Meet Merlin. He’s Lucy’s bright, beautiful son – who just happens to be autistic.
Since Merlin’s father left them in the lurch, Lucy has made Merlin the centre of her world.
Struggling with the joys and tribulations of raising her adorable yet challenging child (if only Merlin came with operating instructions), Lucy doesn’t have room for any other man in her life.
By the time Merlin turns ten, Lucy is seriously worried that the Pope might start ringing her up for tips on celibacy, so resolves to dip a toe back into the world of dating. Thanks to Merlin’s candour and quirkiness, things don’t go quite to plan…
Then, just when Lucy’s resigned to singledom once more, Archie – the most imperfectly perfect man for her and her son – lands on her doorstep. But then, so does Merlin’s father, begging for a second chance.
Does Lucy need a real father for Merlin – or a real partner for herself?
A note from Kathy
The best way to describe this novel is as “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time” told from the mother’s point of view. It’s basically the tale of a single mum raising a child with Aspergers Syndrome, with all the heartache and hilarity that entails.
It’s currently being made into a Hollywood film by screen goddess Emily Mortimer.
As the book is also a love story, it involves casting a whole delicious male menu, which is why I’m currently driving around town with a casting couch strapped to my roof racks!
A funny and moving tale.
A voice of truth behind the gags… This is writing that excels.
Wisecracking columnist and writer Kathy Lette focuses her razor wit on the realities of raising a child with autism… There are plenty of laughs, but the boy is portrayed with great tenderness. A great read, moves along at a fair old pace and is often very funny… A highly entertaining and accurate description of the lows – and highs – of loving a child with Asperger syndrome.
The Boy Who Fell to Earth is an engaging novel about the love between a mother and son… and it is as good as anything Lette has written.
A departure for Lette, best known for pun-tastic romantic comedies, but she’s managed to weld all this darkness to her usual glittering style with surprising success.
Moving, funny and different.
I think women are each other’s human Wonderbras – uplifting, supportive and making each other look bigger and better.
If he wants breakfast, tell him to sleep in the kitchen.
Men think monogamy is something you make dining tables out of.
Many marriages break up for religious reasons – he thinks he’s a god and she doesn’t.
Love prepares you for marriage the way needlepoint prepares you for round-the-world solo yachting.
Boys will be boys, and so will a load of middle-aged boys who should know better.
Ladies who lynch.
No wife ever shot a husband while he was vacuuming.
I think therefore I’m divorced.
All husbands think they’re Gods. If only their wives weren’t atheists.
Happy wife = happy life.
I couldn’t ask for a better husband… as much as I’d bloody well like to.
Statistically, 100% of divorces begin with marriage.
Marriage is nature’s way of promoting masturbation.
Marriage is a fun-packed, frivolous activity – only occasionally resulting in death.
It’ll be an amicable split. You’ll both get 50 % of the acrimony.
A new invention is required. The monogamous husband. Patent Pending.
How Do I Hate Thee? Let me Count the Ways.
My wedding vows didn’t say To Love, Hoover and Obey.
I’m Having my period so can therefore legally kill you.
You are going to enjoy this marriage, even if I have to divorce you to do so.
A happy marriage is like an orgasm – many of them are faked.
All this emphasis on women faking orgasms, but what about men faking foreplay?
Why do men like intelligent women? Because opposites attract.
Why don’t women tell jokes? Because we marry them.
What does a woman really want in bed? Breakfast.
For women, life is full of lies – I mean doctors maintain that wrinkles don’t hurt.
Legal aid cuts prove that the Tories believe a person is innocent until proven destitute.
Sexist men are so stupid it makes you want to take the ‘men’ out of Mensa.
If a man ever tells you that women fall at his feet – it’s only because he gets them drunk first.
A woman must always fight back. Never just lie back and think of Canberra.
The best cure for menopause is the toy boy diet. A case of having Your Beefcake and Eating It Too.
I don’t fake orgasms. I’m faking being six foot one and seven stone.
Trophy wives tarnish quickly and then get left on the shelf.
Lawyers work 24/7. The partners of lawyers suffer from a bad case of subpoena envy.
Most shrinks should book an appointment with themselves.
The question on the minds of most women is – why doesn’t chocolate go straight to your boobs?
Don’t fall for a man’s puppy dog look… Just get him wormed.
It’s been so long since a man has touched me, not even medical science will want my body.
My top tip for keeping your youth? Lock him in the pool house.
As a mum of a 13 year old boy with aspergers, and also a mahoosive fan of your books, I cant wait to read this,
Off to order now!!!
As a father of a daughter with autism, the Boy who fell to earth accuratley described bringing up my daughter so far. You could of easily replace Merlin with my daughter and none of the stories would need to change. I commend Kathy Lette for capturing the trials and tribulations of raising a child with Autism with such accuracy and honesty.
I just read your book “The Boy Who Fell to Earth”. Congratulations. You manage to portray the complexities & frustrations of raising a child who sees the world differently & doesn’t fit in to a traditional mould while introducing us to the magic of someone who sees the world like no other. I’m a Paramedic & see all manner of people & their behaviour & for a brief slice of their life become intimately acquainted with their fears, frustrations, hopes, loves and despair. I have discovered that all behaviour is human & just part of a spectrum. The majority who are called normal fall under the steep part of the bell curve. Those who fall at either end are just a different kind of normal.
