Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Matt Langford

This is an astonishing book.  A first person narration by a young man with serious learning difficulties makes thought-provoking reading.

The Watchman

Amazon .com The Watchman

My review - 

This astonishing book is written in the voice of Adam, a young man with severe learning difficulties, who is on the verge of adulthood. He’s unable to understand what people are telling him and is also unable to express his own needs, fears and rages to his family. We join them as the family moves away to the country. Adam has his own words for things and can say a handful of words and phrases that only those who know him well can understand. We watch as his relationships with his younger siblings become distant as they outpace him in every way. We also see his parents struggling with his needs and their own. To give Adam some stimulation he is sent to a school where he forms a close relationship with one of the instructors, whom he trusts. Another is aggressive and nasty to him but he’s unable to tell anyone of his fears. His only outlet is violent outbursts.

This book is gripping in its intensity. To begin with we are left guessing at one or two of Adam’s expressions but we get into his world and see it through his eyes. It’s a place where you can’t defend yourself and you can’t understand others. It certainly makes you think about people in this situation and the devastating frustration they must have to face. It’s a book of ups and down, smiles and sadness. I enjoyed reading it hugely.

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