Books I Loathed discussion

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Loathed Titles > "Curious Incident ..."

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message 1: by John (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:03PM) (new)

John | 8 comments Most folks absolutely loved "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" ... well ... not me! The kid was clearly dangerous, and I could NOT buy his not being locked up after jumping into the subway/underground tracks, and then pulling a knife on the platform thereafter. HEL-LO???


message 2: by Jonathan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:04PM) (new)

Jonathan | 2 comments I did like it much either, but I admire the author's idea. It was very hyped which always puts me off a book :)


message 3: by Diane (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:04PM) (new)

Diane  (dianedj) I agree with the both of you. Like Jonathan said, after all the hype, I was very disappointed and just didn't get what all the hype was about at all.


message 4: by Clare (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:18PM) (new)

Clare | 53 comments I absolutely loved this book! It gave me a real idea of how someone with autism perceives the world. It was a little graphic (the stabbing of the dog stuck in my mind for a long time) but I am very glad I read this book.


message 5: by Hardcover (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:24PM) (new)

Hardcover Hearts (hardcoverhearts) | 3 comments I also loved this book. I felt that the boy was an original voice and his perspective was a unique one in popular fiction. I felt for the family as they tried to do the best with him and his future. I felt like I had a tiny glimpse into the emotional landscape that a young autistic person may live in. I have not heard anything from the autistic community that says that this book was inauthentic, but I would be interested in hearing their take on it.


message 6: by Jackie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:25PM) (new)

Jackie | 27 comments I thoroughly appreciated this book--didn't know it was really hyped. I just stumbled on it at the library--however, I do understand how something can be overhyped and subsequently you have a resistance to jumping on some sort of bandwagon. However, I too am very curious (haha) to hear from someone who is truly autistic to know if this portrayal is in any way accurate.

The ending was somewhat depressing--but in that way, realistic, to a degree.


message 7: by aimee (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:25PM) (new)

aimee (pinapl) | 1 comments I bought this book at the airport because I thought it would be interesting. I liked the idea of solving the mystery of a dog's murder. Instead it turned into a depressing book about a screwed up family.


message 8: by Kate (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:25PM) (new)

Kate (katiebobus) | 136 comments Mod
That's funny; there is already a thread on Curious Incident. If you're curious, scroll back in the threads.


message 9: by Linda B (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:39PM) (new)

Linda B | 4 comments I listened to the CDs and did not read a flap thus did not know the kid was mentally challenged. Was an interesting book and interesting insight into his little mind...


message 10: by [deleted user] (last edited Dec 29, 2007 08:41PM) (new)

Instead it turned into a depressing book about a screwed up family.

That being part of what I liked about it. I thought it would be fun to read along with Motherless Brooklyn and Send in the Idiots. While I thought it dragged at points, the characterization seemed consistent and the voice was interesting, as well as the idea of revealing the larger crime through the narration of a person whose mental challenges were part of the plot and where the reader might have a different unbderstanding of what was happening than that narrator (similar to the Chief's narration of One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest).



message 11: by Stewart (new)

Stewart (booklit) | 7 comments Absolute rubbish, as I recall it. The thing I remember around the time it came out was that people were praising how Mark Haddon had done remarkably well to achieve the voice of a child with Asperger, as if they knew what the internal voice of such a person was. And so the praise went anyway, until the release of his first adult novel, A Spot Of Bother, where it became obvious that he wasn't simplifying his style to achieve a literary voice, but that it was the best he can do.


message 12: by Paula (new)

Paula (paula05) | 2 comments I don't really understand the hoopla for this book either. I didn't really care for it. It actually bored me. And I don't know nor understand the connection for people and this autism, because unless I missed something Mark Haddon doesn't have autism. I don't think anyone can completely get into the mind of someone with autism and how that person is going to act. This is why, while reading it, I didn't really take it from the standpoint of autism...but read it for what it was and in my opinion, it wasn't much...


message 13: by Kate (new)

