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600 Hours of Edward Paperback – 14 Aug 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (14 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612184103
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612184104
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 12.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (243 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 241,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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."

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.


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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Lovely Treez TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 Sept. 2012
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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Gary Hilton VINE VOICE on 24 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
600 Hours of Edward is the touching story of 600 hours (or 25 days) in the life of Edward Stanton. The title isn't a co-incidence; Edward likes to count. he likes order, predictability and routine. Edward eats the same thing for breakfast (cornflakes) and dinner (spaghetti), every day. He paints his garage once a year. This nearly-numbing level of structure serves an important purpose in Edward's life. You see Edward is autistic and has OCD, and his rituals and routines, (along with daily medication and weekly visits to a therapist) help him survive the modern world.

When we first meet Edward at the beginning of the novel, we see that these routines have paved the way to a life style that is trouble free and managed, yet dull and isolated. He has no friends and is has a distant relationship with his parents. However, during the titular 600 hours Edward begins interacting with his new neighbors, a single mother and her young son, and slowly, Edward starts to connect with other people. Not everything goes well, but over the course of the 600 hours, we see a transformation in Edward. His relationship with the mother & son shows signs of developing into a meaningful friendship, and all the while, Edward slowly, on his own terms, starts to particpate in a society in which he was merely a spectator.

The story is well written and well paced, but with just the right amount of emotion it's hard not to cheer for Edward and the remarkable 600-hour journey which he makes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a wonderful, moving, sometimes funny and often sad, novel about Edward Stanton. Edward is a middle aged man who has obsessive-compulsive disorder and Asperger's syndrome. I was drawn to the novel as my nephew is autistic and my godson has Asperger's, but I was also wary that the author might not have presented the conditions correctly. In fact, the author has written a book which is sympathetic without being patronising and absolutely brilliantly written.

Edward lives alone, after a series of complaining letters led to a lawsuit which caused his politician father embarrassment. Now his father pays for his house and expenses, plus visits to the helpful Dr Buckley every week, but deals with him mainly through his lawyer, while his mother delegates all important decisions concerning her son to others. Apart from a difficult monthly dinner with his parents, and the visits to Dr Buckley, Edward lives a solitary life. Then things begin to change when Donna Middleton and her young son Kyle move across the street. It is impossible not to read this novel and remain unmoved - Edward is a delightful character and, as he deals with situations which would cause many of us distress, anger or difficulty, you applaud his coping mechanisms and ability to rationalise the crazy world we live in. I think this is an important book, as well as being interesting and well written. It is a good story, incredibly well told, and I am glad I read it.
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