The Universe Versus Alex Woods
by Gavin Extence
Hardcover- $20.42

A rare meteorite struck Alex Woods when he was ten years old, leaving scars and marking him for an extraordinary future. The son of a ...

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  "An Unlikely Companionship" by brightpoweruk (see profile) 03/14/14

Alex Woods is a teenager who is accustomed to being bullied. His life is already complex as he shows signs of autism and then to compound his social awkwardness are the epileptic fits that begin after he is struck on the head by a meteorite.
Mr Peterson discovers Alex hiding from attackers and wrongly presumes that he is up to no good. A punishment; running errands, is enforced by Alex’s mother who does not play a supportive role at this time and an unlikely companionship develops between the men.
Alex’s is the ‘voice’ of the book and it matures from a boy’s to a man’s. Our group of readers felt he has undiagnosed Asperger’s syndrome. Clever at both maths and science he is unable to step out of line; he cannot lie even to protect himself against false accusations. We marvelled at how Alex evolves into such a capable 17 year old.
We were surprised to find it the subject of euthanasia was not more distressing or depressing. Alex struggles first to accept Mr Peterson’s deteriorating health and then he feels compelled to act on his friend’s wish to decide when the time is right for him to die.
This book has two distinct halves and could have been written for teenagers as it is an easy read with Alex as an interesting, geeky anti-hero. It begins with the meteorite incident and the schoolboy bullying that initiates Alex meeting Mr Peterson. It ends with the deterioration of Mr Peterson’s health and an emotive journey to Switzerland.

Average score 6/10

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/08/22

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