Tuesday, October 5, 2010

sixty-seven

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

This is easily one of the better books I've read all year. "the curious incident of the dog in the night-time" is funny, intelligent, and gripping. Somehow Christopher, the autistic narrator who hates metaphors, can make you feel the emotions of the serious things happening to him despite not being able to feel them himself.

His father ended up becoming the main character in the emotional realm to me. Because Chris doesn't like to be touched, his father, despite losing his wife, is only able to express his love and devotion to his son by holding up his hand and spreading his fingers, and then joining their fingertips. Anything else will set Chris off, and though it seems like a consolation Christopher makes to the odd emotional needs of the people he's forced to share a planet with, his boiler-repairman father clings to the gesture like a life preserver.

I loved the diagrams, pictures, and sketches he includes in the book to better communicate imagery. Christopher doesn't like metaphors, though he'll try out similes.

I love how he has to wrap his head around one of his father's friends' odd habit of socializing with his father:

"When I got home Rhodri was there. Rhodri is the man who works for father, helping him to do heating maintenance and boiler repair. And he sometimes comes round to the house in the evening to drink beer with Father and watch the television and have a conversation."

If you don't like this paragraph, you probably won't like the book:

"Eventually scientists will discover something that explains ghosts, just like they discovered electricity, which explained lightning, and it might be something about people's brains, or something about the Earth's magnetic field, or it might be some new force altogether. And then ghosts won't be mysteries. They will be like electricity and rainbows and nonstick frying pans."

Seems like everyone I know has read this, but if you haven't, it's a quick read and I predict you'll enjoy it.

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