600 Hours of Edward

600 Hours of Edward

by Craig Lancaster

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Overview

A 39-year-old with Asperger’s syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder, Edward Stanton lives alone on a rigid schedule in the Montana town where he grew up. His carefully constructed routine includes tracking his most common waking time (7:38 a.m.), refusing to start his therapy sessions even a minute before the appointed hour (10 a.m.), and watching one episode of the 1960s cop show Dragnet each night (10 p.m.).

But when a single mother and her nine-year-old son move in across the street, Edward’s timetable comes undone. Over the course of a momentous 600 hours, he opens up to his new neighbors and confronts old grievances with his estranged parents. Exposed to both the joys and heartaches of friendship, Edward must ultimately decide whether to embrace the world outside his door or retreat to his solitary ways.

Heartfelt and hilarious, this moving novel will appeal to fans of Daniel Keyes’ classic Flowers for Algernon and to any reader who loves an underdog.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612184104
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 08/14/2012
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 344
Sales rank: 192,527
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.62(d)

About the Author

Craig Lancaster's road to becoming a published novelist was, like that of many authors, a bit rocky. But the rocks weren't nearly so tough to deal with as the deer. "I crashed a motorcycle at 60 miles per hour on the interstate in July 2008 after a buck jumped out on me," Lancaster says. "Broken ribs, road rash, collapsed lung. It was a mess." A couple of months later, as Lancaster wound down his recuperation, a friend asked him to make a run at National Novel Writing Month, the annual 30-day dash in which writers are challenged to put down at least 50,000 words. It's something Lancaster had attempted before but had never seen through. "I was reluctant to do it again," he says. "I was still in a bit of pain, and I didn't really want to do anything that would lead to more disappointment. "But the more I thought about it, the more excited I got. If you have a traumatic injury and make it through, you can't help but think about the things you've always wanted to do and haven't, for whatever reason. So I took the chance."

The results exceeded his expectations - and exceeded the requirements of the event known as NaNoWriMo. Lancaster wrote nearly 80,000 words in the first 24 days of November 2008, laying the foundation of what would become his debut novel, 600 HOURS OF EDWARD. The story centers on a middle-aged man, Edward Stanton, who has Asperger's syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder and has settled into a life largely devoid of human contact. In 25 days one autumn - 600 hours - the world he has kept at bay crashes onto his front step and forces him to deal with the fallout.

Riverbend Publishing of Helena, Montana, released the book in October 2009, to critical acclaim.New York Times bestselling author Gregg Olsen hailed the book, saying, "Funny and quirky, Lancaster's compulsively readable debut has a heart as big as the Montana sky." Readers who have peeked into Edward's meticulously kept world have fallen in love with the character and the changes that come - not just with him, but with the people around him. For Lancaster, who lives in Billings, Montana, with his wife, Angie, and two rambunctious dachshunds, 600 HOURS OF EDWARD wrenched open a whole new world. The longtime journalist is hard at work on new fiction projects, all of them intensely character-driven. And all because a deer ruined a summer day's ride.

"It sounds cliché, but it's not: Crushing disappointment has a way of leading to things you didn't expect," Lancaster says. "It's part of the human experience. I want to explore that as deeply as I can."

