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4.5 out of 5 stars380
4.5 out of 5 stars
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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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VINE VOICEon 9 September 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Presented in the form of diary "600 Hours of Edward" is an imaginative, appealing, and interesting novel. Our main protagonist and the one making the diligently detailed entries is 39-year-old Edward Stanton, a man who is captive to his condition Asperger Syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder. We the readers are privy to 25 days in which Edward's life is dealt several unexpected turns. Edward records them in his diary, and vexes about how to deal with these disruptions to his self-imposed carefully managed life. His method of coping is governed by a cerebral style that will seem unconventional to most readers, but at the end he gets there and he figures out how to acclimatise to his socially changing environment. We see Edward through his own very unique lens on life, and how he then acts, or should I reacts, on what he has learned. As he concisely puts it, "I'm mentally ill. I'm not stupid."...Our author Mr Lancaster has created a wonderful character and placed him in a memorable story. The book contains humour, sorrow, courage, and insight. Following Edward on his journey is wearing, yes, but an eye opener to his perception of his own little ecosystem.
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VINE VOICEon 19 September 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
39-year old Edward Stanton has lived alone in the house his father pays for since the `Garth Brooks incident,' eight years earlier. His aspergers and obsessive compulsive behaviours mean that his life is very ordered. He likes facts. Edward usually wakes up at either 8:37, 8:38, 8:39 or 8:40 (8:38 is the most common, although he wouldn't like to predict. He prefers facts.) He records the previous day's weather, eats spaghetti eight times a week and watches his favourite TV show Dragnet, every night at 10pm.

600 hours of Edward equates to 25 days of his life as Donna and her nine-year old son Kyle move in across the road puts his life into chaos as his routines get interrupted and Edward is forced to think about whether he can accept other people in his life. Craig Lancaster injects humour into what could be a sad story with the repetitive nature of the book and the situations Stanton gets himself into, including his foray into internet dating and the letters of complaint he writes (but doesn't mail) every night. I would highly recommend this book as a great insight into ASD and OCD but above all a book about human emotion.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is the story of Edward Stanton who is a middle aged adult who happens to have obsessive compulsive disorder and Asperger's Syndrome. As a result he likes facts and predictable routines so despite being clever and funny he has difficulty communicating with people and this has held him back. He relieves some of his frustration by writing letters of complaint but one of these to the well known Country and Western singer Garth Brookes escalates to the point where he faced legal action. As a result his father decides he needs to move out and sets him up in his own place. Through these changes he enters into Internet dating and befriends his neighbor and her son. The book guides us through 600 hours of his life at this turning point in Edward's life. This is a funny and sometimes moving read and is an interesting character driven novel. The author shows an excellent understanding of Asberger's and OCD and how they are interpreted by the character and those around him. I started this book with little expectation but read it very quickly which is always a good sign.
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on 24 August 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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on 16 April 2013
I read some of the previous reviews as I bought this book on a special offer. Several spoke about the "repetition" as getting to them, but being very interested in Aspergers (if not so much OCD), I went ahead any way, and I am so glad I did. I loved this, and as the book went on liked Edward more and more, rooting for him in the unfair exchanges with his father's lawyer, and for him in his life in general. There is a repetitive style to Edward's narration, but that is because he lives his life by keeping to patterns/timetables that help him to cope. I did not find it boring like some of the reviewers, because the subtle differences in thoughts and words by Edward as the book progresses are part of his personality and the story developing. When it finished, I did not want it to be the end, I had that "I want more" feeling, so pre-ordered the sequel, that's how much I liked it.
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on 10 December 2014
I should have known that I would cry at the end of this novel - I'd already shed a few tears at several other points throughout the narrative. Edward is the Asperger's Peter Pan you can't help but love. And even at the points when the author's descriptions of him and the quirky workings of his mind made me laugh out loud, there was still a lump in my throat. I love the way Craig Lancaster took us along on Edward's journey through to a happier, more integrated self. As a therapist I have met a few Edwards, and vouch for the veracity of those descriptions. By the time I got to the end of the novel I had grown so fond of Edward I knew I would never forget him. A tour de force by this author and well deserving of the 5 stars. I'll be reading more of his books and thoroughly recommend this one.
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on 21 December 2012
I bought this book (Kindle edition) along with many other books during a book-buying-spree. When it had been downloaded to the Kindle, I chose this one first, and that was the (half) a day well-spent. I read it on the way to work, during breaks and work, and finished work early just so I could continue reading it. Having read and really enjoyed the book "Room" by Emma Donoghue, I found this book to be almost similar in terms of writing style. The way the words were put together, and the detailed, informative descriptions of things had me laughing and crying at the same time. Enough has been said in the previous reviews of the plot, so I'll just finish mine by saying that I have already bought "Edward Adrift" which is to be released sometime next year, as I enjoyed this one so much.
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on 21 September 2012
Got this book for 99p as it was the deal of the day and it's the best 99p I have spent. Although the book is very repetative and I think had this happened in any other book, I would have been bored but this was Edward's life, it what the story was all about. This is the first book by Craig Lancaster that I have read and looking forward to reading more. There were plenty of times I actually laughed out loud and also parts where I cried - it is a beautifully written book and Craig Lancaster really does connect with the Asperger's Syndrome, and shows that it's not necessarily the person who has Asperger's who has the "problem" but the world around him who just won't accept it.
I looking forward to reading the follow up of Edward's antics in Edward's Adrift!
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on 28 December 2013
600 Hours of Edward is a pretty special book. One of those books that I raced through, read in every spare moment I had, but at the same time didn't want to end. I don't often say this, but I really don't have a single criticism.

