Monday, September 2, 2013


Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:30 PM

From The New York Times Sunday Book Review  of Sept. 1, 2013—

By Ciaran Collins
Illustrated. 469 pp. Bloomsbury. Paper, $17.

Reviewed by Katharine Weber

Ten years ago, when Mark Haddon’s “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” turned up on the best-seller list and won a number of literary awards, the novel’s autistic narrator beguiled readers with his unconventional point of view. Today, even as controversy surrounds the revised classification of autism in the latest version of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the quirky yet remarkably perceptive points of view of autistic narrators have become increasingly familiar in every category of fiction, from young adult to science fiction to popular and literary fiction.

Like Haddon’s Christopher Boone, the narrator of Ciaran Collins’s remarkable first novel, “The Gamal,” has been encouraged by a mental health professional to write his story for therapeutic purposes. Charlie McCarthy, 25, is known in the West Cork village of Ballyronan as “the gamal,” short for “gamalog,” a term for a fool or simpleton rarely heard beyond the Gaeltacht regions of Ireland. He is in fact a savant, a sensitive oddball whose cheeky, strange, defiant and witty monologue is as disturbing as it is dazzling. …

The Gamal  features a considerable variety of music. See details at a music weblog.

This, together with the narrator's encouragement "by a mental health professional
to write his story for therapeutic purposes" might interest Baz Luhrmann.

See Luhrmann's recent film "The Great Gatsby," with its portrait of
F. Scott Fitzgerald's narrator, and thus Fitzgerald himself, as a sensitive looney.

The Carraway-Daisy-Gatsby trio has a parallel in The Gamal .  (Again, see
the music weblog's description.)  

The Times  reviewer's concluding remarks on truth, lies, and unreliable autistic
narrators may interest some mathematicians. From an Aug. 29 post

IMAGE- Barry Mazur: 'A good story is an end in itself.'

A different gamalog ,  a website in Mexico, is not entirely unrelated to
issues of lies and truth—

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