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600 Hours of Edward 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
pagese More than 1 year ago
All I can say is Wow, what a wonderful book! While a number of books lately have emerged me in a fantasy world, this one grips you into today's world. It was a great change of pace. Edward could be anybody, and I think that's one thing that makes this story so fascinating. From the first page, you get a very intense view of what life is like for Edward. You feel slightly sorry for him, but you begin to understand why it is this way. And then those small little problems that so often happen in life begin to disrupt the perfect little system that Edward has built around himself. I was so impressed with the way the author wrote how Edward handled all of this. It was such a moving story from beginning to end. I felt so connected to Edward, and had a wide range of emotion throughout the story. While the story ended nicely, I wanted more of it. There was just enough at the end that made me wonder if a sequel could be in the works. Overall, I would recommend this to anybody who would enjoy a human interest story.
LaughingStars More than 1 year ago
Thirty-nine-year old Edward Stanton has obsessive compulsive disorder and Asperger's Syndrome. His illness - the OCD - is treated with medication and therapy, and the Asperger's is just part of who he is: a bright, funny, methodical man who likes concrete facts and predictable routines. Edward has many abilities, but his rigidity and difficulty communicating with others have kept him from holding down a job. He is supported by his father, a wealthy developer and county commissioner. Edward is often baffled by other people's behavior, and he vents his frustration by writing letters of complaint. After his complaints to a popular Country-Western singer escalated to the point where he faced legal action, an event later known as "The Garth Brooks Incident," his father decided Edward needed to move out. He now lives in a house his parents purchased and structures his life around careful routines. Edward is sliding into middle age; like T.S. Eliot's J. Edgar Prufrock, he measures out his life in coffee spoons, focusing on quotidian household tasks, errands, visits to his therapist, and his favorite television program, Dragnet. However, changes are coming. Through his tentative forays into internet dating, his budding friendship with a neighbor - a single mom recovering from an abusive relationship - and her 9-year-old son, and a crisis that strikes his family, Edward finds his life changed in ways he'd never expected. This is not a fast-paced edge-of-your seat kind of story. We're guided through 600 hours of Edward's life, an existence that is defined, in many ways, by repetitive routines. However it is a wonderful character study with several interesting twists. As an Aspergian with OCD, Edward dislikes ambiguity. He has spent his life avoiding shades of gray; as he often tells you, he prefers facts. However he is facing incredibly ambiguous, emotionally laden questions - the kinds of things that often overwhelm "neurotypicals." For example, how do you forgive, and fully love, a parent who has been unkind and has shut you out of his life? What should you do when what you're supposed to do conflicts with what you believe is right? What are the "rules" and boundaries of friendship? And, for God's sake, when you're on a date, how do you figure out what a woman wants? All of this leads to a turning point in Edward's life - a coming of age. And yes, I believe "coming of age" can happen at any stage of life. This is a sweet, funny and occasionally heartbreaking debut novel that will appeal to fiction lovers who enjoy character-driven stories. I look forward to seeing what Craig Lancaster creates in the future.
chocoluvr More than 1 year ago
This book shows the life over the month of a man called Edward who has Asperger's Syndrome and OCD. This book displays the process of him opening up and letting other people in his life. He starts to go out into the outside world more and even gives online dating a try. His own father practically disowned him after he had an incident with a country singer by buying him a house to live and only communicating to him through his lawyer.
JimThomsen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
At the intersection of Rainman Road and Bartleby Boulevard lives Edward Stanton of Billings, Montana, who is "mentally ill but not stupid," who meticulously records the weather, who makes nightly rituals out of watching "Dragnet" reruns ... and who manages to keep the disorderly world at an orderly distance. But the world has other plans for Edward, and Edward surprises himself -- and us -- by finding that he just might be OK with that.Craig Lancaster, in a stunning debut novel, shares Edward's long-overdue coming-out party to the world with spare, lean prose that finds his heart in its simplicity -- and its surprises. You may think you know who Edward is and where his journey is taking him -- and my guess is that you'll be wrong, and pleased to find that you're wrong. Because life's beauty is in what you can't predict. Lancaster knows this, and so does Edward Stanton -- or, rather, he comes after finding that his preference for facts isn't always the preferred way to be. That sometimes life's deepest joys are to be found on the other side of our deepest heartbreaks ... because it reminds you, after all, that you've got a heart. And after you arrive at the powerful and yes, unpredictable conclusion of this richly nuanced novel, you'll find it something to celebrate.
