Jonathan Pegg
Literary Agency

 Joe: The Only Boy in the World


An exceptionally haunting memoir that also shows us what it is to be really human. In a hardware store, Joe sits on a display toilet amidst the throng of customers and wees, smiling serenely. He thumps crying babies. He is amazed when the car he runs in front of actually hits him. Joe is ten and mentally disabled. He's funny, fascinating and maddening, and this memoir tells his moving story, but also argues that until we know Joe's life, we can't understand our own. Through philosophy, psychology and medical research, the author explains how we are mind-readers, how we make sense of other people and how we understand guilt and innocence, and shows that Joe sets our humanity in sharp relief. But in that case, is Joe part of it? The author who asks that outrageous question is Joe's father.

UK Publisher: Profile Books Ltd; 2007 
US Publisher: Marlowe & Company; 2006



'This is the best written, most thought-provoking book on autism I have read in years, suitable for anyone with an interest in humanity. Go out and buy it!', Communication Magazine, Autumn 2006 issue

'It's certainly my book of the month', The Bookseller

'A far superior piece of non-fiction, both poignant and amusing, and instructive without ever becoming preachy', Scotland on Sunday

'Blastland is likeably honest', Julie Myerson, Daily Telegraph (Books)

'A moving story... Blastland has performed a remarkable service in baring his family life for us.', Simon Baron-Cohen, Guardian (Review)

'It is a brave and frightening book in several ways.', Nick Coleman, New Scientist

'An engaging book', Kenan Malik, Evening Standard

'Michael Blastland has written a beautiful and deeply thoughtful book about his 10-year-old son Joe.', Simon Baron-Cohen, The Lancet

'Joe is a book that deserves to be read. It will speak loudly not just to those interested in autism, but to anyone who is fascinated by the full range of what it means to be human.', Tim Hall, Catholic Herald

'From this careful, serious book emerges a man with a quick wit and far-seeing eye for what makes life so peculiar... Joe...stands out as a work of rare enlightenment.', Melissa Katsoulis, Seven

'If you read just one book about an autistic child this year, you would do well to make it this one.', David Newnham, Times Educational Supplement

'His honesty is in keeping with a compelling, brave and highly readable book that never verges on the sentimental.', Julie Wheelwright, Independent

'I can't think of anyone who shouldn't read this book.', Ruby Millington, Daily Express

'Joe, the Only Boy in the World is an affecting book. Blastland invokes the ancient African saying that"it takes a whole village to raise a child"and, with this book, he has widened the village to include potentially every reader.', Jaqueline Burton, Sunday Business Post

'Deeply personal and moving ... [Blastland's] beautifully written book offers us a glimpse of the torments endured by the growing number of children born with their cerebral pathways wrongly wired.', Val Hennessy, Daily Mail



Click on book cover below for more information

 michael blastland and david spielgelhalter - risk