The Crazy Horse Electric Game is not my favorite Chris Crutcher book. Don’t get me wrong. It is really interesting, fascinating even. But it lacks the realism that is so vivid in his other books. Yes, I am sure that most disabled runaways end up attending an experimental school (tuition free!) and living with a pimp with a secret and nearly dating a beautiful, emotionally wounded hooker and, of course, being completely cured! Hope I didn’t wreck the story. This book felt like it got away from him. It was fun to read, but it never felt real.
That being said, the character of Willie was extremely well written- human and wounded and frustrating. And the secondary characters were richly written and fleshed out the story brilliantly. It was just the story that bugged me. Which is odd, because I am a story person above all!
This book does give me an opportunity to recommend two books narrated by disabled characters. The first is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Hadden. I absolutely loved this book beyond measure. The protagonist is a boy who has Asperger’s Syndrome – a form of autism where the afflicted person is very smart but unable to process other people’s responses or recognize their emotions or motives. He fines a dead dog and proceeds to investigate the murder. This book is great. Another recommendation is Stoner and Spaz by Ron Koertge. It is the story of a friendship between an emotionally wounded, self-medicating girl and a boy with cerebral palsy. I liked it a lot.