Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Wonder by R. Wonder Wonder 1 by R. August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Get A Copy.
Hardcover , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Wonder , please sign up. Kyle Parnell bash you head against the book intill you break the cover. I really like this book because it shows that don't judge people by how they look or what they like. I think everyone should read this book even adults because it teaches a good lesson. Essi Ikonen Dany: I see where you are coming from, but the book can be interpreted in a lot of ways actually.
You say Auggie got a medal for nothing, but if you …more Dany: I see where you are coming from, but the book can be interpreted in a lot of ways actually. You say Auggie got a medal for nothing, but if you really read the book you know that he was given a medal because the headmaster recognized his struggles were especially hard on him. It might give people the image that disabled people are special and that they should be treated more special than 'normal' people but I don't see it that way.
I don't think anyone who has not lived with a visible disablity can tell how a person with that has to go through in a world where your outer appearance has so much signifigance. The schools these days award children with medals for whatever achievements they value and giving a medal to a boy who faced his fears and managed to pull through the year even though he was bullied seems like a good choice to me. As for Julian not having his own chapter I partly agree with you. It was not fair but judging by the way he acted I think it would not have been pretty to read.
Julian to me seems like a bit of a bad stereotype but I know there are people like him in the world. Still, I think he was also a human too. The author wanted to give the reader the power to judge him. But we must of course do this cautiously because we do not know all the facts when it comes to him. It could have been that he was going through something else which resulted in him trying to seek attention. I guess he could have been forgiven in the end if he had only asked for forgiveness like Jack did, but he never did admit hurting Auggie's feelings.
The book could have taken the bully's perspective more into account, I agree, but to say that this book is about hating on bullies and not forgiving them is wrong. What Jack said was extremely horrible, and yet Auggie wanted to forgive him. Also, the other boys who first bullied him but later defended him were forgiven, so that shows the book is not about holding a grudge. See all questions about Wonder…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4.
Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Shelves: hilarious , poc , made-my-heart-hurt , young-adult , middle-grade , star-books , male-pov , realistic-fiction , favorites , read In addition, he also has a severe facial deformity that stops strangers in their tracks, so all the usual perils of the fifth grade take on even more heightened stakes. Not all kids are nice. Some kids behave one way in front of adults and another way in front of kids. Some adults are downright cruel. And how can you not love a boy who understands that sometimes his mom might need his precious teddy bear more than he does?
Not entirely random side note: view spoiler [In my former life, I worked in movie publicity. Because it turned out the boy was in the advanced stages of an incurable illness and was not expected to live much longer. It made me so terribly ashamed that I had doubted the story. Understandable, yes, but I knew that the letter could easily have been overlooked in the hustle and bustle of the business—and it scared me to think that something that so important might have been lost because of other things that mattered so much less.
In this case, I made sure this boy and his family got the VIP treatment, including a ton of swag and a very memorable evening. He was absolutely incandescent that night, and his parents told me afterwards that it was one of the happiest experiences in his young life. But I was so grateful to have had that brief contact, and to have helped bring a tiny bit of joy into his last months.
But sometimes reaching out to another human being can be a life-changing experience, for everyone concerned. As many have said before me, taking action doesn't just change the other person, it also changes you. Wonder is written with the kind of sensitivity and insight that I had hoped for when I read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time , and it went the extra mile to be an uplifting story that made me want to embrace life and the people in it, too.
We expect to be surprised by cruelty, but how wonderful it is to also be surprised by kindness. This review also appears in The Midnight Garden. An advance copy was provided by the publisher. About the Inspiration Behind the Story The ice cream incident in this story actually happened, but perhaps not in the way you might think.
Learn about the surprising inspiration behind this story on the RJ Palcio's website. She's definitely an author to watch. View all comments. Nov 06, Rick Riordan rated it it was amazing. Ye gods, what a wonderful book! I don't read a lot of realistic middle grade fiction. I tend to gravitate toward fantasy. The main character August Auggie Pullman is a ten-year-old boy with severe facial abnormalities. Little kids scream when they see him. Older kids make fun of him and call him a freak. Auggie is home-schooled through grade four, but for middle school his p Ye gods, what a wonderful book!
