Confession time: I was initially hesitant to read this book because I had heard so many criticisms both in person and on-line. I am so glad that I went ahead and gave it a shot. I would have missed out on a great novel otherwise. Haddon does an excellent job of capturing the essence of the main character, Christopher Boone. I am always impressed when an author can make me believe that he/she has lived an experience and I get totally absorbed into the story.
Although the book doesn't specifically state it, the main character has a form of Aspergers. Christopher is brilliant when it comes to mathematics but he lacks social skills and does not like to be touched. He is hyper focused on specific rituals and is absorbed by colors and patterns.
The book is a fairly quick read. Christopher is a 15-year old who 'investigates' the death of his neighbor's dog and discovers family secrets and how complicated human relationships can be in the process, although it really can't change how he processes his thoughts. Christopher is a black and white thinker and it shows in how he makes decisions around relationships. Although brilliant in practical matters, such as math and science, he lacks the ability to see how we all need to adjust and adapt to the subtleties that define human relationships. Human motivations are a total mystery to him. My heart went out to Christopher's parents; the difficulty in loving a child who judges so definitively must be ever so difficult since we (as parents) are not perfect and continuously make mistakes. It's a lot to think about.
One thing that I thought was different in this book are the illustrations the author provides as Christopher explains his reasoning/thinking. I am not especially great in mathematics but I could actually follow along and found it a great way to share in his thinking.
Thank you Sera for the buddy-read; this was on my list for quite a while!