Craig Lancaster – 600 Hours of Edward

There are a lot of books in this genre, and I’ve definitely read a fair few, but I never get tired of them.

The book revolves around a man called Edward Stanton. He has aspergers and lives his life around a very strict routine. Waking at the same time almost every day, eating the same meals every week, and of course, his daily 10pm episode of Dragnet (only the colour episodes).

A few reviews said that this book was repetitive and that it made it boring, but I think quite the opposite. The repetitiveness in it made it compelling. Even though you thought you knew what was going to happen next, you had to continue reading just in case something unusual happened.

And lately, unusual things are happening for Edward. Things that are completely shaking up his usual routine and blowing his life upside down. Written from Edward’s perspective, we see how what we may think are relatively minor things affect his life in a big way, and the emotions that he feels, which although not expressed in what we might consider the usual way, are still very very real.

In Edward, I think we can all see a bit of ourselves. These idiosyncrasies that he has are not isolated to aspergers sufferers, we all do things that may seem a little odd. Okay, we might not record the time that we wake up every single day, but in general, people do things that other people may find unusual, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

I found the story funny in places, heart-breaking in a lot more, and the whole range of emotions in between. I don’t want to give away too much of the storyline, but it’s fair to say that Edward makes some startling breakthroughs over the 300 pages (600 hours) of the story. The book is superbly written and you can feel every bit of Edward’s pain, anger and joy. Although I don’t think Edward would say he loves the word ‘Joy’.

I mostly listened to the audio version of this book on my commute to and from work, and I loved the narrator (Luke Daniels). The inflections in his voice perfectly captured how I would have read the book in my head, and it made the story so much more enjoyable than suffering through 8 hours of terrible accents as I have done previously.

On finishing this book, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there’s a second Edward book, and it’s already out and available with narration on Kindle Unlimited. I’m downloading it as we speak, I just hope that Luke Daniels is also the narrator.

Perfect book for fans of books like The Rosie Project, definitely recommended.


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