Auggie is home-schooled through grade four, but for middle school his parents decide to send him to a private school, Beecher Prep, in New York City. Wonder is the story of his fifth grade year, told partly from Auggie's perspective, and partly from the other kids in his life -- his sister Via, her oldest friend Miranda, Via's boyfriend Justin, and Jack and Summer, Auggie's new friends at Beecher Prep.
Each narrator has a distinct, completely believable voice. Palacio writes with just the right balance of humor and pathos, making each character both flawed and sympathetic. She "gets" kids -- how they think, how they talk, how they have the capacity to be both horribly mean and incredibly brave and kind. I recognize these characters from my years of teaching middle school, and I'm sure young readers will recognize them too. The book rings with authenticity. The short chapters and shifting narrative make this a quick, easy read. It's a feel-good book with a great message, and the ending is a tearjerker in the best possible way.
I'd recommend it without hesitation to most middle grade readers, girls or boys, even those who may not normally pick up realistic fiction. I read this book almost too quickly, I wanted it to last longer. This might be technically a children's book, but it really was such a special and meaningful read and I highly recommend that everyone read this once in their lives! View all 38 comments. Mar 20, Catie rated it it was ok Shelves: for-review , read-in , middle-grade. I finished it in one afternoon. If you insist on staying here — be prepared for dissent and lot of middle-school reminiscing on my part.
And now to the task at hand! He was born with major facial deformities, and has been homeschooled from early childhood. Will he be able to survive middle school? This book got under my skin a lot more than I ever expected it to. I thought that my major complaint if any would be that it was too light, too sweet. But this book has a lot of depth. It contains six or more — I kind of lost track points of view. The narrative is handed off relay-style from one pair of eyes to another, starting with August and moving forward to his sister Via and then to his friends.
Julian to me seems like a bit of a bad stereotype but I know there are people like him in the world. Towards the end, Malcolm wouldn't even come in the studio, which was sad. Do you believe you could make something that creative? Are there any pop up chapter books? Having been home-schooled for many years he is now more vulnerable than ever.
But for the most part I found this to be a very engrossing, intelligent, thoughtful read. I related really strongly to the chapters from Via and Summer, in particular. One of my best friends for the past almost seventeen years is disabled. We met in 8th grade French class and quickly bonded over a shared love of movies and just about everything else. We were practically joined hip-to-wheel she would totally laugh at that from grades , when I tragically had to move to another state. My friend has very limited mobility on the entire right side of her body. As a small child, she walked using a walker, but made the decision as she got older to start using a wheelchair.
People often stared when she walked — she moved so differently than everyone else. They stared less when she was in a chair. I was f-fine yesterday! I could walk! Y-you gotta help me! When we were fifteen, we spent one day together going around the mall and her neighborhood in wheelchairs. I used one of her older ones. In hindsight, I think that I could probably be accused of the kind of arrogant curiosity that she hated — but she was forgiving enough to go along with my idea and if it bothered her, she never mentioned it. What I remember most was how kind everyone was.
How solicitous. I finally got a small inkling of what it must be like to deal with that for your entire life: a constant wave of kind smiles and soft voices and helpfulness; a constant blindness to everything about you. It says: you are not someone to be taken seriously, to be respected. You are someone to be pitied. When we were teenagers, she would go right up to boys and flirt shamelessly with them.
She would state her opinions loudly with no apologies. It was like a dare. It was like she was saying: I dare you to disagree with me, hate me, lust after me. She wanted to be loved, hated, desired, or ignored just like everyone else. Auggie the character seems over the moon about it all. And of course they all just cheer and cheer as he walks up to the podium — in front of everyone — so happy!! Even though he hates being in front of crowds. And, YAY!! With all of his close, close only started acknowledging him two seconds ago friends.
