When Joel Arnofsky is asked during a radio interview whether having an autistic son has made him a better father, he answers, "God no...all this has made me a worse father." A professional book reviewer, he has sucked up life lessons from classics, modern fiction and memoirs. When his young son Jonah is diagnosed as having autism, Arnofsky clears shelf space for a new set of books, books which "strike chords, ring bells, miss the mark, make no sense, make too much sense". Bad animals: A Father's Accidental Education in Autism, his own "so-called memoir" uses Jonah's year in the fifth grade as a platform for anecdotes both funny and sad, commentary on other books about raising children with autism, and a candid look inside the thoughts of a parent who does not sugarcoat his own stubbornness, frustration, and irritation. Neither does he conceal his love for his "kooky, charming" son. Even though he refers to himself as a defeatist and a quitter, he knows that giving up on Jonah is one luxury he cannot afford.
Anna W @ Central