Excerpt from Best Boy

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules at Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along!

My teaser today comes from Best Boy by Eli Gottlieb. This is a novel written in the first-person point of view of an adult with autism who is living in an assisted living facility. A quick look at Twitter reveals that Eli Gottlieb’s brother is autistic. I enjoyed Todd Aaron’s journey through the progress of the story.

Until recently, I was very happy at Payton, where I live with the other “villagers” in cottages with painted numbers on them arranged in a circle on a big plate of grass.

Best Boy, Eli Gottlieb

best boy twitter


Sent to a “therapeutic community” for autism at the age of eleven, Todd Aaron, now in his fifties, is the “Old Fox” of Payton LivingCenter. A joyous man who rereads the encyclopedia compulsively, he is unnerved by the sudden arrivals of a menacing new staffer and a disruptive, brain-injured roommate. His equilibrium is further worsened by Martine, a one-eyed new resident who has romantic intentions and convinces him to go off his meds to feel “normal” again. Undone by these pressures, Todd attempts an escape to return “home” to his younger brother and to a childhood that now inhabits only his dreams. Written astonishingly in the first-person voice of an autistic, adult man, Best Boy—with its unforgettable portraits of Todd’s beloved mother, whose sweet voice still sings from the grave, and a staffer named Raykene, who says that Todd “reflects the beauty of His creation”—is a piercing, achingly funny, finally shattering novel no reader can ever forget.


  1. I would love to read Best Boy! I’ve heard it was wonderful, so I really hope it works for you. 🙂

  2. I always find it intriguing when authors write from personal experience! I hope that you enjoy this one. 🙂

  3. Whilst this probably isn’t one for me, your teaser lines said everything and nothing, about the change of circumstances which have so upset Todd.

    It seems as though Todd needs to have some stability in his everyday life and along with everything else, his sense of achievement and importance, at having some status amongst the other residents, is being challenged on all fronts.

    I really feel for him and hope that he can find a new place and peace within the community.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂


  4. This is evidently a thought-provoking read – I teach an autistic boy. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Such an interesting viewpoint for a book to be written from, I think. From the teaser you shared and the blurb, this sounds like a moving story. Definitely worth looking into! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Wonder what changed the character in your teaser from being happy where he is. Good teaser!

  7. That teaser has an ominous ring to it.

Tell me what you think!

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