Okay, so - sarcasm aside. I do realize that not every disabled experience is the same. Maybe Auggie would like to be acknowledged - I don't know.
Discover Prime Book Box for Kids. Story time just got better with Prime Book Box, a subscription that delivers editorially hand-picked children's books every 1, 2. Editorial Reviews. From Booklist. Sounds! Music, the roar of jet planes and buses , and the rumble of jackhammers fill Jim's and Jane's ears as they walk through.
As a boy? And so the central point of this book for all that it is very well-meaning seems at best simplistic to me — and at worst — insulting. Oct 31, Aly Fantasy4eva rated it really liked it Shelves: you-inspire-me , hilarious , received-for-review , arc , my-kinda-protagonist , uk-bookish-love , i-ache-for-you. Personally, I prefer my ARC cover. You like? But he's learned to long accept that people will always stare at his face, and there's nothing he can do about it.
So why not just live life the best way possible? With a loving family always by his side, although originally not at all happy about starting school, he soon starts to warm to the idea. Having been home-schooled for many years he is now more vulnerable than ever. Like any person that's a new student, August faces many mixed reactions from fellow students. Some are welcoming like Summers and Jack. Others not so much like Henry and Julian. But add to that something which will make you definitely stand out - and not in a positive way - and you are bound to have a rough few days.
I just want to say this straight out. If I was August, heck no would I be brave enough to walk through those gates. He is just ten years old but his sensibility, ability to laugh at himself and his courage just blew me away. I think he is such a wonderful human being. I can't gush enough about him.
What I particularly love about the book is how we are able to see August through others too. Of course this is Augusts journey, but it's interesting to see how others see him. Via, his sister, is the one I found most interesting. She's a teenager and at that age where she is still discovering new things about herself day by day. And although she adores her brother, she's grown up learning never to complain, to never want or expect anything from her parents. She's always known that August is first priority since her parents are so over -protective over him, but little by little, it's clear that she's starting to grow a little resentful.
And she hates herself for it, because she loves her family so much. What really shined for me was not just August himself, but his loving tight - knit family. The kind that you see in cartoons or children's books. The bedtime stories, the hugs and kisses. It's so lovely to just watch from afar and see how supportive and sweet they are towards one another. And hey, when we get to the last few pages it's just full on inspiring.
Some very touching, quotable moments there. View all 70 comments. Apr 22, Raeleen Lemay rated it it was amazing Shelves: own , favorites , young-adult. You are a wonder. This is a book that makes me laugh, makes me cry, and gives me endless amounts of hope. I love this book, and will probably be giving out copies to my friends and family this Christmas.
View all 25 comments. You just feel it inside you. I mean how could you not think about Auggie and the world we live in after finishing this book? How many can say they never bitched about someone else? You understand? Not directly or forthright like you would expect, but subtly and with a lot of finesse. We witness it in the change of the students, in the change of the tide. And this, my dear friends, is so beautiful and amazing to watch! Tushman asked me to be especially nice and all that. But now I would choose to hang out with him. He laughs at all my jokes. And I kind of feel like I can tell August anything.
Like, if all the guys in fifth grade were lined up against a wall and I got to choose anyone I wanted to hang out with, I would choose August. He convinces them with his actions and his wonderful character! Not with his looks! She kissed my eyes that came down too far. She kissed my cheeks that looked punched in. She kissed my tortoise mouth. At first I thought he was laughing because his shoulders were shaking, but then he put his palms on his eyes and I realized he was crying.
Like a whisper. They raised two wonderful children! Against all odds and with all the love a parent is able to give! For me they are the secret stars of the book and I love them with all my heart! They raised Auggie and Via to be two awesome and independent kids and this is an achievement!!! Plus can we acknowledge their grandma as well!? I loved the scene with Via and her because it was done so beautifully!
