This novel was written by Elenor Fleisher.
She is an American author who has novalized about 50 screenplays.
She also writes „own“ books, especially for young adults.
The story is set in America in the 1990ies.
It`s about Charles Babbit and his autistic brother Raymond.
Charles Babbit is a good-looking young buisnessman who makes very risky, not quite legal deals.
When Charly has troubles with his buisness, he gets the message that his rich father has died.
Although Charly had no good relationship to his father, he goes with great expectations to the lawyer. Actually Charly is the only relation his father had, at least he thinks so.
But when the lawyer opens him that he only gets the red Buick and the award- winning roses Charly is very upset. The rest of his father`s fortune (3000 000$) goes to an „Unnamed Beneficiary“.
So he tries to find the „Unnamed Beneficiary“ and comes to the “Walbrook Home for the Developmentally Disabled“.
There he finds out that Charly has a brother who is 18 years older than him, the person who gets all the money.
Charly does not want to believe this, so he kidnaps his brother to make clear, that he is the rightful heir to the money.
The first days are very hard for Charly; He doesn`t know how to handle his autistic brother, because Charly does not know anything about this disorder. But Charly learns how to deal with Raymond, he gets used to his habits and his peculiar idiosyncrasies, eventually.
They experience a lot of things on their 6-day journey, positive, as well negative.
Up to the last minute Charly tries to get the money, but finally he realises, that it is the best for his brother to bring him back to Walbrook, what Raymond actually does. He sees, that Raymond is unable to live in a „normal“ world.
Charley learned quite a lot on this journey with his brother, but the main thing he learns is, that money is not everything in the world.
I really liked reading this book.
Although the book deals with a very serious topic, the author shows us in a very funny way how an autistic person goes through life.
The character Raymond shows the most obvious and typical symptoms of people with autism.
Like every person with autism, Raymond is unable to show feelings and emotions. For him only the „feelings“ `like` and `not like`` exists.
Another remarkable symptom is, that Raymond strictly refuses changes in his routines. For him it is the end of the world if he can`t watch his favourite TV-film, or if he finds his bed on a different place in his room. This is his way to express his „fear“.
Also the way Raymond communicates with others is typical for autistic people. He uses meaningless, non- contextual words, gives unusual responses and exhibits unusual body movements, such as rocking or flapping. He uses his speech to talk at Charly rather than with his brother. He is also unable to show social clues, such as giving a smile. But if he „must“, because his brother „forces“ him to, he looks rather funny.
Raymond also has abilities which are not typical for all people with autism, such as counting things very fast or remember things he read in detail.
But another remarkable symptom is, the way how Raymond interacts with the world around. He often seems aloof and absent, and has a very short attention span.
Very significant is, that Raymond can not stand if somebody touches him.
He also shows unusual reactions to physical sensations: He is overly sensitive to touch, if somebody comes too close, he would act hysterically.
Although all these symptoms seem somehow deterrent, the author managed it, to represent Raymond as a likeable, sympathetic man.