Monday, October 24, 2011
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Name of the Author: Mark Haddon
1st Published: 2003
Genre: Mystery Novel/Literary Fiction
Christopher Boone suffers from a form of autism. He knows a lot about math, but little about emotions. And he’s never been beyond the end of the road on his own. When a neighbor’s dog is killed, he sets out to solve the mystery, and stumbles across a secret that turns his world upside-down.
I find people confusing. This is for two main reasons. The first main reason is that people do a lot of talking without using any words. Siobhan says that if you close your mouth and breathe out loudly through your nose it can mean that you are relaxed, or that you are bored, or that you are angry, and it all depends on how much air comes out of your nose and how fast and what shape your mouth is when you do it and how you are sitting and what you said just before and hundreds of other things which are too complicated to work out in a few seconds.
The second main reason is that people often talk in metaphors. These are examples of metaphors:
I laughed my socks off.
He was the apple of her eye.
They had a skeleton in their cupboard.
We had a real pig of a day.
The dog was stone dead.
I think it should be called a lie [and not a metaphor] because a pig is not like a day and people do not have skeletons in their cupboards. And when I try to make a picture of the phrase in my head it just confuses me because imagining an apple in someone’s eye doesn’t have anything to do with liking someone a lot and it makes you forget what the person was talking about.
Never thought I would see EYE TO EYE with someone who loves math so much; which shows that sometimes we really do have to EAT OUR WORDS. Here’s a book that will make you smile at the way people complicate their lives unnecessarily; that will bring to your notice the things which we take for granted or get used to, but which really do seem silly when you think of them the way our protagonist does. He is someone exceptional, someone the likes of whom you might never meet in real life- which makes this book all the more special.
Adorable and intriguing, Christopher Boone will not fail to win your admiration. This prize winning best seller is a simple story of a teenager suffering from autism who gets down to solving a “murder mystery” like his hero, Sherlock Holmes. And in the simplicity of this story lies the sheer brilliance of the author.
What makes it remarkable is the author’s decision not to glorify the relationships between the characters in the novel; which are portrayed through the eyes of a boy who can only judge people on the basis of their actions, and not their intentions- a boy who does not realize that there can also be grey shades to the people he encounters. One grows to scrutinize the characters on the basis of one’s own discretion- with no preconceived notions whatsoever.
As Christopher goes ahead with his innocent attempt to ‘investigate’ the killing of a dog named Wellington, he discovers a secret which changes, for ever, his life and his perception of the world around him. Through the course of the novel, as one reads between the lines, the value of trust and faith comes to light-as does the fact that forgiveness really is difficult to earn.
The most beautiful aspect of the tale is, perhaps, the relationship between father and son. You may tend to like or dislike other characters; you might ponder over their complex relationships with each other- but you will truly marvel at the bond between Ed and Christopher. Want to know what true love is? They will show you.
It’s amazing…how Christopher, without realizing it, shows us that in some cases one does not need elaborate words or even a loving touch to prove one’s love for another. While this boy will cease to be just some character in a novel, this story will move you in more ways than one- despite being nothing more than a chronicle of events recorded by a boy who thinks with his head, and not with his heart.
Rating: 4 on 5
Price: Rs.269/- (Flipkart)
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