“Simple Simon,” by Ryne Douglas Pearson, is a fast-moving thriller that is difficult to put down. Superbly written and well thought out, the book was a pleasure to read cover to cover. It is a techno-thriller to be sure, but the most beautifully written part is the portrayal of the character of Simon. An autistic teenager, Simon’s life has been highly regulated and structured by his parents and doctors to provide a mechanism for him to cope, to interact with people, and to function within the bounds of his own little world. When that world is suddenly thrown into chaos, Pearson does a wonderful job of showing us how Simon struggles in his own way to keep his life on track and consistently simple despite the absolute whirlwind of destruction spinning around him and everyone with whom he comes in contact. Ironically, he becomes the one point of consistent sanity in a world gone mad. I particularly liked the interaction with his new friend, Art, a man who clearly feels inadequate, but who ultimately rises to the task. I highly recommend “Simple Simon,” and thoroughly enjoyed it.
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