Thursday, February 23, 2012

Eye of a Fly / Justin Smith

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Approximate word count: 50-55,000 words

Kindle US:
YES UK: YES Nook: YES Smashwords: NO Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


A native New Yorker, Justin Smith now lives in a suburb of Philadelphia with his wife and three cats. By day, he is a professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Drexel University.


“Raised by slum-dwelling alcoholics, an autistic teen struggles to complete college and woo a handicapped girl—with bittersweet results.”


Autism can take several forms. Ernest, the protagonist, is Rainman-ish in his math skills, but, as is common among many, lacking in social skills. His social skills aren’t up to par because of an inability to notice the cues and clues that most of us use to gauge how other people feel, accompanied by an inability to empathize.

This brings up an interesting question. What would someone who was autistic in the same way as Ernest think of the book? It was my ability to empathize with Ernest that drew me into the story. Understanding other people can be a challenge for all of us at times. It is even harder for Ernest, given his dysfunctional family and the lack of good role models to emulate. Although a budding romance is one of the main story threads, Eye of a Fly is much more than that.


Some adult language.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues

Rating: **** Four stars


Dave Natan said...

I've always thought autism a fascinating condition. I later years, maybe we'll have a better understanding of it.

BooksAndPals said...

I agree Dave. My impression is even professionals have a hard time with it because it spans such a wide range of symptoms and everyone is a bit different.

WolfishAura said...

Give me six or so days to read it (if I can find a wifi spot to download it from) and I could give you a point of view from someone with Aspergers (high functioning Autism) if you like.

BooksAndPals said...

That would be an interesting perspective to have, WolfishAura.