And I want you to know that you have me looking out for you. Okay, menina querida? I want you to know that you are number one for me. You understand me, Via? Tu es meu tudo. Still, I loved Olivia for accepting this and I loved her even more for supporting her brother. I can recommend it to everyone and I really hope many people will learn from it and will become more broad-minded and kind in the future! And the real, real, real, real truth is: I missed seeing your face, Auggie.
I love this face of yours, Auggie, completely and passionately. And it kind of broke my heart that you were always covering it up. View all 77 comments. Jun 06, Nicholas Sparks rated it it was amazing Shelves: nicholas-recommends. A wonderful read for all ages. View all 26 comments. Apr 07, Elyse Walters rated it it was amazing Shelves: children-s , coming-of-age. Update: Saw the 10am movie this morning. Paul bought our tickets --while I covered my face with my hat until we got to our seats in the dark theater. Then the bigger surgery, Nov.
I admit to not being able to watch this film without tears. The film doesn't only focus on Auggie. It also revolves around his sister, his parents, his dog, conflicts and friendships with other students at school, and bullying. A very heartwarming film Re- READ this last night Augie is my inspiration The movie opens here Nov.
With 2 more surgeries on my face this month - forehead and nose area Little 10 year old Augie is my imaginary friend!! I feel ready - scars will just be scars — and beauty really does come from the inside And love is Love! All that mushy jazz!!! Wonder is wonderful and the movie looks like a Wonder too!!! Looking forward to seeing the film. The author created an incredible character Augie lives in the minds now of millions of people around the world Huge honors to the author!!!!
I read this book yesterday wonderful Teen book for for 'adults' like me too. I wanted a book to rest with One sitting-3hour-page-turning book. This was it!!!!! I smiled -I cried -- Priceless!!!!!!!!!!!!! View all 89 comments. I am so glad that I finally got around to listening to this story. That time finally arrived last weekend, when we had to spend a full day in the car on a trip.
I had read many great reviews for this book, so I had really high hopes going into it. In fact, I was worried that I would be disappointed, as I often am with a book that is surrounded by so much hype. However, I can say that this book did not let me down in any way. In fact, it exceeded every expectation that I had. I absolutely loved this story!
Auggie has been homeschooled for years by his mother because he was born with severe facial deformities, requiring multiple operations over the course of his young life. Despite the myriad of surgeries that he has undergone, he still lives with significant facial disfigurement. Now, Auggie will be entering the fifth grade at Beecher Prep. Told from multiple POVs, this book provides a thorough account of Auggie's experiences. I was especially impressed with the raw honesty of his sister's POV. Growing up with Auggie wasn't easy, as she always came second to his needs.
She struggled with resentment and guilt over having those feelings, as she truly loved her brother but craved the attention of her parents also. Auggie's POV was also brutally honest. He was well aware of how other people viewed him. Yet, no amount of awareness can make a child immune to the stares and cruel words. His story was heartbreaking, but inspiring. It was also easy to relate to the POVs of others, including Jack, the boy who befriends Auggie at school. Although some of his actions were upsetting, he was only human. I had to remind myself that he was just a young boy, battling his own insecurities and trying to fit in at a very impressionable age.
Even good people do bad things sometimes. As a parent, I both admired and sympathized with Auggie's mother. My heart went out to her. I could only imagine how difficult it would be to enroll your child into school, wanting to provide as normal a life as possible, while also wanting to shelter and protect him.
I don't know what I would've done in her shoes. Not surprisingly, this was an incredibly emotional story. At times, it was downright depressing. However, I couldn't help but fall in love with Auggie and his resilience. This story broke my heart, but it also inspired me. Most importantly, this story will make you reflect on your views and behaviors. This story highlights the cruelty of people's actions, bred from ignorance and fear. Never have I read a story that so effectively prompts readers to examine the impact of their actions and words. For children, this was a wonderful lesson in empathy.
