Saturday, February 19, 2011

Marcelo in the Real World
by Francisco X. Stork

Published in 2009.
Audiobook read by Lincoln Hoppe.

Marcelo in the Real World came onto my radar screen over a year ago. I'm so glad it finally made it to the top of my extremely long to-read list!

I was awed by this young adult coming-of-age novel. Marcelo is an incredible character. A seventeen-year-old with an autism-like condition and a "special interest" in religion, Marcelo is coerced by his father into taking a summer job in the mail room of his father's law firm to experience "the real world." There Marcelo learns a lot - but mostly about suffering, injustice, and what he can do about it. The novel contains a profound exploration of theology. It also prompted me to contemplate what "normal" and "real" mean. The book's cover is gorgeous, beautifully depicting the vastness of the world in which we each must find our way, hopefully with the help of a caring friend.

I listened to the book on CD and found Lincoln Hoppe to be a terrific reader. Books on Tape recommends the book "for listeners ages 14 to 18." While I am fond of young adult novels in general, I think this one is more than complex and insightful enough for any thinking adult. I do think that the book is more appropriate for older teens (at least fourteen) than for younger ones - both because of some forthright discussion of sexuality and also because of the maturity needed to understand the significance.

Tricia of Library Queue said, "This book is amazing in a quiet and thoughtful way." Read her full review here.

Becky of Becky's Book Reviews called Marcelo "a man with heart and soul, with substance." Read her full review here.

Francisco X. Stork's blog is here.



  1. Oh... this does sound very good. I am thinking of getting back to reading audio books. It's been so long since my last one.

  2. Alice: With my current work situation, I think I'm getting more reading done via audiobook than regular book!