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One of its legs are both the same by Mike Cavanagh

October 8, 2020

What a lovely, honest and whimsical memoir. The author, Mike Cavanagh, tells us upfront that this is not a book about Asperger’s but more a look back into his childhood and youth following his diagnosis in an effort to make sense of it in the context of his life. He was always told he was different and so he delves into his memories of growing up in 1960s and 70s Australia when autism and Aspergers were virtually unheard of. That Mike had difficulties with relationships was clear, but this special book is not sad or troubled; it is a beautiful account of a young man’s development in a world that was very accepting of unconventional behaviour such as his. Indeed it was what marked the post WWII generation, which is, I imagine, why no one pointed out to him that his responses to emotions and situations were anything other than occasionally ‘lacking in compassion’ or ‘empathy’.

Mike Cavanagh’s writing is often lyrically beautiful and striking in its expression. I loved his descriptions of everything from the run down cottage where he lived after dropping out of university to his feelings about nature, life and relationships. I also loved the parts about his childhood. His parents were astonishingly tolerant and his youth was blessed with tremendous freedom, which he was lucky to enjoy in such a sun-kissed land.

Altogether, this is a wonderful, funny, poignant and beautifully written book and I am sad to have finished it. I loved it and recommend it highly.

The link to the book is here

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  1. As always Valerie, your review provides a real sense of the book and what to expect. Always useful when reading time can be limited. Thank you.

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