This book prompted some thoughtful discussion with my daughters 5 and 10 about bullying and the "golden rule". Although some of the story went over the head of my 5 year-old, who was primarily hung-up on the hilarity of the "farting nurse", my 10 year-old didn't miss a beat. I have no doubt that this story will stick with her and make her more considerate and empathetic toward other children.
Just like 'The Diary of a Young Girl' Anne Frank's Diary , this book is a book that guides you to be a better, more thoughtful, person. It is beautiful and engaging. No doubt about it, this book left it's mark on me. I highly recommend this book to everyone, young and old! Check out more of my reviews at www. View all 60 comments. I feel a bit like a cold-hearted snob for giving this book two stars. I am not saying that it isn't an uplifting story definitely worth being told and read , but I can't deny that there were a few aspects I had problems with and that the story didn't trigger the emotional reaction I expected it to.
Wonder is the story of August Pullman's first year at school. Auggie is a ten-year-old boy born with a facial anomaly that has required him to undergo countless operations and made him an outsider wit I feel a bit like a cold-hearted snob for giving this book two stars. Auggie is a ten-year-old boy born with a facial anomaly that has required him to undergo countless operations and made him an outsider with other kids his age. This book is the story of him facing his fears of being stared at and excluded, of him growing up and of his family letting go. His story is told from six different perspectives.
We have of course August himself, but also his older sister Via, her boyfriend Justin, her friend Miranda and Jack and Summer, two kids August befriends at school. Male and female perspectives, very young teens, older teens — yet their voices all sounded more or less the same to me. Basically, she has lived in her little brother's shadow all her life. I found it rather sad to read her thoughts, how she always had to fend for herself when her little brother was the center of attention and how she sometimes hates herself for wanting to take that attention away from him.
She really was the character I could identify with the most, and her voice definitely rang true to me. This doesn't mean I couldn't sympatise with August himself, too, but the four additional perspectives I could have easily done without. In general, the writing is kept simple, fitting and true to the ten-year-old responsible for most of the narration, but towards the end, the heavy use of the word "dude" really got on my nerves. It seemed to be for authenticity purposes, but it bordered on ridiculous I know, this is the nitpicker in me coming out. A very important role throughout the book play precepts August's English teacher, Mr Browne, presents his students at the beginning of every month.
These precepts are often addressed in the story, and one of them, probably the one used to underline the overall message of the book, rubbed me the wrong way. It is the following quote by an American psychotherapist and author: "When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind. But should I really value being kind over being right? Should I tell lies not to offend a person's feelings for example? Should I omit my own feelings in order to not hurt anyone else? Tell me, where would this concept lead us? Towards a better world? I somehow doubt it. And I have one question: Do ten-year-old kids really date?!
Thanks a lot to Random House and Netgalley for the review copy. Jun 20, Kai rated it it was amazing Shelves: , important , favorites , to-buy. August was born with facial abnormalities, went through lots of operations, but his face still looks far from normal. Now he's about to start middle school, and because he's been homeschooled by his mom ever since, he's both scared and excited. This book. It's Amazing. While sometimes sad and shocking, the happy definitely overshadows the sad. I admit to shedding more than a few tears. But don't tell anyone.
The greatest thing about this book - in my opinion - is that there are so many perspectives to one story. While August is clearly the main character, lots of people get their fair share of pages, and I am so, so glad for it. This beautiful novel is not only about acceptance, tolerance and kindness. It teaches so many lessons. More than just once I stopped reading and thought, Yes, that is exactly how I feel, that is precisely what I think.
Palacio touches so many topics through her variety of characters. Poverty, death, relationships and more The only thing I have left to say is that, from now on, I will try to be kinder than necessary. Find more of my books on Instagram View all 17 comments. Mar 08, Emily May rated it liked it Shelves: childrens , It would be pretty impossible to properly review this book without getting just a touch spoilery.
