Sunday, July 1, 2012

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

Rating (Out of 5): ~2.5
Publisher: Random House (Vintage Books)
Spoilers?: No. (Or, very minor.)

Goodreads Synopsis:

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.
This improbable story of Christopher's quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years.


I found this at a local used bookstore, and thought that it sounded interesting. It sounded like something I would like, and after some debating (and a few trips), I got it, although I figured it would take me a while to finish it. Just because it’s not a quick, easy read that would capture my attention like some others. I took it with me to Japan, and it was the first book I finished. And I was expecting to like it more than I did. Which is a bit disappointing, honestly.
The book is about a boy who has a hard time dealing with people and understanding them. I want to say he’s autistic, but I’m not sure if that’s the correct term, the right… disorder or whatever. And I don’t want to be insensitive, or anything of the like, about it. Aside from that, some stuff happens with his parents and neighbors, which he wasn’t expecting, and didn’t react very well to. I’m not going to spoil anything beyond that, though.
At first I enjoyed the book. It was interesting and I liked the boy, found how he handled the world, or tried to handle it, really interesting, and I liked it. But then it got closer to the end of the book, and I wasn’t enjoying him so much anymore. He started showing that, whatever it was that he had, autism or not, he had a more severe case than I’d thought. (And I am going to assume that he has a more severe case, instead of my first take on it, that it was badly written and exaggerated, because I don’t know anyone with a severe case in which they can’t interact socially very well at all, but have only heard about it. And it might very well be like this.) I didn’t like his choices and how he reacted to things with his father and mother, and I was upset about them. But I am going to accept that he reacted that way because of how he is, how his brain works differently than most. I don’t like it, but I’m going to accept it and move on.
I did like how it was written. I see why it might bother someone, with so much repetitive starting and and’s, but I enjoyed it, and thought that it made sense, what with being in the main characters head. It added to the voice, which I did like. And while I didn’t like the character after a while, I did enjoy some of his smaller, clever little characteristics throughout the book, and the drawings in the book.
I don’t really have much else to talk about, I don’t think. That was the biggest thing that I had a reaction to. The ending brought my rating way down, and I am a bit upset about it still. Ah well.

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