Yep…you can tell straight off can’t you? It’s the universal sign of a good book! Tatted edges and bent corners! The sign that this book has been leafed through and re-read many a time and believe me! There’s a reason why which I will try to disclose during this post.
My rating- 9/10
Author – Mark Haddon
This is a vey personal and first hand account of a totally unique and endearing young boy named Christopher. Christopher who has Asperger’s Syndrome ,extraordinary boy who is enthralled right from the beginning (chapter 2) with the death of a neighbours dog.
We also get a first-hand account of his mind-set and thoughts regarding his everyday life when very scary things dawn on his horizon, as well as his specialised way of dealing with them. A tale of heartbreak, betrayal and of common misunderstandings going extreme when in relation to children with special needs.
Half-way through thoughts:
First of all, the first captivating thing that caught my attention was the style at which this book is written, from the Chapter numbers to the child’s viewpoint it seems to have its own personality and quirks creating a truly unique style. Continuously, as it from the point of view it seems to bypass the an author’s mouth piece which automatically causes the reader to search for one, thus engaging us.
Furthermore, as it is set in 3rd person and from the point of view of Christopher (a young boy) who is so methodical and patterned you would expect it to be hard to relate and empathise with this character, but perhaps because he is so contrasting to what we are used to makes us sympathise with him the most as we can understand him so clearly as we have this direct line to what he thinks and its so obvious as its said to us but concealed from other character. This style point particularly made me feel very privileged to be able to understand him so easily.
- Characters – Now this is interesting as of course Christopher himself is very endearing and interesting , but another character ‘Siobhan’ who perhaps is the lady we all aspire to be in the novel, I’ve actually had the pleasure of working with ,as the lady she is based on is a very much real person who looks over the teaching of special need children in England. And she’s just like how she is presented in the book: caring , intelligent and incredibly understanding and tuned in to every individual child; giving them stability. Every other character in the book though is credible as they all present a crucial part in Christopher’s life and how he is influenced in his development at such a young age.
- Illustrations – This is interesting as normally in books I would say these are a no as they shouldn’t be needed if the quality of writing is high enough, however here it really helps when relating and understanding how Christopher is a logical thinker who comes back to his roots of understanding and safety – truth.
- Pace – The pace I found was actually perfect. I thought that it was just the right balance of crafted detail in aspects that were deeply passionate and important to the character yet enough pace to be engaging to all audiences, with creating tension and mystery at parts.
- Tension – while trying to keep this post as spoiler free as possible… the tension built up at one particular part and really enticed me particularly because it really made me think how Christopher might react. Can’t really say much more but, its good trust me.
- Engage-ability – I know I’ve said it probably a hundred times already but this was genuinely on my mind all day and barely lasted two. So every free moment I had I would be reading this book as is struggled to put it down! so of course it was engaging and everything about it caused me to be curious (much as the title suggests) and intensified my humanistic craving of the events to come.
Could be improved X (I’m being very picky here)
- Small excess amounts of explanation – This was hard as they often didn’t link to the story but actually I think its realistic and makes you add to your knowledge of how Christopher’s brain works and how small things can really influence small children who are susceptible to influence but hat is and isn’t reliable.
So overall? I think this book is a universally highly skilled novel written with style, charisma and undoubted understanding for children with special needs. It’s endearing and also tragic in it’s realisation of how adults do sometimes fail there children even when they claim to have the best intentions, and how simply heartbreak and betrayal leads to drastic situations and even danger. A book everyone should read and hopefully I I will come back to many times in my life. Wonderfully easy to read.
Hope you enjoyed this guys and let me know what you think of this book as I’m sure many of you will have read it! See you soon,