“I like timetables because they make sure you don’t get lost in time.”
Christopher Boone is 15. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns and the truth. He hates the colours yellow and brown. He has never gone further than the end of the road on his own, until the ‘murder’ of his neighbour’s dog, which sets him on a journey which will turn his world upside down.
This is an extremely well written book: Mark Haddon mastered the use of language, grammar, sentence structure, etc. to portray his character’s personality. The protagonist, Christopher, is a very interesting character, especially with his Asperger’s Syndrome, and Haddon’s characterisation captures Christopher’s personality very effectively.
His character and the writing reminded me of ‘Don’ from The Rosie Project (which I reviewed here). However, I found Haddon’s characterisation even better, as not only was he able to portray Christopher’s unusual mind, and how it works, in both a funny and emotional way, but he also captured the innocence and naivety of the character too – and all still in an original way.
What I especially liked about this book was the use of the first person to present the story to the reader. Haddon presents it to the reader as though it is the book Christopher has written (as part of his education curriculum). It’s clever as it allows the reader to further understand Christopher’s character, as well as maintaining the suspense of the plot – which although doesn’t seem like a riveting storyline in concept, it becomes surprisingly engaging. (Even though I already knew it, having already seen the play.)
There is very little to fault with this book: the writing is superb, the characters are engaging and the illustrations in the book are very well used – I loved them! A highly recommended book!
On another note, the theatre production is also just as phenomenal! Produced by the National Theatre, I saw the play early this year in the West End in connection with my school drama course. I loved every minute of the play, and there were some moments that truly had me on the edge of my seat with suspense (and I promise I’m not exaggerating!)
The set they use is simple to look at, but surprising complex, and beautifully incorporated into the story. (Though I would suggest getting seats closer to the front if you get them in the stalls, so you can see the top of the backdrop.) The performances by all the actors are phenomenal, particularly the actor of Christopher, and the physical theatre elements were breathtaking. I loved how well they were used to emphasise and create scenes for the audience, employing very few props, other than blocks and their own bodies.
Another highly recommended production, worthy of the praise and the many awards (5 Olivier Awards in 2015) it has received since its opening in 2012. Love love love it!