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The Literate Learner Featured Article of the Week

Book Review: Edward Unspooled


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by Steve Gardiner
January 2, 2017

Edward Unspooled, the third in a series of books about Edward Stanton, an adult with asberger's syndrome, is a perfect addition for fans of Edward. While you could read Edward Unspooled as a stand-alone book, it will be far more enjoyable to have the background from the other two books.

And if you haven't read the other two, I am envious of the experience you have ahead of you. All three books are a joy, and Edward is one of the more memorable characters you are going to meet on the pages of a book.

 

In 600 Hours of Edward, we learned about some of the quirks Edward has, such as never wanting to turn left while driving. It is too dangerous, so he always planned his trips to the grocery store or other errands so that he could arrive at his destination making only right turns. Try to get that idea out of your head next time you get in your car.

 

Edward's father set up a fund with a substantial amount of money, so Edward has the means to support the many obsessive/compulsive actions that follow him through the three books. For example, he likes to paint his garage each year. If he finishes the project and doesn't like the color, he simply paints the garage again until he get the color right.

 

Throughout the books, Edward passes from his mid-30s to mid-40s and his concerns go from being self-centered, to becoming more social, to finding a girlfriend, to getting married. In Edward Unspooled, much of the story centers on his views of his upcoming fatherhood. Many sections of the book are notes he writes to his unborn child, so the child will know him and his wife Shiela better. Shiela responds to Edward's notes with comments of her own, often adding to the sense of humor established in the character of Edward.

 

Edward has always been precise. We learn early that he prefers facts to feelings, and in Edward Unspooled, he is confronted with a problem. He does not know if the baby will be a boy or a girl. He has picked a boy name and Shiela has picked a girl name, but in his notes to the baby, Edward can't use them because he does not know the gender. He solves the problem by calling the baby “Cellular Stanton.”

 

In an early note to his child, Edward writes, “What I'm saying is, you're just a cluster of cells. I think I'm supposed to love you, so the best I can give you right now is that I'll try.

 

“But your mother, she loves you. It's unqualified. You have the best mother an embryo could ask for.”

 

Edward's straightforward views on life provide much comedy, but also give insights into many of life's major issues. Edward Unspooled, as well as the entire series, is an excellent read. Put all three on your reading list and be prepared for an enjoyable experience.

 

 


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