While the hook is Christie’s long road from Scotland to Hollywood, the book gives a good account about how James deals with his condition in everyday life. He has some good stories about working in offices and libraries, including some of the politics everyone experiences.
James later reveals how he became a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and especially Drusilla, whom he admits is a better person than some of the people he had to deal with at the office. He also points out that the show broke ground about how vampires are depicted, namely as monsters that are all too human. This was years before True Blood and Twilight.
He was inspired to write a novella called Drusilla’s Roses in 2009, which he showed to a few co-workers. But what to do with his story?
After James was featured in several local articles about having Asperger’s, he decided to send the story to Juliet. This eventually led to a decision to travel 5000 miles to Hollywood, and to write about it in a series of stories on behalf of the National Autistic Society. But once Juliet started e-mailing James, it would be so much more.
The book has e-mail correspondence that shows the slow preparations towards the trip, along with the efforts James made to be both financially and physically prepared. It even included some boxing at his local gym. He does express some doubts, but the book illustrates his trip, his reactions to traveling across the country by bus, and towards America, too. The best part is when he finally meets Juliet and visits the places where Dru, Xander, Buffy and the Scooby Gang lived. From Candlewood Drive, where the SG lived after Sunnydale fell, to Point Lobos, where Dru was attacked before she met Xander again.
There’s also his series of articles about traveling across America, where he gives insight about how New York had changed since 9/11, life under President Obama, and the sights he had seen while traveling.
While Dear Miss Landau may be about one fan’s journey to meet his favorite Buffy character, Christie has also written a good book that gives “neuro-typicals”, namely regular people, some insight about what it’s like to have Asperger’s and how one copes with regular life. It turns out, it’s not that much different from anyone else.
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