Christopher Boone lives with his father in a village. His mother died when he was younger from a heart-attack and the dad was left alone with the challenge of upbringing an autistic child who does not respond like a normal child would. The father has limited money and mental stimulants for the child and does his best to hold back his frustration. However, the reader soon learns that Chris has not been told the complete truth and perhaps that the people he loves have a hidden past. He then begins to understand what has happened and Mark Haddon portrays the challenges he is faced with without the constant safeguarding he needs to feel secure. My Thoughts:
I understand that this book is renowned and took the book sales by storm; managing to pick up “Best novel” and “Book of the Year” at the Whitbread book awards in 2003, but I do not find it at all appealing. I find myself unable to sympathise with Chris despite Haddon’s brilliant depiction of the mind of a child with autism, as Haddon does writes convincingly through the eyes of an autistic child.
I do not think that this is a book that revolves around Asbergers; but instead about being different in general and Haddon is trying to make us see the world through a different lens. He just uses Asbergers as a means of conveying this. Furthermore, as Chris is very rational yet unemotional, there is no depth of character in the novel as Chris is only able to see the world through one plane and cannot build up good character depth, which most popular books have, eg.
– “Harry Potter” and “The Lord of the Rings”. This direct approach also means that there is no humour apart from the main reoccurring joke of how Chris responds to things which lands im in all sorts of faux pas, (and the novelty of this soon wears off). However, this does not mean to say that I do not understand why it is so popular; it just isn’t something that really enraptured me, and to be honest, it seemed like a waste for a storyline that had the potential to be so rich in dramatic emphasis to be written in such a simplistic style. I have given it two stars but the average for this book is a four/five. Recommendations:
If you liked this book I would strongly recommend these as they are both written in a diary style and are about people who do not necessarily fit the norm. The Diary of Adrian Mole (4/5)