Mark Haddon’s debut novel is a very strange book. The title alone is enough to make you wonder about the book, but it turned out to be a very intriguing read as well.
Stand Alone book
The main character of this book is Christopher Boone. It’s never specified exactly what his condition is, but I would venture a guess that he is Autistic, maybe leaning closer to Asperger Syndrome. Either way, he has a very unique way of looking at the world, and it shows up in this book from the first pages. The chapters in this book are not numbered in normal numbers, but rather ascending prime numbers. Chris was very consistent in his thinking throughout the book, and the narration was very interesting to read, in large part because it was so unique compared to other books.
The book is set primarily in Swindon England, but includes other sections from other areas of England as well.
The book starts out very simply, Chris is wandering around the neighborhood at night because he can’t sleep. He finds that Wellington, the neighbor’s dog from across the street, has been killed. From here Chris starts to explore what happened to Wellington and begins to learn quite a bit about both Wellington and his family’s past as well.
Having recently read Room by Emma Donoghue, the style of this book is very reminiscent of Room. Chris was an interestingly written character who was very intelligent but had very poor social skills. The book was a very quick read (I started it this morning and finished it this afternoon) and it was a fun book to read as well. In between the narrative there are short interludes with Chris explaining various aspects of his personality, such as why he doesn’t like the colors yellow or brown and why seeing 4 red cars in a row made it a Good Day, or why prime numbers are fascinating.
This was a fun book to read, it was stylistically very well written and Chris was an interesting character to read about.