Edward is in his thirties and lives a fairly unusual life. He doesn't work for a start; he lives alone but is funded by his wealthy politician father. He also has extreme OCD and Asperger's. As a result, his life is very solitary and very routine-driven: he goes to the supermarket on the same day each week and buys the same selection of ready meals and fizzy drinks; he checks yesterday's weather report and today's weather forecast every morning; and he spends every evening watching a recorded episode of the same '60s TV cop show.

The reason Edward lives alone is because, after a particularly trying incident, his father threw him out of the home he had shared with his parents. Now the bulk of their communication is via Edward's father's lawyer. This is a source of great frustration to Edward, and in return he writes a number of letters of complaint to his father. Letters of complaint are another of Edward's routines: on the advice of his therapist, he airs his (many) grievances with nightly letters but never sends them. Instead, he has amassed a collection of articulate, strongly-worded and occasionally irrational letters of complaint filed according to recipient.

The novel follows a specific 600 hour (or 25 day) period in Edward's life when his routine is disrupted. It really begins with two things: an uncharacteristic but typically well thought-out foray into internet dating, and a chatty young boy who moves in across the street with his mother and inserts himself into Edward's life. These fledgling relationships are not without their ups and downs, and are further complicated by his father's interventions. But they (with a little help from Dr Buckley) teach Edward much about friendship and about himself.

It would be easy to feel pity for this character who has what might be perceived as a mundane existence, few friends and a dysfunctional relationship with his parents. But actually I didn't feel pity. Edward is not defined by his OCD and Asperger's. He is independent (financial arrangements aside), intelligent and precise, funny, mature and incredibly well-intentioned. So I didn't feel pity; instead Edward inspired in me laughter, admiration, empathy and goodwill.

I've read some reviews that express frustration at the repetition in the novel. But for me this is one of its absolute joys. This is a first-person narrative, so it soon becomes clear that each chapter will be punctuated by recording his wake-up time every morning and summarising the evening's cop show episode every night. After that, every time I read `My data is complete' I couldn't help but smile to myself.

600 Hours of Edward is (like Edward himself) witty, heartwarming and challenging. I read somewhere that the author, Craig Lancaster, said that `Edward often had his own ideas about things' regardless of his authorial intentions; I love the idea that Edward took on a life of his own during writing. This really comes across in the novel: Edward is no two-dimensional stereotype; he is authentic and complex and real. He is both vulnerable and independent, child-like in some situations yet mature in others, steadfastly set in ways yet desperate to please...Edward can't be conveniently pigeon-holed. It is this that makes knowing Edward so challenging and at the same time so rewarding, as both Donna and his father eventually come to realise.

It would be easy to compare this novel to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, but this novel stands apart and on its own merit, and Craig Lancaster has in Edward created a character quite unlike any I've come across in similar novels.

As I said, I really don't have any criticism to make of this book. It's a joy to read. It may not be for everyone - what book is? - but there's nobody I wouldn't recommend it to, and I will be buying Edward Adrift the minute it's published.
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