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600 Hours of Edward [Kindle Edition]

Craig Lancaster
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (237 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A thirty-nine-year-old with Asperger’s syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder, Edward Stanton lives alone on a rigid schedule in the Montana town where he grew up. His carefully constructed routine includes tracking his most common waking time (7:38 a.m.), refusing to start his therapy sessions even a minute before the appointed hour (10:00 a.m.), and watching one episode of the 1960s cop show Dragnet each night (10:00 p.m.).

But when a single mother and her nine-year-old son move in across the street, Edward’s timetable comes undone. Over the course of a momentous 600 hours, he opens up to his new neighbors and confronts old grievances with his estranged parents. Exposed to both the joys and heartaches of friendship, Edward must ultimately decide whether to embrace the world outside his door or retreat to his solitary ways.

Heartfelt and hilarious, this moving novel will appeal to fans of Daniel Keyes’s classic Flowers for Algernon and to any reader who loves an underdog.

Product Description

About the Author

Craig Lancaster is a journalist who has worked at newspapers all over the country, including the San Jose Mercury News, where he served as lead editor for the paper’s coverage of the BALCO steroids scandal. He wrote 600 Hours of Edward—winner of a Montana Book Award honorable mention and a High Plains Book Award—in less than 600 hours during National Novel Writing Month in 2008. His other books include the novel The Summer Son and the short story collection Quantum Physics and the Art of Departure. Lancaster lives in Billings, Montana.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1292 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (14 Aug. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007GG47UA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (237 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,005 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Born in Washington. Grew up in Texas. Lived his adult years in Texas, Alaska, Kentucky, Ohio, Washington, California and, now, Montana. It's the sort of background that informs Craig Lancaster's fiction, set largely in the contemporary American West and, particularly, his adopted home of Montana.

"I have these incredibly vivid memories of visiting Montana with my folks on family vacations, and following my dad, an itinerant laborer who worked in the oil and gas fields of the West when I was a kid," Lancaster says. "It was such a vast, beautiful, overwhelming place. From the first time I saw Montana, I wanted to be a part of it."

A couple of years after Craig's arrival in the Big Sky State in his mid-30s, he began chasing a long-held dream: writing novels. His debut, 600 Hours of Edward, was born in 2008 in the crucible of National Novel Writing Month, that every-November free-for-all of furious writing. In October 2009, it was published by Riverbend Publishing of Helena, Montana, and has since gone on to be selected as a Montana Honor Book and a High Plains Book Award winner.

His follow-up, The Summer Son, was released in January 2011 by AmazonEncore, to similar acclaim. Booklist called the new novel "a classic western tale of rough lives and gruff, dangerous men, of innocence betrayed and long, stumbling journeys to love."

Next came "Quantum Physics and the Art of Departure," a collection of short fiction, including pieces Lancaster originally published in Montana Quarterly magazine. That book, released by Missouri Breaks Press, came out in December 2011.

Lancaster's work delves deeply below the surface of its characters, teasing out the desires and motivations that lead us through our lives.

"It's all too easy to turn people into caricatures, but the truth is, we humans are pretty damned fascinating," he says. "For me, fiction is a way at getting at truth. I use it to examine the world around me, the things that disturb me, the questions I have about life -- whether my own or someone else's. My hope is that someone reading my work will have their own emotional experience and bring their own thoughts to what they read on the page."

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
88 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Wonderful! 8 Aug. 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was initially attracted to this novel as Edward, the narrator, has Aspergers (like my son). Maybe I'm a sucker for punishment but I like to know how ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) is presented in fiction - sometimes authors hit the nail on the head e.g. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time which was equally enjoyed by my son and I, whilst others really miss the mark and one can't help suspecting they're using it in an effort to make their novel quirky, to give it a twist. Edward passed our stringent authenticity test and I think he will endear himself to many, many readers.

Aspergers does not define Edward but it's part of who he is and it explains his love of facts and avoidance of ambiguity. Yes, he can be blunt, lacking diplomacy but it's his OCD which dominates his life. He lives apart from his family and communicates with his father through a solicitor - he'd love to have a better relationship with his father but it takes two to tango. His days are structured around various "data collection" - recording his waking time, the daily weather statistics, compelled to watch old videos of the 50s/60s US police drama, Dragnet, at 10.00pm each evening without fail. He has a vast collection of letters of complaint, letters which he composes to various individuals who have slighted/offended him in some way but which remain unsent, on the advice of his therapist!