I think I could actually sum up rather succinctly what it was that made this book only get three stars from me, and also what I'm sure will be many readers' deciding factor as to whether they will love it or not. Basically, you should love this novel if you like stories that end with this: view spoiler [ "It was one of those great June days when the sky is completely blue and the sun is shining bu It would be pretty impossible to properly review this book without getting just a touch spoilery.
Basically, you should love this novel if you like stories that end with this: view spoiler [ "It was one of those great June days when the sky is completely blue and the sun is shining but it isn't so hot that you wish you were on the beach instead. It was just the perfect day. Everyone was happy.
I still felt like I was floating, the Star Wars hero music in my head. Turn away now if you want to be completely surprised. He has been homeschooled his whole life, until one day when his parents decide attending middle school may be an important step towards Auggie gaining some kind of normality. He faces the stares, name-calling and ostracisation that come with being different in school - only a million times worse than normal.
My biggest problem with this book is just how happy and uplifting it is. I know that sounds terrible, but I wanted it to be grittier. Someone like Auggie must have so much emotional turmoil but I felt it was lost amongst the happily ever after-ness. It was too sweet, too nice, too unreal. It's like that moment when Neville Longbottom gets those ten kind-of undeserved house points that guarantee Gryffindor the house cup It was too perfect to believe in.
There are bad guys in this book, sure there are, but only one of them remains unredeemed and he loses his popularity. In other words: the good guys triumph and the bad guys get punished. I wasn't feeling it. It seemed so unbelievable to me that the only person who doesn't get a happy ending is the evil kid.
But three stars still means I liked it! This book was an entertaining page-turner and I had no problems with the really young age of the narrators. Yes, narrator s , because the book switched between the point of view of Auggie, his sister - Via, Jack, Summer, Justin and Miranda The only one I didn't enjoy reading was Justin's, I thought it was a bit of a waste of paper. Other than that, I liked reading about how Auggie's looks affected his relationships with the aforementioned. However, I still think some of the kids were nicer and more understanding than they would be in real life at their age.
We did songs together. It was an ongoing process of picking songs. Some of those songs have never seen the light of day that I know of. Steve was the final judge. He is the artist. There is no finer singer, performer, and songwriter than Stevie Wonder. He might not have given us the recognition that we thought we deserved, but that in no way diminishes his talent. It was a joy in the beginning. I would say Music of My Mind , Talking Book , and Innervisions were great, then it got to be laborious for a variety of reasons.
One, we weren't getting paid properly. Two, the studio started filling up with people who were to just there to fan the air and suddenly become official people. It became less and less pleasant to work with him. The music was always good. We tried to preserve the music, but the vibes got to be really heavy because we weren't being taking care of correctly. The more famous he got, the less recognition we got. It really became a trial. At that point, we decided it was time to move on. But during the making of Talking Book, it was a joy to work with him.
It was at the height of everything. There was total loyalty and total belief. There's a time that you think it was going to go on for forever and that you can never make any mistakes. Every record we touched turned to gold, whether it was for Stevie or for other artists.
All we had to do was walk into the studio and do what we did best. We needed Stevie because Stevie really reflected the times. He had an important message. I felt like his music making superseded the entertainment business. His music reflected the cry for civil rights, the urban black experience, and about who he was.
I felt like his music was very political and I came from a political background. He didn't just write love songs, but he related to the world's reality at that time. I thought he was a messenger. What he had to say was really important, and it's proven to be that way. Here we are 40 years later, and we can remember the songs.
We might have had our business differences, but we didn't have any differences in our philosophy and the music. After the fourth album, we started repeating ourselves and, I have to say, not in a low way, but I think Steve has concentrated the next 40 years of his album-making experience of trying to repeat the experiences of those albums we made together including the sound.
We used to turn out a record every 18 months. Why did that stop? He surrounded himself with people he was more comfortable with. Malcolm and I were kind of prickly and white [laughing]. He felt a little out of his element, maybe. I don't know honestly. I don't feel badly towards Steve. I'm 71 years old. I don't have that much mileage left. I mean—that would be nice in our retirement and golden years for him to remember what we did for him, but I think that's highly unlikely. I don't see any reason to not state what really happened at this point.
