I would recommend reading this book.
As a matter of fact, I would highly recommend that everyone out there read this book. Not because it’s great, because it isn’t. Not because it’s compelling, because it isn’t. Not because it’s funny, or captivating, or philosophical, because it isn’t.
Everyone should read this book because it puts you inside the mind of a person with autism and it does so brilliantly.
I grew up with a best friend with autism. And I believe that unless you live life with or really closely with someone on the autistic spectrum, it is very difficult to relate, understand and sympathize with their reality.
And this book thrust you right into their world, allowing you to live their experiences. The crowds, sensory overload, claustrophobia, the need for order and timetables, the fear of strangers and anything unfamiliar, not wanting to be touched…
This snapshot was a very realistic portrait of the inner workings of the mind of someone on the spectrum.
I don’t understand why it was chosen recently to be made into a Broadway show. I personally would never go to see it. Like I mentioned, I’m happy I read it and recommend it to anyone. But, the book is fraught with anxiety. I cannot imagine willingly going to a show to watch 2 hours of someone screaming, groaning, banging their head against a wall, hiding in small spaces, and the agony they go through when they are faced with the overstimulating streets and train stations of London. No thanks! Also, the story is a sad one. It doesn’t have a happy ending, so you wouldn’t walk away from the performance feeling like all is well.
But the exposure to an autistic mind is invaluable. You will come away from this reading this with a completely different outlook on those with autism and the people who are close to and care for them.
Read the book, skip the play!