Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Quick Thoughts: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon // Me and Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter

 
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
I read this book while I was absent from work, because I was sick. Apart from the fact that it had been featured on some reading list I found while trolling through the Internet, I knew absolutely nothing about it.

Being sick and all, I didn’t want to think too hard, and I just wanted something that would cheer me up. The back blurbs all said that the book was hilarious, and I, stupid I, believed them.

I should’ve known better than to believe blurbs. Back or front, it doesn’t matter.

You want to know why?

This book made me bawl like Bella Swan after Edward disappears in New Moon. And I was sick. Imagine how pretty that looks. It just knows the most vulnerable spot in your heart, and tugs at it. Hard.

There is one back blurb that I do agree with, though. a back blurb by a certain Ian McEwan says that the book is a study in empathy, and I completely agree with that. The protagonist of the book is an autistic boy named Christopher who is a genius at numbers, but is clueless when it comes to human emotions. You have to spell out for him that you’re angry and why. He has no concept of empathy at all, and, sometimes, even has difficulty sorting out his own feelings (but, hey, we all do).

Mark Haddon, the author, just fully steps into Christopher’s shoes, and walks around in it. He completely empathizes with not being able to empathize, if that makes any sense.


Me and Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter
Why I hated this book:
  1. It has such a brilliant premise that ultimately ends up in flames.
  2. The main character is supposed to be American, but she sounds British. When she says that she doesn’t understand what ‘snogging’ or ‘loo’ means, I kind of just want to smack her. Woman, have you never seen a single Harry Potter movie?!?!?!
  3. The protagonist is supposed to be an intelligent well-read character, but, again, she has no idea what ‘loo’ means. I CANNOT GET OVER THIS. I am from the freaking tropics, and I know what a loo is.
Why I liked this book:
  1. Reminded me how great the original Pride and Prejudice is, and made me pick up the aforementioned novel as soon as possible.

9 comments:

Reading Rambo said...

"This book made me bawl like Bella Swan after Edward disappears in New Moon."

Nice analogy, man. By which I mean terrifying, but still.

I heard it was funny too...hm. Boo to misleadingness. But did you LIKE it?

Zibilee said...

I loved the book, and read it several years ago. It was just heartbreaking at times, but so clever and really well written. Now that I've read your review, I think I need to read it again.

Laura said...

I can't believe all the blurbs saying The Curious Incident... was hilarious! I'd have to say that they're the ones lacking in empathy. Love love love that book though, and I really have to read it again.

Audra said...

I've sort of been curious about The Curious Incident... but after reading An Invisible Sign of My Own, I was sort of over emotionally weird match genius thing. Someday I want to give this a try, especially since everyone says it's so amazing!

Andi said...

Dog in the Night Time was a book I taught in graduate school to a bunch of Education majors/English majors in an Adolescent Lit class. I enjoyed it well enough from an academic standpoint, but I wasn't such a fan of it from a purely readerly perspective. Haddon did a good job, but he didn't make me cry.

Glad it worked so well for you, though crying while sick is not a winner. :)

Eclectic Indulgence said...

I didn't hate The Curious Incident... but I think Haddon over simplified. It was enjoyable, but it's definitely one of those books that fades with time. The concept was good, though.

My review:
http://eclectic-indulgence.blogspot.com/2008/08/curious-incident-of-dog-in-night-time.html

amanda @ simplerpastimes said...

I haven't read either one of these, but I believe you've stumbled on the reason I usually avoid Austen spin-offs. Too often, they seem to only serve as reminders that I'd really rather just reread the original!

Trisha said...

I loved Curious Incident so much! Glad to hear you liked it too.

johnlevimasuli said...

The book was heartbreaking, but it was scary. The ending monologue (with all the innuendos of violence and stuff)left me somewhat afraid of Christopher. Creepy stuff.

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