Thank-you so much for ‘The Boy Who Fell to Earth’! As a divorcee and single parent to a child with ‘additional needs’ it has made me laugh and cry in equal measure (My ex- husband ran off with a work colleague 10 years his junior just four weeks before our 3 year old son was diagnosed with epilepsy, and still wouldn’t know his consultant if she slapped him in the face!).
I read ‘How to Kill Your Husband…’ while in hospital after the delivery of our youngest child, how prophetic! But he has grow into an amazing boy with a massive lust for life, my Mum affectionately calls him her ‘Happy Cabbage Picker’ – not because she is resigned to the idea he will achieve nothing academically, but because she knows he will find joy in whatever role he is in.
I would love to enthuse further, but a naked child has just appeared at the back door because he ‘heard something horrible happening to me’. Now need to reassure him that I was crying in a good way, because I was reading a very good book!
Thank-you again for your frank, descriptive and sometimes painfully accurate writing on life with a super-child! x
I’m writing a review of The Boy Who Fell to Earth and am confused after reading other reviews – Lucy has become ‘Cassandra’ and Phoebe has become ‘Polly’. Identity crisis? Publisher clanger? Aussies v Poms in name class war?
Thank you thank you for this wonderful book which I have just this minute finished reading. Firstly I havent laughed out loud so often for ages and it was always at things Merlin says. But mainly, mostly thank you for the comfort and understanding it has given me in seeing that my son Ben, as Archie says of Merlin, doesn’t have autism or aspergers syndrome – he has Ben Sydndrome.
Dear Kathy Lette,
I am a vaccine researcher. I have accumulated and studied more than 150 000 pages of orthodox medical papers dealing with vaccination issues. According to such research, vaccines are bad news: they do not prevent any diseases, indeed after the mass use of all and any accines, the morbidity and mortality from the targeted diseases has increased exponentially. All those outbreaks they rave about occur in the vaccinated. The only effect of vaccines is a harmful anaphylaxis, sensitisation=increased susceptiblity to the targeted diseases and related and unrelated bacterial and viral infections.
The seriousness and extent of the documented reactions to vaccines is much higher than the provaccinators admit.
One of many vaccine reactions is neurological/brain and metabolic damage resulting in a myriad of behavioural/learrning problems very similar to the documented (and admitted in product inserts) of other pharma products. This included violent and inappropriate behaviour, including homicidal and suicidal ideation. In all those US school shootings the perpetrators were vaccine damaged individuals, later further affected by so called antipsychotic medication.
Autism, Asperger’s syndrome, learning difficulties? Pro-vaccintors protest and try to deny too much (I mean in the Shakespeare-ian way). Just look at the documented and admitted web of lies and denials. They profess to know that vaccines do not cause it but the best they can come up with is that parents cause it;, especiall;y deaths and serious permanent damage – the infamous shaken baby syndrome. Thousands of parents rot in jails for the crime their doctors committed.
Please, if you give me your postal address, i will send you free of charge some printed material, including mine.
Sincerely, and sadly,
You are amazing! I’ve watched your interview on ABC TV with tears in my bleary eyes. You are an inspiration. My ex-wife was called Kathy – I may have married the wrong one. Oops.
Love and respect, RUSS.
Kathy, I have just finished your book and I could not stop laughing at all of the moments that Merlin has had in the book. It is finally great to read a book about my life as a father of a 12 year old with Asperger’s as I have and am living through it now. It still happens that people think that my child can be fixed but I don’t want him to as he to me is just Ben. It is refreshing to have the honesty sometimes of a young person who looks at life in a different way. I am about to live through his teenage years with him so I cannot wait for the ride. Again thank you for the most amazing book and the wonderful writing that you do.
Kathy have read your book a few months ago and as a mother of a 29 year son with aspergers
I can relate to a few of the passages when it comes to relationships I accept that my son is never going to be like the majority of society and his wacky and direct humour can put a real smile on my face
I really enjoyed the book Thank you for sharing your amazing creativity with us
Just finished reading The Boy Who Fell To Earth. As a man who has Asperger’s I sure see a lot of myself in Merlin. Now if I’d known about it when I was growing up (I was 39 when I was diagnosed) things may have been different. It sure explains a lot. You’ve sure captured the good and the bad in a wonderfully witty way.
I’m reading this presently here in Singapore. If you have ever had to endure the slowness of a Singapore bus you will appreciate the sharp wit and bitter sweetness this novel gives during the snails pace from work to condo. It’s like a prelude to the life of Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory. I wanted so cry out and reach into the novel with the last date bloke, the camping guy when he shuns the mum. I could feel the loss.
From one Australian to another…thanks for this bloody good read Kathy Lette.
I buy all your books now.
Best of everything to you and your son.
Absolutely loved this book. My son is autistic and the way you conveyed both the highs and the lows was so real. I love the way you created such a fun story as we know life can be tough with our son but gosh it’s so much bloody fun too! The audio book was my half an hour of me time every day and I will miss it!
Lovely . xxx