Plot or Premise
The story is set in an unspecified future world where most diseases and disabilities are eliminated or “fixed” at birth. A high-functioning autistic man who was born too late to benefit from the advances is navigating life and challenges at work and with friends until he is presented with a unique opportunity to potentially fix his autism as an adult.
What I Liked
Living inside his mind is awesome, seeing all the rituals he performs to get through his day, and seeing shades of everyone in some of the behaviour. Lots of relatable behaviour where if I was just 10% more anal, maybe I would act the same way. I’m an analytical introvert, and watching the way he learns to evade some of the questions that his therapist throws at him is quite entertaining. I mentioned the book to a friend who was a fantasy/sci-fi lover, and when I mentioned the base premise was hard to classify, she said it was clearly sci-fi. Then she read it and said, “Okay, you’re right, it’s NOT sci-fi, but I don’t know what else to call it”. It wasn’t a dystopian setting or anything, just a future “what if” scenario.
What I Didn’t Like
The book is unique in that as you follow the character, and see his strengths and weaknesses, you see him get to the point where he’s debating whether or not to take the “cure”, so to speak. And the question itself is quite polarizing as it is presented — regardless of which way you think the character should go, the choice is guaranteed to be unsatisfying. This may be an argument in favour of reading it, but it does mean the ending leaves a bit of a gap in terms of closure.
The Bottom Line
Fantastic journey with a polarizing ending