corner corner The Martian Child: A Novel About A Single Father Adopting A Son


The Martian Child: A Novel About A Single Father Adopting A Son
by David Gerrold | Literature & Fiction
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 3/17/2017
Average 8 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by hyphen8): travelling

This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!

2 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, March 17, 2017

8 out of 10

I really enjoyed this book when I first read it, so when I found this good-condition movie-tie-in paperback at a local thrift shop I couldn't resist nabbing it for another release copy.

I was intrigued by the premise here - a single gay man seeking to adopt a child winds up with a troubled eight-year-old who thinks he's a Martian. Turns out this is a somewhat fictionalized version of Gerrold's own experiences in adopting his son, which makes it all the more interesting. I've enjoyed some of Gerrold's science fiction (including the impressive time-travel tale The Man Who Folded Himself, and of course his "Trouble With Tribbles" episode for "Star Trek"), and it's interesting to see how he handles reality...

This is a very charming book. For the most part it's a pretty accurate depiction of Gerrold's decision to adopt a child, and the struggles he and the boy go through while trying to become a family. There are very moving scenes, and also very painful ones; while Gerrold does not spend a lot of time on the more difficult aspects of raising a very troubled child, he doesn't ignore them either. [At one point he has to cope with the boy's shrieking tantrum in a grocery store - and with an assortment of patrons who are either cursing him for not keeping the kid quiet or are accusing him of being an abusive parent when he tries. Parents deserve medals for times like these.]

As for the "Martian" bit: it's an intriguing touch, adding a tiny "X-Files" tone to the story ("Most of the books on parenting advise you not to feel guilty for wondering if your child is suddenly going to catch a fly with his tongue. It's a very common parental fear."), but interwoven so well that I could believe that it was as true as all the rest. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and only went through a few tissues in the process {grin}. This story is - milder? less political, certainly - than Dan Savage's fierce and funny The Kid, but both are well worth reading.

Side note: I haven't seen the 2007 film version of the book, partly because I was disappointed to find that they'd changed the main character from gay to straight. I read somewhere that the change was made to avoid distracting from the issue of the problems of troubled children, but that didn't wash with me; while it's true that the novel rarely even mentions the Gerrold-character's sexual orientation and it's not at all a key element of the story, I don't see why it couldn't have been left as it was. Instead, the film not only made the character straight but presented a possible love-interest, and to me that seemed to change the dynamic dramatically from the single-parent-coping-with-lost-child. Oh, well... the book's still excellent! 

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, March 24, 2017

This book has not been rated.

Released 1 yr ago (3/24/2017 UTC) at Nashua, New Hampshire USA


I'm sending this to BCer hyphen8 in Hawaii as part of the US/Canada wishlist-tag game. Enjoy!  

Journal Entry 3 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Monday, March 27, 2017

This book has not been rated.

Received today, thank you! I haven't seen the movie either but the book sounds interesting..

A sweet story about a single man who chooses to adopt a child and build a family. The fact that he's gay matters a perhaps little more than that he's a writer of SF or that he's Jewish...but not all that much in the context of the book. It contributes to his anxiety (Will it affect his chances? How and when should he tell the boy?) and affects his son in the sense of "I won't have a mom" - but ultimately this is a book about two people finding each other.

I enjoyed it very much...but then I've been a sucker for a good adoption story ever since I was a kid and read Dale Evans Rogers's books "Dearest Debbie" and "Angel Unaware" (Mom had them on her shelf and I found them) and Helen Doss's "The Family Nobody Wanted".

I found an interesting writeup about Gerrold, his son, the original story, and their opinions of the movie. 

Journal Entry 4 by winghyphen8wing at Paina Cafe Ward in Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Wednesday, October 18, 2017

This book has not been rated.

Released 1 yr ago (10/18/2017 UTC) at Paina Cafe Ward in Honolulu, Hawaii USA


Tuesday, October 17, 2017: left on one of the tables outside the Ward Centre location. (Larger photo here.)

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