The spine says sci-fi fantasy, it's not. Well, I guess it's sci-fi because it takes places in the near future? But there's no flying cars, no robots doing all our work..it's just like it is now except a few small changes.
Anyways, the story is about Lou, a person with autism. You follow him around seeing him work and interact with the people in his life. This is the part of the book that I enjoyed. You are put in his head, you get to see how he thinks and his way of understanding people's reactions and even their speech. If I had to rate this book on that alone my rating would be higher. While I thought that maybe halfway through the book Lou would take the new "cure" to be "normal", the book really is about the his life leading up to the decision to have it or not. Which is around page 302.(out of 340)
I know a lot of people are comparing this to Flowers for Algernon, and they are similar in story line. But Flowers was just a better book from start to finish. Where I felt the best part of Speed was the narrative part.
EDIT- Just saw this article in the news: New Study suggests treatment possibility for autism
"People with autism have too many synapses -- the connectors by which brain cells send and receive signals -- according to a new study that may point to a treatment for the complex disorder.
Researchers at New York's University of Columbia were able to re-establish the brain's "pruning mechanism" in mice genetically modified to simulate autism.
To do it, they used a drug called rapamycin to block a protein, mTOR, which in autistic patients goes hyperactive and blocks the brain's natural ability to cull synapses......"