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)
A sometimes humorous, sometimes heart wrenching view of Asperger's/Autism Spectrum Disorders.
I think the heart of this book is more about Christopher's narration than the story itself. He tells his story in a very honest and endearing fashion.
The narrator's voice/accent is a bit odd at first, but easy to get used to. The quirkiness of his voice suits the character of Christopher very well.
People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
Second tier. Not among the very best (which among novels I've listened to would be Ready Players One, Juliet Naked, The Financial Lives of the Poets, and any Jonathan Tropper books), but next level. B+ rather than A. Why? Well, the beauty of this work is that it presents the unique point of view of an autistic (probably Asperger's) teen, and it does so in a charming manner when it could very easily become annoying. However, during the section where Christopher travels to London, things do get drawn out past the point of charm and slightly into the realm of annoying. Or to put in another way, for a relatively short book (220 pages, 6 hours), almost everything of importance is revealed by the midway point, so the long train adventure starts to seem like padding. But only to the point of bringing the grade down from A to B+ (especially since that train ride has got to be the most detailed literary exposition of what it feels like to have Asperger's ever published). Otherwise, the charm and wonderment of seeing the world from such a radically different perspective wins out.
Obviously, The Catcher in the Rye, being the point of view of a troubled teenage boy as he tries to figure out what's what and takes an unplanned and unsanctioned road trip to locate the people who can help him in his quest. But I'd like to point to a more recent novel that is virtually unknown (certainly far lesser known than Catcher) -- King Dork by Frank Portman, which positions itself so much as the anti-Catcher in the Rye that its cover is a parody of Catcher's famous red paperback cover. Also a humorous tale about a troubled teen trying to figure out what's what with his life, King Dork has the added element (if you like this sort of thing) of having Rock n' Roll be the fulcrum on which the narrator works out his teen angst (if I may use a metaphor like fulcrum despite Christopher's distaste for metaphors).
What's not to like? He perfectly evokes the unique point of view of an Aspergers child being assaulted with more stimulus than he can process, as well as the coping mechanisms he has developed, without ever losing his whimsical and charming tone. I cannot imagine that the author is the slightest bit displeased with how the reader has portrayed his narrator.
or, How I Met My Mother
I have a hard copy of the book because my eighth grade daughter had to read it for school. She warned me that the book has illustrations as part of the main text. The audiobook obviously can't incorporate them, so I recommend having a hard copy present to leaf through to see them. It's not essential -- the book works perfectly well without them. But it's a nice bonus. Also, as I look over the hard copy, I don't see any YA markings on it -- though the author is described as, among other things, a writer of children's books. But it certainly reads like YA -- other than the explicit language some of the adults use that would preclude it from being YA (although my daughter was assigned it by her school). I love reading YA as an adult, so that's not intended a knock on the book at all. What I want to point out in this respect is how well the author, if indeed he intended the book for the youth market, works math and literature and vocabulary and science into the story, hopefully piquing the interest of young readers (although my own daughter resented the presence of all the math).
Found this randomly. Looked kind of interesting. Turned out to be great. I was surprised at how this book got me to change my listening habbits. It was very unique, turly a great story.
Easily entertained and amused.
I loved everything about this book! I listened from start to finish, the entire 6 hours, uninterrupted.
I know people with Autism and Asperger's Syndrome. The character of Christopher was so much like them that I felt I was actually able to peek in their minds and now everything about them makes sense to me.
Say something about yourself!
It was the amazing way the author helped me to understand how difficult life can be with for a teenager with aspergers.
The reading of the story was wonderful. Woodman used just enough emotion to keep the listener engaged, but he also was pretty true to how a person with asperger syndrome actually sounds. It made me relate so much ore to the character than I would if I was reading it in "my own voice". Amazing performance by Woodman!
No question about it... It was the 2nd train station.
Just a great book. I only bought it because it was on sale for something like $3, so I figured I'd buy it "just in case" I needed something to listen to. It turned out to be one of the best books I've found on Audible!
The idea of writing this mystery story from the point of view of an obviously autistic child is very intriguing. However, as an educator who works with children of all learning levels I find much of this stereotypical. Also, the plot leaves some to be desired, especially the somewhat rushed ending.
The story is fast pacing and from a kids view point of his world. Of course he is autistic and tries to solve his situation. It was a bad move of the father when he told his mother died of a heart attack. It was far from the truth and upsets his home and faith in his father.
No, it's not one I would listen to again as it was sad.
Christopher. His perspective on the world is what made the book interesting.
The story showcases the world as seen by Christopher. It's a unique perspective of the world from a unique mind that reminds us we should put ourselves in others shoes before assuming we understand their actions.
World's oldest living Jesus Freak
experiencing another's difference
Hearing Christopher describe how he perceives reality, how he experiences other people, and how he thought through the process of embarking on a journey unlike anything he had imagined before.
Having listened to it and NOT read it, I can't imagine that reading it would have been as impactful. Woodman's use of voice for Christopher and for each other person in the story was amazing. I truly believed I was hearing this 15 year old "special" young man share with me what was going on in his head and in his life.
Little bit crazy but prefer the term eccentric. I am a recluse by nature so I live for my books and the friends I find within their pages.
Ever read a book and at the end don't know whether you enjoyed it or not. This book hooked me from the very start and while it was definitely different and I thoroughly enjoyed the change. Not for everyone, I would listen to the sample and read other reviews as I like strange and different. It also helped me understand the world of Asperger's affected people which is a real bonus.
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