Thanks @chgoliz for taking care of creating the new thread!
Well, for what it’s worth, it was finally revealed that Kit indeed has Asperger’s, as I’ve suspected (plus obsessive compulsive disorder though that seems to come with Asperger’s almost as a default). I thought his xact condition was gonna be left open like it often is (probably in order to deflect any criticism about the representation of the condition in question) but I’m glad Banks didn’t mind giving Kit a diagnosis.
There sure was a lot of talk about drugs and addiction in this chapter. Asperger’s and drug addiction… regardless of the quality of the book, so many things hit so close to home at a critical point in my life that I can’t help but be grateful for it.
I completely agreed with what Hol said about drug addiction, how it’s not a disease and how AA (or NA - “same difference”, as someone in the book said) is bullshit. Quoting:
“It’s a condition. It’s a decision you make to keep on behaving in a certain way rather than in another way. You can call it a psychological weakness or a lack of will power if you like, but you can’t call it a disease without making the word basically meaningless.”
Some may be more prone to addiction than others, and some have live events or situations that make it much harder, but it’s always a decision you make. Take this from someone battling with addiction. Funny saying that, “battling with addiction” - as if I’m wrestling with a bear instead of just resisting taking the easy route when faced with difficulties. But really, I think giving people the idea that they can’t handle their addictions without submitting to a higher power, or that there is even such thing as being “cured”, is silly. You can get rid of a physical addiction through rehab (or by yourself), for sure, and hell, even stay on that path for years, but you can’t win something that is just your own proneness to a habit-forming thing. Why do smokers say they’ve quit, but drug users and alcoholics say they’re in recovery or got clean? Just food for thought - my point is that our way of viewing addiction is quite skewered, and it seems to be even worse in places were AA is actually popular (I don’t know how popular it is in UK, here it isn’t except a small religious minority, fortunately).
As far as the scene between Hol and Kit… I don’t really know what to say about it. It showed us a new (although an awkward teen) side of Kit, at least.
Well, we must again remember that Kit is the narrator. Maybe she was quite shocked, but didn’t show it much or know how to take it, and her way of dealing with it was to make it seem like no big deal. I did find her comments about Kit’s dick size quite odd, but… I don’t know. Hol has been a sort of mix of a friend and a mother/aunt-figure to Kit, but maybe she views Kit as more of a friend than we think and some naughty thoughts might have crossed her mind as well, even if she knows she could not actually make a move with him in any way. Plus, she knows Kit’s still a teenager and must understand that they’re not very savvy with this kind of thing, especially if they have Asperger’s, so that might have lessened the shock. Maybe the comments about Kit’s dick were made to make him feel better and less awkward about the whole ordeal.
But I’m just going over the possibilities. I’m quite unsure myself.
I actually think that’s exactly what was intended. I think Hol said something about Guy being just like he was 20 years ago, and that goes for all the other characters as well.