Extremely interesting but a bit slowThe author, Mark Haddon, spins a brilliant tale from the perspective of an autistic boy. The book follows the cold rationale of a mind that is not capable of emotion, yet has the innocence of a child. Christopher, the protagonist and narrator, talks about the his daily routine and chance adventure in great detail and makes otherwise mundane situations seem eventful.
What I loved about the book was the authors ability to not only transport you into the boys surroundings, but also give you a spare set of blinkers so that you can empathize with boy's world-view. As I mentioned earlier, the book is brilliantly detailed and most readers will lap up the puzzles and diagrams that dot the pages.
I don't know how much the author intended it, but the book brings out some curious aspects of British society. I was intrigued by the integration of Indians, people and culture, portrayed in the book. We seem so conditioned about the fact that Indians are a separate commune everywhere that it did not occur to me, until I read the book, that, the Indian diaspora in Britain is trying to lead a normal life too. The tattered family fabric of modern nuclear families was the second striking aspect of this book. Whether the author was reporting these as a matter of fact, or making a statement (about both immigrants or troubled families) is something you will have to decide.
The story starts off well, however, the pace tapers off after the first fifty pages. The plot is good, however, it gets a bit predictable at places. If your in the mood for some fast paced action, your completely in the wrong direction. I had to overcome the tedium of some parts of the book by telling myself that this is an autistic kid speaking. It will be great for relaxed readers who like to soak in more than the obvious.I would recommend this book with qualification, more for the innovative writing style and unique plot than for overall experience.
“He was asking too many questions and he was asking them too quickly."