I loved the case studies by the late Oliver Sacks of people with all kinds of neurological disorders. His famous notion of the abnormal of being normal is something to remember. Bradley Wind delves into the life of the fictional Abel Velasco, a savant. The true strength of A Whole Lot is the lively description of Abel’s whereabouts, thoughts, relationships and yet the familiarity of a teenage boy’s growing pains without ever mentioning the name of the disease.
Set in the early 80’s, Abel’s of help with deciphering a strange series of numbers in a Bible, and solving complex mathematical problems. His abundance of factual knowledge, instant calculations, photographic memory is stunning, also to his teachers, His autism hinders him from establishing lasting relationships with girls. Foster care, and a escape from suburban New Jersey all the way to Berkeley, California add ingredients to this funny, yet serious plot. Information packed pages may bring you to re-read the novel and see things you’ve missed out the first time.
About the author
Bradley Wind was born and raised in Pennsylvania. He is a prolific visual artist whose work has exhibited in the 20th century wing of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He worked as a toy designer for K’nex Industries, a manager of IT for Pearl S. Buck International and is currently a director of IT for a child-focused non-profit. He keeps bees, raises chickens and two lovely girls with his wife in Chester County, Pennsylvania. A Whole Lot is his debut novel.
I received a free review copy from the author in exchange for an unbiased, honest, personal review.