NWADEL on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Marking this one as one of my all time favorite reads! This book screams Oprah's Book Club pick, it is that awesome. I hope the author writes a continuation of Edward because I didn't want it to end! Edward is 39 and he says he is not stupid, he's mentally ill and stupid he is not. Edward has a daily routine; he wakes in the morning, usually between 7:37 to 7:40 and he'll tell you that he has waken at 7:37 15 times this year, 7:38 221 times and 7:39 22 times because he documents the time when he wakes up every morning. He also reads the newspaper a certain way and he documents the weather from the previous day.Edward is a loner, he keeps to himself and doesn't talk to people if he doesn't have to but Edward decides after seeing the happy commercials about finding your soul mate to sign up to Montana Personal Connect. He tried EHarmony but they couldn't find anyone for him. This starts his "normal" life to twist and turn in a downhill spiral but the end was very sweet.I'm not going to say any more because I would spoil it for you. You just have to read it!!From the back of the book:"Edward Stanton is a man hurtling headlong toward middle age. His mental illness has led him to be sequestered in his small house in a small city, where he keeps his distance from the outside world and the parents from whom he is largely estranged. For the most part, Edward sticks to things he can count on... and things he can count. But over the course of 25 days (or 600 hours, as Edward prefers to look at it) several events puncture the walls Edward has built around himself. In the end, he faces a choice: Open his life to experience and deal with the joys and heartaches that come with it, or remain behind his closed door, a solitary soul."T. L Hines, author of Faces in the Fire and Waking Lazarus says: " This is the rare book that stay with you long after you read the last page. With shades of Flowers for Algernon, author Craig Lancaster doesn't just give life to Edward Stanton's world; he gives life to the reader's world" ---- That really says it all, its so true!
amusingmother on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. The author articulately describes a man who suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Asperger's Syndrome. He is a slave to his rituals and isolates himself from others as much as possible.Through Edward's eyes, the complicated relationship between father and son is explored, compounded by mental illness. Edward's eventual adjustment to developing relationships with others is shared with the reader through Edward's perspective.Written with humor and clarity, author has an incredibly well developed understanding of both disorders. I started wondering if Craig Lancaster had been reading my diary...
whitewavedarling on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I didn't plan on reading this book yesterday, but after reading one paragraph, I was hooked, and ended up reading the full book in a single day. The main character, as foreign as he may be to readers' understandings, is utterly likable and sympathetic, and the book itself will have you laughing and touched at too many points to name. Writing-wise, this stands up to most any first novel I've read, with a great balance of movement, depth, and simple poetry. Stylistically, it might take you a few pages to get used to, but once you're in, I'm willing to bet you're in for the full read. And, without a doubt, it will be worth your while. Don't let the subject-matter scare you away--it might have been a deterance for me had I paid more attention to what I was picking up, and yet, I'm so glad it came into my hands. Anything else Lancaster writes, I'll be in line for.In a nutshell: inspiring, beautiful, and worth any reader's time. Buy it for yourself and for a friend as well.
Darcia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This story follows Edward, a man with Asperger's Syndrome and severe OCD. We spend 600 hours with Edward, while he struggles with many challenges and changes to his normally orderly life. Written in the first person, Craig Lancaster does a brilliant job of portraying the emotions, thoughts, hardships, and triumphs of a mentally ill adult.I loved Edward, both the character and the book! Lancaster brings his characters and his readers to an emotional depth not often found in even the most seasoned authors.
ReDefiningAwesome on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent start for first time author Craig Lancaster. It has everything you want in a good story and more. The main character is believable, and his mental illnes is portrayed realistically and not over done. I cannot wait to read the future works of this author.
mminor1985 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a good book showing the daily life of a grown man with Asperger's syndrome and how he starts to let others into his life after his father had disregarded him by putting him up in a small house and paying his bills.
Raineybird on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Edward Stanton, a young man living with OCD/Autism, on his own since a little problem with Garth Brooks. Life comes to his front door and he has to decide to partake or not. I had a hard time getting into this story until the "Blue Blaster" was unveiled. I may have read this story with too literal a mind set, had trouble getting past the repetition. I enjoyed Edward(lover of "Dragnet" and adjectives). There was humor,and bewilderment. Not every book is for everyone and as well written as it was it was not my favorite.
gmathis on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Engaging from the get-go! Edward has been hobbled by OCD and mild Asperger's for so long, he doesn't know what's become of his carefully organized world when suddenly, he finds himself connecting with neighbors, communicating on a dating website, and (gulp!) standing up to his overbearing, foul-mouthed father. Love the writer's style, which has beautifully captured the language and habits of someone like Edward.
redgiraffe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great read and Mr. Lancaster does a great job of drawing you into the story. Told in first person you find yourself wanting much more than 600 hours with Edward. This is a must read.
