Rambling about books

Book review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon

Book cover from Goodreads

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.

Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, for fifteen-year-old Christopher everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning. He lives on patterns, rules, and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbor’s dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructive universe is threatened. Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favourite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes. What follows makes for a novel that is funny, poignant and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally. (Goodreads)

I was considering to yet again to postpone about doing the book rambling until tomorrow, but I thought I might have thought the same again, might as well just get it done tonight before bed (and before tomorrow’s work get a hold of my precious time). First things first, I read this book the first time back when I was in high school (I think) or was it in my first year in Uni? Not sure, but it’s safe to say that it was about 10 years or so when I first read it, might I add I read the book in Indonesian. I have loved the book, it was such an amazing read for me. Everything seems like a new experience to me, at that point I have never read any book such as this, so I thought reading it again after quite some time has passed would be a great experiment (not to mention that I will be reading it in its original language, EXCITING!).

Here goes. This was definitely an educational kind of book, in every way; it is also emotional and entertaining. Educational because there were several trivia (although at this point, none of those are new to me), and it is also educational to delve into the mind of Christopher, trying to understand life from his literal point of view. It can be hard at times to make sense of how Christopher see things, but that is exactly what made this book educating, it gives you the perspective in understanding children like Christopher.

But, it was emotional af too. There were times where I just lost it at Christopher’s attitude and his way of thinking, but it was not his fault, it’s just the way it is. Above all, my emotions were stirred up to its breaking point when I read the letters from Christopher’s Mum. Something must have went past over my head when I read the book the first time, all I can remember was Christopher’s amazing adventure in finding out who killed Wellington, and yet it never occurred to me that there was that plot twist regarding his Mum. When I read it again, it all came like a rush of blood to the head and I was instantly angry and turned into this judgmental horrible human being. What kind of a mother would do something like that? What? Whaaaattt?

As emotional as I was over that plot, something occur to me. I think it’s always good to go back and read your favourite book after a period of time had passed; see if in any way your view on the stories, the characters, and/or the plots had changed depending on your age and your outlook in life. When I was younger than I am today, reading this book was about Christopher’s adventure and about finding out who had killed the dog. Now, that I am older (none the wiser, though), my sole focus had been more on the dynamic of Christopher’s family, his parents’ relationship following on the birth of Christopher, the challenge of raising Christopher and how it had affect their relationship and eventually the course of their life and the choices that they made.

I still like the book and I still find it entertaining, but having been so hung up on the choice that Christopher’s Mum made, and how it had affect the course of other people’s life, I can’t see past beyond that particular part of the story. I am so full of anger about that. I’m not pointing fingers, but what had been a selfish act for my 28 yo, was considered as a mere condiment to the story to me 10 years ago. I was more fascinated at my change of view in the story, at the characters and how it eventually shape myself when I had finish the book.

Bottom line is, this was an entertaining book and I suggest you to read it. Having said that, due give yourself a moment to go back and read some of your favourite books from 10 years ago and see how far it had changed you. I think it’s going to be interesting. At least, I had found this experience to be interesting and eye-opening. Maybe I didn’t help much with the reviews but I guess you’ll have to make do with what I have here. Ciao!

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️☆☆

Title: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Author: Mark Haddon

Genre: Fiction

Goodreads link

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