Curiosity Killed the Cat
Diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, 15 year-old Christopher Boone is a walking tape recorder and mathematician doing Level A Maths (American equivalent of AP Calculus BC, the highest math course in high school). He hates loud noises, new places, strange people, being touched, and yellow and brown things. His whole life will soon change when he discovers his neighbor’s dead dog. Sometimes it’s better to know less and leave the rest to your imagination. Gathering clues from his neighbors, Chris learns a shocking family secret. In the beginning, Chris tells the audience his mom died two years ago from a heart attack. Near the end, we learn his father lied to him and his mom was very well alive and was having an affair with the neighbor. His father also admitted that it WAS him who killed Wellington the dog. If it were anyone else, they would be sad and angry their whole life has been a lie. But because of his disorder, Chris is unable to comprehend emotions easily as “normal” people. When his father told him the truth, the realisation that his father is dangerous made him anxious and confused, all the while trying to find the correct emotion. This one feeling, a feeling which had been sent into exile, filtered up through his consciousness, breaking free of all repression, gasping for air screaming, etching, and permanently carving itself into his mind. “Fear.” Fear can sometimes wear you out, make you threadbare, a shell of nerves leaving only the slightest trace of you behind. Chris had to get out of that house! His train adventure from Swindon to 451c Chapter Road, London NW2 5NG is quite incredible. Besides the excessive amount of the word “and,” this is my favorite book I’ve read so far. One book can have mainly mystery, another mainly romance, and yet another mainly adventure, but if you combine all three of these genres together in one book, they balance out and you’re left with a masterpiece. Mark Haddon has won the Whitbread Award, Guardian Prize, and a Commonwealth Writers Prize for this piece of writing alone. As a young man, Haddon was working with autistic children. Writing this book, Haddon had little to no knowledge about Asperger’s Disorder and Autism. He merely made Christopher from his imagination. He wanted the reader to believe Chris was a real person.* This is the first book I read by Mark Haddon, and I can proudly say he is one my favorite author, especially how Haddon incorporates the unique use of graphs, tables, equations, and numbering of the chapters by prime numbers. These tiny details reflect the reader back to Christopher, his admiration for math, and gives us a glimpse of the things going on in the mind of an autistic child. It is hard to imagine what it’s like to remember every single detail of your life. Sometimes, you just want to forget the bad ones. Haddon’s writing style in this book seems childish and when I read it, it sounds as if a robot is reading in my head. His sentences are short and blunt, almost as if it were a thought. There are a few excerpts that I would cut out because it is irrelevant to the story’s plot. Overall, this book is great and I highly recommend it, especially if you’re intrigued by numbers, mystery, and shocking plot twists. The story cuts off unexpectedly without explaining to the reader what happens to his family. There is no explanation why Mr.Shears left his Mom and if Christopher’s parents got back together or not. If you also like cliffhangers, this book is a must read!