Views & Reviews Review of the Week

After Rain Man

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 21 August 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3416
  1. Chloe Veltman, freelance writer, San Francisco
  1. chloe{at}

    Chloe Veltman considers the latest in a run of Asperger’s-centric movies from Hollywood

    Asperger’s syndrome has become a pop-culture fetish lately. The hazily understood autism spectrum disorder has become a common plot device in such television shows as House, Bones, and Law & Order. The protagonists of Mark Haddon’s 2003 novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and Stieg Larsson’s thriller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2008) are affected by the syndrome. It is the subject of a slew of new non-fiction titles including 22 Things a Woman Must Know If She Loves a Man With Asperger’s by Rudy Simone, The Love-Shy Survival Guide by Talmer Shockley, and Christopher Babcock’s The Imprinted Brain. Hollywood has also picked up on the trend with a growing pile of Asperger’s-centric films including 2005’s Mozart and the Whale, which stars Josh Hartnett and Radha Mitchell as two Asperger’s syndrome sufferers, and the recent animated feature Mary and Max, centering on the relationship between a middle-aged New Yorker with …

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