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[personal profile] wilderthan
I've been meaning to read this book for a while. I was curious about it, since I've known quite a few people with Asperger's Syndrome, and since my mum is a psychiatrist and it's one of the things we've discussed and that she's explained to me. As far as I remember, Mark Haddon himself isn't autistic, so I wouldn't read it as if every bit of it was gospel truth. People with autism think differently to people who don't have autism, and it's hard to imagine a way of thinking other than your own.

From what I know, though, Mark Haddon did a reasonable job. The prose is matter-of-fact, a little stilted, and there are various stylistic nods to what it's trying to pass itself off as -- the chapters are numbered with primes, not the normal sequence of numbers, there's a lot of diagrams and footnotes and exact numbers, etc. I really believed in the character of Christopher -- although I kept picturing him as younger than he really was, I guess that was intentional: he certainly acts like a reasonably young boy. The things he does seem to me to be consistent with some of the things I've read about autism, and the way he sees the world and the way he finds other people incomprehensible is interesting.

The actual plot... I could just about believe everything but the actual fact of the dog killed with a fork! It didn't really seem to fit with the rest of it, yet it was really so important for the plot. Oh well. I like the portrayals of the parents, anyway: sometimes not understanding, sometimes forgetting, sometimes getting frustrated, but loving their son anyway.

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