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Joe: The Only Boy in the World Paperback – 11 Jan 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books; New Ed edition (11 Jan. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861979444
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861979445
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

This is the best written, most thought-provoking book on autism I have read in years, suitable for anyone with an interest in humanity. Go out and buy it! (Communication Magazine Autumn 2006 issue)

It's certainly my book of the month (The Bookseller)

A far superior piece of non-fiction, both poignant and amusing, and instructive without ever becoming preachy (Scotland on Sunday)

Blastland is likeably honest (Julie Myerson Daily Telegraph (Books))

A moving story... Blastland has performed a remarkable service in baring his family life for us. (Simon Baron-Cohen Guardian (Review))

It is a brave and frightening book in several ways. (Nick Coleman New Scientist)

An engaging book (Kenan Malik Evening Standard)

Michael Blastland has written a beautiful and deeply thoughtful book about his 10-year-old son Joe. (Simon Baron-Cohen The Lancet)

Joe is a book that deserves to be read. It will speak loudly not just to those interested in autism, but to anyone who is fascinated by the full range of what it means to be human. (Tim Hall Catholic Herald)

From this careful, serious book emerges a man with a quick wit and far-seeing eye for what makes life so peculiar... Joe...stands out as a work of rare enlightenment. (Melissa Katsoulis Seven)

If you read just one book about an autistic child this year, you would do well to make it this one. (David Newnham Times Educational Supplement)

His honesty is in keeping with a compelling, brave and highly readable book that never verges on the sentimental. (Julie Wheelwright Independent)

I can't think of anyone who shouldn't read this book. (Ruby Millington Daily Express)

Joe, the Only Boy in the World is an affecting book. Blastland invokes the ancient African saying that "it takes a whole village to raise a child" and, with this book, he has widened the village to include potentially every reader. (Jaqueline Burton Sunday Business Post)

Deeply personal and moving ... [Blastland's] beautifully written book offers us a glimpse of the torments endured by the growing number of children born with their cerebral pathways wrongly wired. (Val Hennessy Daily Mail)

About the Author

Michael Blastland was born in Glasgow. A journalist all his professional life, he started on weekly newspapers before moving to the BBC where he makes current affairs programmes for Radio 4, such as Analysis, More or Less and the historical series Why Did We Do That? He lives in Hertfordshire, often with his daughter Cait, less often and less quietly with his son Joe, when he's at home.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
This book is about a boy called Joe. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By N. de Cort on 6 Jan. 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a heart-warming book. The author, writing about his son, candidly discuss the problems, the tantrums, the obsessions, and also the glee, the energy and the boundless, if temperamental, enthusiasm. It’s realistic about the problems and pitfalls, but ends on an amazingly upbeat note.
One point that is important to note, though, and this is what I mean by 'not what it says on the tin'; it’s more philosophical treatise than biography. Each of the ten chapters use an incident as a springboard for a discussion of Joe and of autism, and what it means for the humanity of all of us. This is acutely observed and absolutely fascinating, but it is not a biography, despite what the blurb implies.
Having said that, I enjoyed it no less for that.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By P. Beaumont on 15 May 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Michael Blastland provides an intelligent and compassionate account of what it means to live with autism. The anecdotes of life with his 10 year old son, Joe, are used to challenge and explore the way we come to understand and value our own experiences and to make life 'work' for us. The author uses a number of well-researched sources to supplement and shape his own reflections, so the book maintains its gravitas without losing its freshness and vitality. It is impossible to read Joe's story without being moved, engaged and educated. This is a must for those learning to live with the mentally handicapped, as well as those seeking to understand the fragility and the complexity of the mind. It's a compelling read!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By N. de Cort on 13 Jan. 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a heart-warming book. The author, writing about his son, candidly discuss the problems, the tantrums, the obsessions, and also the glee, the energy and the boundless, if temperamental, enthusiasm. It’s realistic about the problems and pitfalls, but ends on an amazingly upbeat note.
One point that is important to note, though; it’s more philosophical treatise than biography. Each of the ten chapters use an incident as a springboard for a discussion of Joe and of autism, and what it means for the humanity of all of us. This is acutely observed and absolutely fascinating, but it is not a biography, despite what the blurb implies.
Having said that, I enjoyed it no less for that.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By CheekyBanker on 9 July 2006
Format: Hardcover
Excellent summaries already on this book.

Not just valuable for its insight on autism but it also challeneges the way we look at the world and our many flawed assumptions on behaviour and people.

It gets heavy about 1/3 through with supporting experts references and opinions, but stick with it.

Not just for people affetced by Autism but an insight on life and long held beliefs, for anyone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By cynic7 on 7 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read almost all of this in one sitting. And then read it again. It managed to be both thought provoking, moving and at times very very funny.
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