By Naoki Higashida,
Introduced by David Mitchell
Translated by David Mitchel and K A Yoshida
First of all I have to say “Wow”! I did not see that coming.
Initially I felt that the forward was rather long and drawn out in comparison to the rest of the layout of the book. But actually, the forward is very relevant and interesting, telling how the translation came about, and the origin of the title.
Once into the book, the chapters are short, very manageable – small portions of factual anecdotes. Descriptive, lyrical and real. I had thought that there would be an underlying awkwardness due to the translation aspect of the book, but this was not the case at all.
Naoki tells how his autism affects him with uncomplicated honesty. He writes with such depth and feeling, yet he doesn’t over explain things; instead his words are concise and accurately descriptive.
His short story entitled “The Journey” is within this book, and is so powerful, so moving and engulfing, I found myself in awe of his writing skills.
In the early stages of reading this book, I wavered in interest but I’m so glad I persevered. This young man is a wonderful writer.
I can’t imagine anyone who would not get something out of reading this book, and especially people who have autism or know someone with the condition, there is much to be gained from reading it – self respect, admiration, patience, acceptance……… the list goes on.
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