One night, he observes that the neighbor's dog has been killed, since it is not moving and has a large garden fork stuck in its body. Christopher knows this is wrong. He has never left his street on his own before, but now he'll have to in order to find out who killed the dog. What he discovers will shake the very foundation of his perfectly ordered life.
Critically acclaimed author Mark Haddon, a two-time BAFTA winner, crafts a stunning masterpiece that is funny, honest, and incredibly moving.
©2003 Mark Haddon; (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC
"The novel brims with touching, ironic humor. The result is an eye-opening work in a unique and compelling literary voice." (Publishers Weekly)
"Fresh and inventive." (Booklist)
"Smart, honest and wrenching....Will quickly hook you in." (San Francisco Chronicle)
"Gloriously eccentric and wonderfully intelligent." (The Boston Globe)
I'm at hour 5 1/2 in this 6 hour long book and find that I have to agree with many of the reviewers - this book starts very interestingly, but then bogs down in repetitive, tedious detail. A book half this length could have made the point that this author seems to be making. I think the best thing he did was create a very unusual story and unique character; my only complaint was the length of time the story droned on. It definitely would make a better read, so that you could skim the middle section.
I listen to alot of audiobooks while running and although this book started out well, I was not able to bring myself to finish the book. I agree with other reviewers that this is NOT a book for children! The narrator had a British accent which added value to the telling of the story, and initially, insight into the autistic mind was quite interesting. But in the end, all of these plusses were not enough to save the book.
The opening of this book notes that the author has written over ten books for children. Maybe I misunderstood this but it didn't make clear that this is NOT a book for children to hear. The "F" word (and other swear words) is repeated again and again - and unnecessarily I think. What kind of conscientious parents use this language in front of their kids? The fowl language significantly took away from the book for me.
I also found the book to move a bit slow. The innerworkings of the young lad's thoughts was interesting and made me and more understanding of people with this syndrome but the description of the repetitiveness of his thoughts and actions was a bit much for me (even though this is what helps him cope).
I certainly have a much much greater appreciation for the parents of these children. However, I wouldn't recommend it solely on the story or narration.
This book gives a truly unique perspective into a very interesting mental "condition" that can be difficult to understand. It is a welcome change to read a book with such a totally novel narrator.
I think the author tried to appeal to too wide of an audience and failed to appeal to anyone.
The book is told in the first person, narrated by the protagonist who is a developmentally challenged British 15 year old. It is well written and totally believable (I wonder if Mark Haddon really is a 15 year old autistic?). There is the requisite learning hidden in the pages appropriate for a children's book (this is listed under audible kids). Things like what is a simile and what is a metaphor, a prime number, explained very simply. I also think it could help the average child understand developmentally challenged children and lead to more tolerance as opposed to thinking they're just "weird". I congratulate the author for that.
All the little lessons and tangents the narrator gets on are just too simplistic to capture the attention of an adult.
The problem is that the book deals with some adult themes, a dog killed with a pitchfork over resentment about a failed romance; parents having extra marital affairs and lying to their children (about important things) sprinkle on a little unecessary "F" word here and there (and once the one that rhymes with bundt) and its no longer a children's book.
Unfortunately it is a cross between a third grade class and a late night cable drama, as told by an autistic kid who can't focus for 10 minutes at a time, lasting six and a half hours.
Its so believable that the book actually is written by an autistic 15 year old I almost feel guilty for bashing it. If Mark Haddon was a retarded kid, this would be quite an achievement. That doesn't make it a great novel. For me the book just doesn't seem right for any age group.
An Audible Kids Book? Are you kidding?
This book, while interesting, is for adults; children should not be exposed to the graphic language and concepts it contains.
It might possibly be insightful into the thinking of a person with Asperger's Syndrome, but don't be mislead into believing it's about an autistic child; there are more differences than similarities between these two conditions.
While it includes many of the characteristics of a good novel, the author's liberal use of four-letter words and other common street jargon is neither applaudable nor appreciated.
Spend less time shoving his atheist agenda, using those poor Dawkins arguments. Half an eye is better than a whole eye indeed.
Narration was fine
Avid Audible Listener
I listened to this book because I recently found out my 19 year old son has Asperger's and I wanted to find out more about it. There was absolutely no reference to this in the book. The word is never mentioned, nor is it mentioned why this boy is going to a "special school". I did not like that at all because it leads the listener to believe that the boy is retarded. Asperger's is NOT retardation. Before you listen to this book, it is helpful to have researched Asperger's and Autism, or you just won't get it.
The perspective of this book is fascinating. Its told from the point of view of an autistic teenage boy. The author does a great job of this. What I didn't like about this book is that its supposed to be a kids book. The author uses the "F" word more times than the average adult book. This really takes away from the book. Also the child's mom is a very difficult character to like. Its like she doesn't even try to work with her son. I know its difficult, but she didn't even try. So for me that character also took away from the book.
NOT FOR KIDS - young adult - maybe but even that is stretching it. I could do without all the f-words. But language aside, I really enjoyed the book, the characters and the story. Gives the rest of us a good look into the logical mind of Asperger's kids. The logic makes sense too...I also liked the dynamics with the parents, neighbors, teachers and strangers with Christopher. I like most books, so maybe I am a generous reviewer - 4 stars - not five because of the language.
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