However, life is about to change for Edward who, at 39, has led a reclusive existence with very little human contact. His first experience of internet dating is an education. A new neighbour brings new opportunities for interaction. It's not an easy transition but Edward starts to emerge from his cocoon and stamp his personality on the world.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful 20 Oct. 2013
By Alexander Bryce TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Through lack of knowledge , I started with Edward Adrift ( see my 5 star review ) which is the second "Edward" book. It reads well as a stand alone novel, but having now read "600 Hours" a lot of the pieces have fallen into place so if new to Edward I suggest that you start at the beginning with this one.
Craig Lancaster writes of this Aspergers sufferer with a gentle kindness putting the reader into. Edward's shoes and seeing life through Edward's eyes as he copes with functioning with his neighbour Dawn her son Kyle, his parents, his therapist and everyone else he comes into contact with.
This physical giant of a man has a naive almost childlike, literal attitude to life, but there is an underlying high intelligence . His attempt at Internet dating borders on hilarity, but in a nice way. His relationship with his wealthy, high powered father is a definition of sadness.
This is a fine interesting, humorous story which must also help the cause of Aspergers or any other mental illness sufferer. Beneath their outward difficulties they are people like you and I with feelings, ambitions and desire to be part of society.
I would have given 5 stars, but for the explanation of each Dragnet episode. I realise that Edward's addiction to this show is germane to the story, but I think that the detailed retelling of each storyline was unnecessary.
This is however a small criticism of a superpower piece of writing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 10 Sept. 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Edward lives alone in a house paid for by his father. His life is ordered and peaceful. He has his set routines and records a great deal of data about his life. He wakes up between seven thirty seven and seven forty in the morning having gone to sleep exactly at midnight. He watches one episode of Dragnet each evening at the same time. But only the episodes broadcast in colour. He sees his psychologist once a week at the same time each week and then he does his grocery shopping - buying the same items every week. Edward has Asperger's and he also has OCD.

At first sight Edward might seem to be an unlikely hero but the author makes him come alive and I felt a great deal of sympathy for him. He understands his condition and has been taught coping strategies by Dr Buckley - his psychologist. When Donna and her nine year old son, Kyle, move into a house across the road Edward's life is about to change. I really enjoyed this book and read it in a day. I loved the writing style and the different view of life which Edward presents. I liked Dr Buckley too and thought her relationship with Edward was well realised.

The book is amusing and poignant and I thought Edward's relationship with his irascible father was convincing. The letters of complaint which Edward writes every day - but never posts - add an extra dimension to the story and show a human being trying to make sense of a world which doesn't operate in the same way as he does. I loved the book and loved Edward as a character and would recommend it to someone who wants to read fiction which is a little different.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and touching 4 Sept. 2012
By Benjamin TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Edward is approaching forty, he is single and lives alone in Billings, Montana, he has Asperger's syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder. He likes routine and order, he likes facts and not suppositions. He leads a life regulated by his needs for a schedule, by his weekly visits to Dr Buckley and his nightly 10.00pm viewing of a recording of a Dragnet episode, strictly in the correct order. The appearance of Kyle, a nine year old boy who has moved in across the street starts in motion a series of events that could lead to a dramatic change on Edwards life.

Edward would like two things, a girlfriend and the approval of his father. He tries his own way to solve the former, the latter seems out of his hands. His father, a County Commissioner, communicates with Edward by letter through his attorney; he has only a few memories of happy times with his father. As the opportunities for friendship open up, Edward finds that such things are not plain sailing, but he is making progress.

Covering 600 hours, or twenty five days, this is an engaging and touching novel, well and correctly written (just as well, for Edward is a stickler for correct grammar!), one is quickly drawn into Edwards life and routine, and soon hoping that he will break away from the regulating factors in his life achieve his goals. Recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Lots of in-depth views from previous posters - just treat yourself and read it.
Published 21 days ago by neilmaxx
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected surprise
I didn't know what to expect from this book. But I really enjoyed it. Easy to read and warm characters.
Published 21 days ago by Anthony Rodgers
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and superb
This is the best book that I have read in years. It is wonderful and sensitive and incredibly funny. I wish I knew an Edward Stanton. Read more
Published 22 days ago by missjeff
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching
A well written book that doesn't dwell on sympathy but takes you through the mind of someone trying to understand the world in his own unique way.
Published 26 days ago by Miss S Sharma
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
Well written, good observations of relationship dynamics. Mostly accurate presentation of Aspergers disorder but OCD behavior somewhat offline. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Elaine Clarke
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful read
I couldn't put this book down. It made me laugh out loud many times, and made me cry twice. Edward is a very believable character and I found myself really caring about what... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Beth
5.0 out of 5 stars Great beginning Great content and a wonderful conclusion
Excellent read. Not normally the genre of book I would read downloaded by accident. Very happy to have made this mistake though
Published 1 month ago by Billy Milburn
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read
Great insightful read. In the style of " The curious incident" a fascinating look into the world of aspergers. Well worth a read it finished too soon. Read more
Published 1 month ago by nena saleri-palmer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Quirky & unusual- I loved Edward.
Published 1 month ago by Mrs. M. Macdonald
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
a very enjoyable read
Published 1 month ago by Clare B.
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