Saturday, June 05, 2010

Book 6: Mozart and the Whale

Mozart and the Whale by Jerry and Mary Newport.

I think I read a non-fiction book about autism during every challenge. Not deliberately, there's just always at least one in my pile.

I didn't think much of the movie "Mozart and the Whale," but it did get me interested in reading the book, which is really not the same story. The real characters were much older when they met, for one thing, and already had a lot of life experiences behind them. This is not just their love story, but also their autobiographies.

I had some trouble getting into this book. One problem is that two different people are writing in turn and it's hard to tell when the points of view have changed (this was an ARC -- perhaps they made it clearer in the finished book.) The other problem was that the sections by Jerry Newport were so full of worn-out phrases. It was a nagging irritation.

But I persisted and wound up relating to a lot of what I read. And it was intriguing to read the points of view of two autistic adults, who share a lot in common yet also have many differences.

Like many autobiographies I read, this one sometimes felt too... elliptical, is the word that comes to mind. So much happened to them and they just drop little bits and pieces of it into the narrative, leaving me with tons of questions. How someone got from point A to point B is often a mystery. It reminds me of confusing autobiographies of children's book authors I read when I was younger.

Two bits of trivia

1)The "Mozart" of the title, Mary's costume at the Halloween party where they met, was not Wolfgang Amadeus -- it was his sister, the thwarted prodigy Nannerl. I find that very touching.

2) I can't find any verification of this, but I'm almost certain that the opening of the show "the Big Bang Theory" was inspired by a paragraph in this book. Or possibly, since both came out in 2007, the other way around?

261 pages
Reading: 129 minutes
Blogging: 31 minutes

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Blogger Buffy bligged...

I'd never heard of this book before, nor the movie.

I love the way you use the word elliptical in this post -- I've never thought of using it that way but it makes total sense to me. :)

6/06/2010 7:42 AM  

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