The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon

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Synopsis

Tenth anniversary edition • With a new Introduction by the author
 
In the near future, disease will be a condition of the past. Most genetic defects will be removed at birth; the remaining during infancy. Lou Arrendale, a high-functioning autistic adult, is a member of the lost generation, born at the wrong time to reap the rewards of medical science. He lives a low-key, independent life. But then he is offered a chance to try a brand-new experimental “cure” for his condition. With this treatment Lou would think and act and be just like everyone else. But if he was suddenly free of autism, would he still be himself? Would he still love the same classical music—with its complications and resolutions? Would he still see the same colors and patterns in the world—shades and hues that others cannot see? Most important, would he still love Marjory, a woman who may never be able to reciprocate his feelings? Now Lou must decide if he should submit to a surgery that might completely change the way he views the world . . . and the very essence of who he is.
 
Thoughtful, provocative, poignant, unforgettable, The Speed of Dark is a gripping journey into the mind of an autistic person as he struggles with profound questions of humanity and matters of the heart.
 
Praise for The Speed of Dark
 
“Splendid and graceful . . . A lot of novels promise to change the way a reader sees the world; The Speed of Dark actually does.”—The Washington Post Book World
 
“[A] beautiful and moving story . . . [Elizabeth] Moon is the mother of an autistic teenager and her love is apparent in the story of Lou. He makes a deep and lasting impact on the reader while showing a different way of looking at the world.”—The Denver Post
 
“Every once in a while, you come across a book that is both an important literary achievement and a completely and utterly absorbing reading experience—a book with provocative ideas and an equally compelling story. Such a book is The Speed of Dark.”—Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
 
“A remarkable journey [that] takes us into the mind of an autistic with a terrible choice: become normal or remain an alien on his own planet.”—Mary Doria Russell, author of The Sparrow
 
“A powerful portrait . . . an engaging journey into the dark edges that define the self.”—The Seattle Times
 

About Elizabeth Moon

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Former Marine Elizabeth Moon is the author of many novels, including Kings of the North, Oath of Fealty, Victory Conditions, Command Decision, Engaging the Enemy, Marque and Reprisal, Trading in Danger, the Nebula Award winner The Speed of Dark, and Remnant Population, a Hugo Award finalist. After earning a degree in history from Rice University, Moon went on to obtain a degree in biology from the University of Texas, Austin. She lives in Florence, Texas.
 
Published March 2, 2004 by Ballantine Books. 370 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Speed of Dark

Kirkus Reviews

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Although Lou works in a special section of his company (Section A) that’s comprised entirely of autistics, he spends much of his free time with “normals” and is secretly in love with Marjory Shaw, a normal at the local university.

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Publishers Weekly

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All his life he has been taught "act normal, and you will be normal enough"—something that has enabled him to survive, but as he struggles to decide what to do, the violent behavior of a "normal friend" puts him in danger and rocks his faith in the normal world.

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BC Books

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These questions will be tumbling in my brain for awhile, thanks to Elizabeth Moon's beautiful writing and Lou Arrendale, one of the most interesting, original and insightful characters I've met in a long time.

Dec 11 2005 | Read Full Review of The Speed of Dark

BC Books

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He watches the normal people around them doing things he was trained out of doing—getting angry, fidgeting compulsively—things he was told not to do, things he was told weren't normal, and he wonders what it all means that they aren't autistic but they are doing these things.

Dec 11 2005 | Read Full Review of The Speed of Dark

Book Reporter

Comparisons have been coming thick and fast for Elizabeth Moon's riveting new novel THE SPEED OF DARK, released in January.

Jan 23 2011 | Read Full Review of The Speed of Dark

RT Book Reviews

Search books by title, genre, publication month, publication year, and rating or search by any combination of these options (i.e.

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The Best Reviews

Though Lou Arrendale suffers from autism, he refuses to allow that condition from stopping him from living a fruitful "normal" life.

Jan 01 2003 | Read Full Review of The Speed of Dark

SF Signal

So, in honour of that – and also of the American Revolution, which the French Revolutionaries supported and aided – my last choice is Berusaiyu no Bara (The Rose of Versailles, also known in English as Lady Oscar), Ikeda Riyoko’s celebrated alternate history manga about the French Revolution.

Jul 04 2012 | Read Full Review of The Speed of Dark

Horror News Net

In the end, it feels like Ms Moon, through the choice made by Mr. Arrendale, is still making a decision for us even if it is not an easy one.

Jan 21 2013 | Read Full Review of The Speed of Dark

Horror News Net

In the end, it feels like Ms Moon, through the choice made by Mr. Arrendale, is still making a decision for us even if it is not an easy one.

Feb 23 2013 | Read Full Review of The Speed of Dark

Ideomancer

At 10, after having got up to a very unsettled daughter three times already, I put the book down and turned the light out.

Feb 01 2003 | Read Full Review of The Speed of Dark

Reader Rating for The Speed of Dark
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