Written by Mark Haddon
Book #1 of 2012
Publisher: Vintage Books
First Edition: 2003
My Edition: e-book
Original Language: English
This was an interesting read. It was pretty difficult to get through – not just because it was the second time I read it, but also because of the way it was written. I read it this time around because it was recommended to me by about four people. And it was my book club’s choice this month and I needed to be all caught up for discussion. And I was on vacation and it’s e-book format was really convenient for the plane.
Let me tell you a little something about the book… It’s about an autistic boy who finds his neighbor’s dog murdered, and who decides to investigate the murder. The investigation leads to some discoveries about his family and causes him to brave some situations that previously terrified him. Being as this was from the point of view of an autistic child, it was very difficult to read. [*Take note that the author states he is NOT an expert on autism, or the form of autism known as Asperger syndrome. The boy in the book, and the way he thinks, are both completely fictitious. Apparently some people got it in their heads that the author of a work of FICTION would be an expert on their childrens’ medical issues. **DO NOT contact Mark Haddon about your child with autism.]
A couple of quotes…
“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.” (Location 168)
“I think people believe in heaven because they don’t like the idea of dying, because they want to carry on living and they don’t like the idea that other people will move into their house and put their things into the rubbish.” (Location 459)
This book was extremely unique. Not only was it’s writing style pretty quirky, but it was also pretty unique because it used math as a way for the narrator to relate to the reader. It was how he explained himself. He made equations to demonstrate his fear, and he explained the answer to a math problem in depth in the appendix of the book simply because he thought it was intriguing.
“Prove the following result:
“A triangle with sides that can be written in the form
n^2 +1, n^2 -1 and 2n (where n>1) is right-angled.
“Show, by means of a counterexample, that the converse is false.”
And then he proceeds to answer the question quite thoroughly. [The author did not come up with the question/answer on his own, he used it with permissions from Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations.] The book had quite a few choice words that I could have done without, but all in all I think it was pretty great.
I don’t think I’ll ever read this one again. That being said, I’m glad I have. It has made me a slightly more well-rounded person than I was before. Maybe even more so for having read it twice. :)
Happy reading, friends.