PositiveThe Guardian...a superbly researched account ... a long-overdue and gripping analysis of Asperger’s own writing before, during and after the Third Reich. She details his wartime denigration of the cognitively and physically disabled children in his care. She frames him as complicit in \'negative eugenics\' and a careerist ... It’s hard to believe that anyone will want to identify with Asperger syndrome after reading Sheffer’s extremely disturbing but very lucid book, but what should replace it? Wing syndrome, perhaps. Certainly it would honor a doctor who cared for all autistic people and worked tirelessly to make their lives better.
PositiveThe GuardianShtum, the Yiddish word for keeping silent or hiding secrets, is the perfect title for a novel in which even those who can speak do not share their thoughts with each other ... Lester doesn’t spare his main character: Ben isn’t an idealised hero battling for his disabled son’s rights. His failings are laid out in plain sight. He is a man-boy who has never quite grown up...This is the literary territory of Tony Parsons and Nick Hornby, infused with the Jewish humour of Howard Jacobson and Shalom Auslander ... At times Lester’s ambitious cinematic crosscutting between showdowns with officialdom and stories from the past puts a strain on the narrative flow. Overall, though, this is an impressive novel that gives a very accurate portrayal of the struggles some families of autistic children endure, while taking the reader on an exhilarating roller coaster ride between pathos, comedy and anger.