This book became something of a mythical creature to me, something to be sought out and captured for all posterity. The name Edward has been bandied about in my book club (or reading support group for voracious, capacious readers )so often that I felt I was being kept out of a very exclusive club.
The publication of Craig Lancaster's third installment of the continuing tale of Edward Stanton coincides with my first first tentative steps into his life.
What can one say about Edward? At first glance he is what one might term "peculiar" his habitual culinary preferences, his dogged recording of fact and his dedication to the viewing of Dragnet, all seem to make him stand out and remain excluded from reality, and in less sure hands than those of Mr Lancaster might have become grating but actually once you have been in his presence for just a short while, he becomes less and less obscured by his habits and his approach begins to make total and utter sense!
A high performing aspergers sufferer we soon realise, it is not that Edward is” different”, it is just he is more open and honest about the things that make his life bearable and we discover that we are rather more like him than we care to admit.
This book,despite following a very specific and deliberate style and structure (which like Edward himself seems simpler than it really is) is a beautifully crafted portrait of a very special human being who has used order and disciplined behaviour to control the harsh realities that life might throw at him. We realise that whilst we may not live in such strict order that we too use the familiar as crutches to hold us aloft when we too are faced with hard or confusing times.
His “letters of complaint”reveal more about the wounded soul inside and the honesty of his reactions to his Father and his seeming coldness is deeply affecting and exceptionally effective in making him a deeply sympathetic character.Therefore as he navigates the murky world of Internet dating, supermarket shopping and familial strife he is actually gradually flowering and bearing fruit and the reader joyfully joins him in the revelations about both himself and the world at the book’s uplifting end.
A series I will definitely be carrying on with.
I am definitely a fledgling member of #TeamEdward