Kate (katiebobus) | 136 comments Mod
I think there's something to be said for spectulative fiction such as this. Can only women write from a woman's perspective, and men from men's? Are living writers allowed to set their characters in the 18th century? Is Paul Auster a jerk for writing from the point of view of a person with Tourette's? Like Sarah, I have not heard objections from anyone with Asberger's who has read the book, and in fact at least one reviewer on Amazon.com was excited to find autism expressed the way that she experiences it herself.


message 14: by Clare (new)

Clare | 53 comments Kate, I agree with your comments. If only people who had lived or experienced a certain life were qualified to write about it, we would lose lots of wonderful books. Certainly it would be scary to think of some writers who write about horrific things actually having experienced what they write about (commiting murders, rapes, crimes, etc.). I think I learned a great deal about autism when I read "Curious Incident...". I had read nothing about the book prior to reading it so figured out from the book itself what was going on. I never read fly leafs (fly leaves?) either because they often give away way too much of the plot (and sometimes all of it). This book so interested me that I went on to read several others about autism.


message 15: by Emily (new)

Emily (cosmicvagabond) I had a really tough time getting through this book. It was slow and meandering, but I'm still trying to wade through it, years later.


message 16: by Stewart (new)

Stewart (booklit) | 7 comments Agree with Kate, but it's still crap. Oh, and "Is Paul Auster a jerk" - well, yes. :)


message 17: by Dorksgetlaid2 (last edited Jan 01, 2008 04:29PM) (new)

Dorksgetlaid2 | 1 comments The only original thought was when he said emotions only come when you look at the past or the future. Out of all that rambling that's the only thing I took from it. That and I'm glad I don't have asbergers.


message 18: by MM (new)

MM (localwest) | 5 comments "I kind of enjoy in a bibliophilic-masochistic way when books don't have happy endings."

I completely agree with you, Natalie. This is what makes Burmese Days, which was a pretty average book, one of my favorites.


message 19: by Stewart (new)

Stewart (booklit) | 7 comments "I kind of enjoy in a bibliophilic-masochistic way when books don't have happy endings"

Natalie, if you haven't already done so, read Richard Yates.


message 20: by Debbie (new)

Debbie I teach math in a public high school where I have several students with high-functioning autism and Asberger's mainstreamed into my classes every semester. They read this book over and over, steal it, hide it, talk about it. I am probably Haddon's best customer for "Curious Incident...". I have just bought copy number seven for my classroom library. We have a mandated silent reading period every day, so I try to supply high-interest books, and this one is of very high interest to some.


message 21: by Esther (new)

Esther (eshchory) My mother worked for a long time with 'special' children, quite a few of them autistic, and I often went along to help her.

We both enjoyed the book and felt it is one of the first fictional portrayals of an autistic person that rings true.

The breakdown of the family was a totally familiar scenario and I was saddened but not surprised by him stabbing the dog. When a brain is damaged it doesn't always have the emphathy or make the emotional attachments considered 'normal' for human beings.



message 22: by Clare (new)

Clare | 53 comments CAUTION - PLOT SPOILER!
If I remember correctly, wasn't it the boys' father who stabbed the dog??


message 23: by Jasper (new)

Jasper (meltymoon) i actually did the same thing i was hoping for more from this, way too boring for me.


message 24: by John (new)

John | 8 comments The extreme OCD depiction, as well his having to try hard to learn the rules of society that others take for granted was fine, but, to return to my original point - how realistic would it be that the kid jumps down on the train tracks, followed by pulling a knife on the cops (!) and isn't locked up for that?? Also, there's the section where he's taking a test and thinks about killing the proctor, but doesn't because he's afraid of the consequences - are we supposed to assume that Aspies are likely to attack others on (barely controleable) impulse, as the book implies?



message 25: by Andrew (new)

Andrew (sir_reads_a_lot) | 11 comments Wow....the hype made me want to read it as well. But I absolutly loved it. I think it was the first and only book I have ever read for school and enjoyed at the same time. I thought it was an exellent read.


message 26: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Like Life of Pi, I also read this one before it received a lot of attention. I really enjoyed both of them a lot. I find that if I read a book after it has received so much hype, I am not as into it because I usually end up wondering what all of the fuss is about.


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