I thought we were treated badly in the end. As the albums went on, our credits got smaller and smaller. It was an amazing experience. We know what we did. Steve knows what we did. I don't know what happened, but we really lost touch with each other. Towards the end, Malcolm wouldn't even come in the studio, which was sad.
It was like this, there were three points of light and they all came together, and there was this bright flash for five years. During those five years, it was a magical time. It was beautiful. We made some really great records and we felt we were going in the same direction. I regret that it ended the way it did. The music making during Talking Book was at our best. The best vibe, the best emotional time and the most complete expression of what we were doing.
We weren't repeating ourselves in any way. We were there for all the right reasons. There were no extraneous players in the game. Stevie, me, and Malcolm had a beautiful routine. I would keep a record log of all the songs and where we were periodically to see what we needed to do. When he would come into the studio, there would be something up on the board for him to work on. The studio was always ready. We used to put all the instruments that he would play for a session in a big circle in the studio.
They were always all up. The drums were always tuned up and ready to go. The piano, clavinet, the Rhodes, the synthesizers and all the things we had were pretty much in a big circle so Steve could overdub and walk from one instrument to the other. If he needed, we would tune up the drums a little bit or adjust something. We would experiment with the microphones to make sure it was the right microphone for the song.
We generally operated autonomously. Most of the time recording studios had staff engineers. Well, with Stevie we were employees of Stevie's and not employees of the studio or the record company. We really hit our stride in two places. Electric Lady Studios was an interesting experience. Some of the material for Talking Book was recorded there. The studio was built by my dear friend, John Storyk. He built the studio originally for Jimi Hendrix. It was built by an artist for his own work, which was one of the first in the world.
Most studios were very big, clumsy, and industrial, and had staff engineers, and were maintained and operated by the record companies. There was a certain sprinkling of independent studios in New York such as Bell, Media, etc. There were about six of them there. We were working at Media for the start of the album and we couldn't stay there. Media was basically was built for commercial recordings like Ford Motor Company. I was the resident synthesist there and Malcolm was the night maintenance man though he was playing jazz bass with a bunch of major players at that time like Jim Hall.
We had the studio at night. Steve wanted to be working all the time and we would have to keep breaking down our setups because during the day it was for commercials. So—we found Electric Lady. Jimi was in the process of going to England and within that eight-week time span he was gone. And here's a studio built completely for an artist. It was the shoe that we put our foot in. Steve kind of replaced Jimi in a strange kind of way. The room was so conducive to creativity. It had mood lighting, which I know Steve didn't respond to it, but it made everyone else kind of mellow around the place.
It was the kind of place that he could move around in and go to the bathroom without having someone take him to the bathroom. With him being blind, he learned the place and the pattern of the studio so he could move around freely. It gave him a tremendous sense of freedom. We worked hard there, and then we started making little journeys to the West. Steve still felt very close to those guys although his contract was in the air at that time. He finally decided to be his own person in every way, and we were the tools of that in many ways.
We gave him his independence in the studio. We worked for him and not for Motown. We didn't get checks from Motown. He had a room, I had a room and Malcolm had a room. We had our little Arp synthesizers all interconnected and they would be playing each other from room to room. You would hear all the electronica out in the swimming pool area. It was like a courtyard motel. Then we started working at a place called Crystal Studios. And again we got crowded out because Crystal Studios was the home of Joni Mitchell. It was a beautiful place. We struck up a deal with them. They said, "If you want to buy studio time for Steve, we'll build the studio for you, if you guarantee to book studio time for him.
And we built a beautiful room. When we were negotiating for the studio, I'll never forget what happened. Gary Kellgren bought down a bottle of Courvoisier and we touched our glasses to make a toast and then there was an earthquake.