msgail1953 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I gave this book 5 stars. This is a remarkable story. From the first sentence, I was enthralled. Mr. Lancaster walked us through Edward's daily existence to his new life. The secondary characters were realistic. Annette was such a depressing person, she stood out . Her existence was not much better than Edward's. This is way way up on my list of recommended books. Congratulations Mr. Lancaster.
upstairsgirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was totally charmed by 600 Hours of Edward, even though I wasn't quite sure what to expect. It's well-written and entertaining, and really enjoyable. (Disclosure bit: I received this book from the author on Member Giveaways.)Edward is an adult dealing with Asperger's syndrome and obsessive-compulsive tendencies, focused on data and routines. Lancaster has chosen to make these foci part of the narrative structure itself, which - despite leading to a fair amount of repetition - works beautifully, with the result that subtle changes have a big impact without Lancaster's having to hit anyone over the head.Lancaster's narrative also handles Edward's problems skillfully, without mocking him or judging his actions. Even though the book is very funny, it's never laughing at Edward, and although he's very much challenged by the events in the book, the narrative is never mean to him. It's very well done, and well worth reading.
lorimarie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wow, this book really moved me in so many ways. What a great introduction to learning about how this disease works and how people affected with it live out their lives. I have to say it took a bit of getting used to but so well worth the effort. Edward was such a great character that it makes one wonder how the author could so expertly get inside his head. I would totally recommend this book to anyone having any interest in mental health. This is just a good read that will make you laugh, cry and most importantly - think about how others are making through their lives one hour at a time.
jasonpettus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)As I've said here before, although I'm a big fan and champion of small-press, basement-press and self-published books, after reviewing hundreds of them now I've discovered that such designations are largely a self-regulating system, and that 95 percent of these titles were published under the circumstances they were because they really don't merit mainstream national attention. So it's always worth celebrating, then, when coming across a book from that five percent that legitimately do deserve a lot more acclaim than they're getting; and the latest of these is the remarkable 600 Hours of Edward by veteran journalist but first-time novelist Craig Lancaster, and put out by the tiny Montana-based Riverbend Publishing, a book which could easily be an NYT bestseller right now if put out by HarperCollins and given a million-dollar marketing budget. And that's because Lancaster puts together here a nearly perfect combination of traditional literary elements, mixing crowd-pleasing sappiness with indie-friendly subversion, a masterful blend of character and action that takes advantage of traditional framing devices in just about the best way possible; and all this is even more astounding when you realize that the first draft of this book was the result of Lancaster participating in Nanowrimo, the popular literary challenge held every November where as many people as possible try to write an entire novel from start to finish over the course of exactly one month.As the title indicates, the book is essentially a deep character study regarding 25 days in the life of one Edward Stanton, obsessive letter-writer and sufferer of Asperger Syndrome, the so-called "genius disease" that in the last ten years has gone from almost complete obscurity to nearly every nerd on the planet now claiming to be a victim of it, and which I'm convinced that future citizens will one day count as a major historical touchstone of the early 2000s, right up there with Facebook and Prozac. But as Lancaster deftly shows us, when legitimately manifested Asperger's can actually be quite the crippling condition, basically a combination of obsessive-compulsive disorder (or OCD) with a high-functioning version of autism, making its socially challenged victims essentially just a few steps away from being one of those sullen hospital patients who sit in the corner of a room for 16 hours a day muttering to themselves and rocking back and forth. I mean, certainly this is the state that we find the middle-aged Edward in as the novel opens, as Lancaster takes the time at the beginning to show his highly regulated, OCD-dominated life of rituals -- awake at exactly 7:37 every morning, grocery shopping every Thursday at 2 pm, where he buys the exact same list of goods each time, videotaped episodes of "Dragnet" at precisely 10:00 every night, but only the color episodes from 1967 to 1970, and which absolutely must be watched in the order they originally aired.Like all good traditional three-act stories, then, the bulk of 600 Hours concerns what happens when a series of special events start disrupting this all-important routine more and more, and the various ways that Edward both successfully and unsuccessfully handles them -- like the arrival of a new neighbor, for example, a harried single mom whose rambunctious nine-year-old son starts hanging out around Edward's place more and more, and whose abusive ex eventually drags Edward into the middle of a court battle that almost puts him into an apoplectic state; or his rapidly deteriorating relationship with his aging father, an infamously curmudgeonly local politician and former oil-industry executive, who has always suspected half of Edward's mentally imbalanced behavior to be a deliberate put-on, and who has started resorting m
Caroles_Random_Life More than 1 year ago
