Written by Mark Haddon, this novel is from the perspective of a special needs teenage boy in England and follows his investigation into who killed the neighbors dog, and the results of that investigation.
I actually only read this book because it is the chosen book for a new book club I joined. This novel is from 2003, and I vaguely remember it being an assigned book for one group in an English class where we had to separate into groups and read different books in high school.
So, I basically had no idea what I was getting into when I opened this book.
And I really enjoyed this book. This is a fantastic novel. I have no idea if the impressions and view portrayed in this novel are accurate, but it made me really think about what life is like from someone else’s perspective.
Yes, yes, I read books from other perspectives all the time. But I rarely read a novel that isn’t based on certain assumptions and acceptances about how people behave.
Let’s be real, most people who don’t interact with individuals considered to be special needs don’t think too much about how they view the world. Or, really, about them at all unless they see them out and about, and then its just about being nice to them so they don’t over react or avoiding them. It isn’t something that we get educated on – how they see the world and how best to interact with them.
This novel gave me perspective on, maybe just a little, how they think. Haddon accomplished this through his prose – which would normally be considered broken – the pacing of the novel, and the images dispersed within it. I greatly enjoyed that Christopher, the main character, is obsessed (and good at) math. I found myself thinking about life and math problems in a different way.
Why do we care what someone who isn’t here would think?
Why are our instructions not more precise?
How does lying not cause us all to break with all the different ways we could lie?
I really, highly recommend this as a must read book for everyone. Not because it is the best story of all time, but it could get you to look at the world a little differently. Maybe you will understand some things that you didn’t before.
ONE WARNING: This novel could ruin Sherlock Holmes: the Hound of the Baskervilles, and a few other things for you.
Source for cover photo: Amazon.com