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Posted January 29, 2014
Posted January 13, 2014
Posted January 1, 2014
Living with autism.
I decided to read this in December, as I rarely read Christmas stories in the run-up to Christmas. However, it didn't grab me and I would have abandoned it early on if it hadn't been for the theme of Peter, an autistic 4 year-old. I was much less inspired by the theme of Sixties television shows, particularly Chip Crockett, of the title.
Peter's Dad, Brendan, is separated from his wife and they share the daunting task of raising Peter, who looks no-one in the eye and eschews all physical contact. When Brendan's old school friend, Tony Maroni, an ageing pop star, begs a bed for the Christmas season, he brings with him Christmas cheer that Brendan was trying to shun. It had been around Christmas that Brendan and his wife had discovered that Peter was autistic and the festive season had brought nothing but bad memories ever since.
This reissue of the 2006 novella, provides an excellent insight into the realities of coping with autism, ageing and divorce, but I had no interest at all in Chip Crockett or sixties/seventies music. I'm hovering between two and three stars but will go for the higher rating as proceeds are being donated to the charity Autism Speaks.
Posted December 20, 2013
Chip Crockett's Christmas Carol by Elizabeth Hand
I wanted to read this book because the proceeds will go towards a fund of a special education teacher that died at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT a year ago. At that time I was traveling through upstate NY and when I got the call from my brother in RI I couldn't believe the tragedy and so close to Christmas.
Brendan and Teri have split up and their son Peter attends a specialized school. Brendan has Peter many nights and is able to pick him up after school. Tony wants to move in with Brendan til he gets on his feet. The death of Chip has got all of them talking of the death and remembering the episodes on TV.
Very patient to teach his son how to do just the simplest of tasks, repetitious patterned behavior.
Thanksgiving at Kevin and Eileens house..then the drinking started. Things used to be normal til the drinking overtook everything.
Story is based on Chip and how they can resurrect the puppet show of the 60's. The year the doctors figured out what was wrong with Peter, that was the end of Christmas for Brendan.
Christmas morning brings the miracle that ties this whole book together. Authors other works are highlighted at the end.
I myself was too young to remember watching the show but other things I do recall, especially the TV screen after 2am and the countdown to a show broadcasting.
I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review.