I liked this one. This book was a bit different from what I would normally pick up. I heard a few good things about it so I took a closer look once I noticed that it was available to borrow from Amazon through Prime Reading. I loved the idea of a main character who is living with Asperger's syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder, so I decided to give it a try and I am really glad that I did. Edward was a great character. I liked him from the start and as the story progressed, I liked him more and more. Edward's life revolves around routines. With few exceptions, each day looks largely like the previous one. Things do shake up his life quite a bit by the end of the book and there is definitely some character growth for Edward during the course of the story. I thought that his character felt very authentic in the way that he dealt with other people and handled his emotions. This book is repetitive because Edward's life is repetitive. There are certain events and phrases that happen over and over throughout the book. Each day of Edward's life would bring a new cycle of the book. I think that the decision to take the reader through each day with Edward helped to really show how much the events in the story changed his life. Edward's life at the end of the book looks very different than it does at the start and it was great to take the journey with him. Luke Daniels does a fantastic job with the narration of this book. One of the reasons that I decided to listen to this book was because I have enjoyed his work in the past. I thought that he was able to bring Edward to life in way that really added to the story. He did a great job with all of the character voices and adding emotion to the reading. I listened to this book for hours at a time and finished it within a few days and thought that he was a perfect match for the story. I would recommend this book to others. I really enjoyed going along with Edward as he navigated the changes and his life and made new connections. I did notice that this book is listed as the first in a series but it tells a very complete story so I am not sure if I will read the other installments. I would not hesitate to read more from Craig Lancaster in the future.
KDH_Reviews More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books that I find difficult to review because so many wonderful things have already been said about it and I just feel like I’m parroting back all the other positive reviews I’ve read. 600 Hours of Edward is an incredible book. (“That’s my opinion. It’s not fact, although a lot of people agree with me.”) As I sit and rack my brain for words that will do this book justice, I realize that I may just not have it in me. Alas, I am merely a reader and hardly ever a writer. There’s too many good things about this book (wait, is that even possible?). It’s well written, interesting, captivating, has a flawed but relatable main character, and hooks you into the story from the very beginning. And, in all honesty, I cannot think of a single thing that I disliked about this book. I highly recommend this book to anyone that loves character driven novels or is just interested in reading a fantastic book. As for me, I am looking forward to reading the sequel Edward Adrift. You can read all of my reviews on my blog, KDH Reviews.
Keckle More than 1 year ago
Truly, this is one of the best books I've ever read. After having read the synopsis, I never dreamed this story would affect me so. I could NOT put it down; evidence of that is that I'm a slow reader, and I finished it in four days. I'm ecstatic to learn that a "sequel" was published earlier this year. Since I've been teaching almost three decades now, I've had a glimpse at those with Asberger's Syndrome through some of my afflicted students. I always wanted to know just how they perceived the external world, and the voice of Edward Stanton helped me to do that, I think. I've never thought of myself as OCD in any way, but there were moments in this book where I recognized myself in Edward's daily routine and preferences. While parts of the story are heartbreaking, there are many parts that will truly make you laugh out loud. Thank you, Craig Lancaster, for Edward Stanton. He is a joy.
RobertDowns More than 1 year ago
For the first time in my life, I actually felt like a hypochondriac. And for a day I thought I had Asperger’s syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder, my every movement tracked and accounted for, as my social skills dropped off a precipitous edge, only to return to normal the next day. Edward Stanton rocked 600 HOURS OF EDWARD like Mick Jagger in his prime. His head (and mine) filled with numbers, as we tracked weather patterns, wrote letters of discontent, and consumed spaghetti and Diet Dr. Pepper with reckless abandon. And like Joe Friday all we’re after are the facts. The voice jolted through my brain like I was driving down the interstate at 70 MPH with the windows down and R.E.M. blaring through the speakers. Possibly even “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” turned up to maximum volume as we cross the border. It was a beautiful feeling, and I’m sorry to say it ended way too soon. But it was Edward’s relationship with his father that stood at the center of this novel, defining both he and his dad with every letter and lawyer intervention. Without it, this story would have been a shell of the novel it could have been, even if the words for both Edward and his father didn’t always come out right, or took on new meaning in the course of one social evening. Since online dating has become the next big thing, there’re even a few amusing bits about what can go right (and then horribly wrong) in the course of one evening. Edward has his timetable that he follows to the letter, and now I have mine: to purchase EDWARD ADRIFT when it becomes available on my Kindle on April 9. Robert Downs Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed sharing these hours getting a glimpse of Edward's world. He seems so true to life and you can't help but come to care about him. Great writing and development of the characters and the father/son relationship drama is gripping and terrible as it is human and real.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely loved this book!! It opened my mind to things I hadn't thought about, and it touched me .... also made me laugh .... covered all the bases.