 2)

In part one, we looked at the role that Change Resistance plays in causing aspies to suddenly go "cold" in otherwise good relationships. This time, I want to look at self esteem and depression; Self Esteem The aspie relationship with themselves is tedious at best. People with Asperger's commonly suffer from low self esteem. As discussed in earlier posts, this low self esteem often results from years of emotional turmoil resulting from their poor social skills. Aspies are often their own worst enemy. They can over analyze situations and responses in an effort to capture lost nonverbal communication. This often causes them to invent problems and to imagine replies. Everything made up by aspies will tend to be tainted with their own self image. This is one of reasons that people with Asperger's will sometimes decide that they are not good enough for their partner and that they must let them go. Sometimes, the aspie will develop a notion of chivalry or self-sacri

Aspie Myths - "He Won't Miss Me"

I apologise for the excessive "male-orientated" viewpoint in this post. I tried to keep it neutral but somehow, it just works better when explained from a male viewpoint. Here's a phrase that I've seen repeated throughout the comments on this blog on several occasions; "I know that he won't miss me when I'm gone because he's aspie" Today, we're going to (try to) bust that myth; Individuals I'll start off with a reminder that everyone is an individual. If all aspies were completely alike and predictible, they'd be a stereotype but they're not. Each is shaped by their background, their upbringing, their beliefs and their local customs. An aspie who grew up with loud abusive parents has a reasonable chance of becoming loud and abusive themselves because in some cases, that's all they know. That's how they think adults are supposed to behave. In other cases, aspies who grew up in those circumstances do a complete a