Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time - Mark Haddon

Rating : 3.5/5
Read between March 19th, 2017 and March 24th,2017

Edition Details:
Format : Paperback
Page Count : 272
Publisher : Random House
Isbn: 9780099456766

Awards:Man Booker Prize Nominee for Longlist (2003),  Whitbread Award for Novel and Book of the Year (2003), Guardian Children's Fiction Prize (2003), McKitterick Prize (2004)
Los Angeles Times Book Prize (2003), Exclusive Books Boeke Prize (2004), ALA Alex Award (2004), Zilveren Zoen (2004),Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book Overall (2004),




First Sentence:
It was 7 minutes after midnight.

Christopher Francis Boone is a fifteen year old boy. He has Eidetic memory and he's good at Maths. But he has difficulty dealing with people. He doesn't understand them. When he finds out that his neighbour's dog Wellington has been murdered, he decides to find out the culprit and also write a book about it. What more would he uncover during the course of this investigation and how will it affect his life?



I liked reading this novel by Mark Haddon. It aroused in me various sets of emotions regarding the characters of the book. Christopher initially reminded me of Sheldon Cooper of the Big Bang theory. He's smart, good at logic but finds difficulties in dealing with people and their method of communication.

Initially, the way Christopher describes his idiosyncrasies he makes it sound them cute. You can't help but feel for the kid. But as the story progresses you get to know how difficult would have been living him. It would be a mammoth task to take care of him and you tend to appreciate the father that does that. I admired him for the way he dealt with Christopher.


While reading i was thinking about how i would be able to deal with some one like Christopher if i ever come across him and i have to confess i would have no clue. I would have probably consider that person crazy or something like that. And i know a lot of people would behave that way. There's an incident in a book when a guy tries to help Christopher and gets attacked instead. The guy then just leaves him but that could have gone in other direction too. The guy may have attacked him back.
What i want to say is that this book has definitely changed my perspective. Now if i come across someone i would try to understand him/her.

Spoiler Alert: Don't read after this  paragraph if you haven't read the book

The other main character of the book is Christopher's mother. I didn't like her. She leaves him because she thinks it's best for them. She thinks Christopher and his dad are best for each other and she is just in the middle of things. And when she takes her sorry ass away, she then starts remembering him and then writing stupid letters to him. I don't advocate what Christopher's dad with the letters but i get it why he did that. Although in the end she does start living with him but i don't know for how long she could manage it.

I felt sad for Christopher's dad because he genuinely loved Christopher and wanted the best for him. I think he got the short end of the stick in the end.

The book started as the murder mystery but in the end left me with a sadness. I felt for Christopher and his dad. Now after having read the book few weeks back. I can try to understand the mother's perspective. I understand some people couldn't take such a big responsibility of taking care of Christopher and could have understood her decision to leave. But what i didn't understand was her need for sending the letters. For me either you are in or you are completely out. You just can shirk away from taking the responsibilities and then to assuage your guilt send dopey letters and think you have done your job. If you are feeling guilty then bear it or come back. As a reader i don't think Christopher's dad had wronged his mother anytime during the marriage. He hadn't done anything to deserve the end he got.

As far as the writing is considered it's beautiful. The way Christopher describes life, death etc. have the philosophical quality and his peculiarity in them. You read them and can appreciate them.

Some quotes from the book:

Prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away. I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.

Sometimes we get sad about things and we don't like to tell other people that we are sad about them. We like to keep it a secret. Or sometimes, we are sad but we really don't know why we are sad, so we say we aren't sad but we really are.

I like dogs. You always know what a dog is thinking. It has four moods. Happy, sad, cross and concentrating. Also, dogs are faithful and they do not tell lies because they cannot talk.

A lie is when you say something happened which didn't happen. But there is only ever one thing which happened at a particular time and a particular place. And there are an infinite number of things which didn't happen at that time and that place. And if I think about something which didn't happen I start thinking about all the other things which didn't happen.
.....
This is another reason why I don't like proper novels, because they are lies about things which didn't happen and they make me feel shaky and scared.

And then I thought that I had to be like Sherlock Holmes and I had to detach my mind at will to a remarkable degree so that I did not notice how much it was hurting inside my head.

There are lots of other  good chunks there but for that you'll have to read the book.

I was happy for Christopher at the end  but there was sadness too. I didn't want the relationship between him and father go the way it did. I hope it would have improved over time and become what it was before it soured.

I would definitely recommend reading this book.

If you have read this book then do tell me how you felt about it?

If you haven't and want to then you can get the book from the following link:
Amazon

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