Fiction Book Club Gray Matter by Gary Braver Buy book: $7.19 Unable to accept her son's mental disabilities, Rachel Whitman becomes obsessed with a secret and expensive medical procedure that claims to turn slow children into geniuses. But the costs of the operation go far beyond financial ones.
I think that this book is interesting. in 8th grade, we read another book floweres fo algernon, which was about scientes making this man with a disabilty smart. the starting is slow, but i think it'll pick up soon enough
I think this book talks about the pressures that upper income families feel for their children to succeed. I think that this is a good discussion piece for both Learning Disabled and parents of learning disabled children to discuss what lengths they will go through to succeed. I think that the operation is similar to the "designer babies" issue that comes up occasionally.
I can't wait to read each installment because I am going through a similar situation. My 7-yr-old son is doing very poorly in school, possibly due to a learning disability. This is very difficult for a straight-A's Mom to understand. Yet, all his teachers comment on how polite, articulate, helpful and just all 'round delightful he is to have in class.
Yes, despite all I logically know to the contrary, I still emotionally identify my son's abilities with my own actions -- should I put in less time at work, should I have insisted he color more (hand-eye coordination is very poor), is he watching too much TV? I can't help but question whether it's something I did, or didn't do, that caused my son to be where he is today.
So, I am interested in reading further to discover the Rachel's emotions, thoughts and actions. Being hit cold with my son's problems, this book will give me insight into another person's viewpoints towards a similar situation.
Reading the excerpts so far, I really think Rachel's being too hard on herself. Granted, in an upper class neighborhood, there's going to be more pressure on parents to have their child excel beyond imagination, but it seems like she's expecting her 6 year old to have the capacity of someone twice his age.
It's an interesting read and raises questions about what is truly right for how one raises their children and the pressures that exist for parents to do the right thing.
"What wild desires, what restless torments seize
The hapless man, who feels the book-disease..."
- Dr. John Ferriar (from the poem Bibliomania, 1863)
I can honestly say I'm not sure about this book ... there's a part of me who really hates this whining mother; there is nothing wrong with her son, there's something wrong with HER.
Then, there's this other part of me that is a lot more empathetic. I, too, live in an area where status can revolve around your child's academic achievement. Ironically, I find myself at the other end of the spectrum. My daughter is a natural when it comes to language and verbal ability, and was just asked to skip kindergarten and move to first grade. I find myself embarrassed, and continue to downplay the situation, even though other parents have (for years now) asked me, "How do you do it?" I fear we're seen as flash-card nazi parents, when in fact, our child has progressed at her own natural rate. I really wish society could be more accepting of natural differences -- nature vs. nuture.
Okay, I realize I've gone off topic here. Will I read this book? I'm not sure. I just don't know if I can get past the shallowness of this character. (Wonder if it's true what they say about disliking something you fear you are or could become?) AAAAACCCCCKKKKKK!!!
The main character is so shallow that I almost find it offensive. She's only teaching her son that the most important thing in his young life is to fear what others think of you and to accept their judgemental behavior. It almost makes me not want to not finish the book because I can't tolerate watching her corrupt her son, despite her good intentions. But, I'll probably give it a little longer to see if she can change.
The plot seems a bit transparent. I am getting the feeling that the weird waiter had whatever treatment/operation, now his brain is scrambled and is a social misfit.
Whereas the mother's son is "slow" by the mother's estimation & by one pre-school report so she is set up to want whatever treatment/operation to make her son smart and so that she can feel more secure around her high achieving neighborhood.
It is probably moving towards a social horror/satire like the Stepford Wives.
Poorly written, weak plot, shallow characters.
This is book number 2 for me in this "club" and it seems like this just may be an advertizing scheme, disguised as a book club, to get people to purchase below average literature.
However, the beauty of the book club is that you don't HAVE to go out and buy it. If you don't like it, you skip it and wait for next week. I'm not getting into this one at all - I agree - the plot, the characters, the development - it's all very trivial. And so, I say, no thank you - looking forward to next week.
I don't think 2 Books is enough to judge this book club. Not all books can please everyone. There are many books in this book club I don't like but then there are some that I do like. I am very picky in the books that I choose because I have way too many at home to read as it is. Anyways, I don't think that this book club is a disguised advertising scheme because there are many good books some by very well know authours. Also, you don't have to buy the books, there is always the library.
I will not be reading this book, I do find the main character shallow. My daughter has learning disabilities and she was behind for many years in English and Math. She graduated last year and is doing very well. I was worried about her but not to the point that this mother is.
This is my first installment in the book club and it seemed easy enough to pick up the characters. Not a fan of really long and descriptive "fill in" with the part where he goes on about the houses and town.
I like the ability to read portions (excerpts) of a book - isn't that usually the way you can tell if a book might be interesting?
I'd rather be able to review it this way than standing in a book store for hours!
Well, I don't know what's wrong with me, but I seem to be the only one enjoying this one this week. Yes, I think the mom is shallow, but I also think she's done something that makes her think she's responsible for her son's situation. I'm willing to read on to see what it is . . .
Normally, I would not have picked this book. Ok, so the the main character has many one-dimensional thoughts and the book is a slow starter. However, I went to the library just for the heck of it, and I'm having a problem putting it down. Surprizingly, it is not that bad. It's an interesting read with lots of chilling medical details.
I don't think that we can judge a book based on its first few pages all the time. Some start out slow and end with a bang; some start out slow and still never get there; while some start out great and end up downhill.
I agree with Sharlene. For those who disliked Rachel, I encourge you go go to the library or splurge the $7 and finish the book--I couldn't put it down. It's a great medical thriller, a la Stephen King, as the blurbs on the book jacket allude to.
I think some of the readers are used to a different sort of novel when they pick this one up. (It took me a bit to calibrate.) Most of the offerings I've chosen, and perhaps this is the case for these readers as well, have a depth to them that warrants a careful reading. They are not just fun reads.
This one, however, is more like a typical medical thriller, somewhere between Dean Koontz and Michael Palmer, authors that I no longer read, especially the latter.
It is for this reason, I think, that it comes across as shallow, despite it being about a topic that might stir quite a bit of interest. In any case, given the genre, the novel can be read and enjoyed. I'm not, however, inclined to read more of his stuff. I'm currently favoring Tess Gerritsen's novels, if I feel the need.