“Gager both invokes psychological insight and mocks its blindness.
He imagines an autistic child’s coming of age, both through and out side the child’s eyes. From infancy, Joe “thinks” articulately, but
rarely speaks, and his understanding of the world of Not Me is wry and
sensitive, somewhat like Faulkner’s Benjy’s. The reader accepts Joe’s
early Superman obsession, which translates into a defensive fantasy
of having “powers”; but the novel goes beyond tour de force to sheer
inspiration as it follows Joe, his parents, a friendly nurse, and many
other characters though his stages to maturity—and then delivers a
tragic complication with 9/11. Joe’s parents have been vacationing
in New York, and Joe sees them in a tv replay: “There his father was,
hanging on the edge of a window. He was small on the screen in his
blue suit, and holding onto him was his mother....None of them could
fly, and no one could be saved"
—DeWitt Henry, author of Endings and Beginnings: Family Essays
"Joe the Salamander is an unforgettable book. It is a story of one
man’s journey of survival in a world that is extremely difficult to navigate when you are “not like everyone else”. Strong female characters
like Millie, Joe’s mother, and his mentor Laura accepted him unconditionally for all of his uniqueness. It is with their unconditional love,
support and understanding that Joe went from being alone to having
a life second to none. This is an uplifting and heartfelt story."
—Carol Gillis, MS ABA, BCBA, LABA Senior Director of Autism
Services at The Edinburg Center in Bedford MA
"I have worked on complicated television projects like ,The Assassination of Gianni Versace, where how we choose to tell the story can
be as risky as the story we are trying to tell. It can either go well or....
But, in my opinion, Timothy Gager has knocked Joe the Salamander
out of the park, pulling us into the mind of a non-verbal infant, and
then pulling us through his life as witnesses to his confusion and pain.
The entire book unfolds with cinematic grace, leaving me wanting
more. I’d love to see this on a screen, or on my desk as a screenplay
>—Korey Pollard,Assistant Director/Producer, What Remains,
The Assassination of Gianni Versace, House M.D., Deadwood, Clear and
Present Danger, Monk