Fifteen-year-old Christopher has a photographic memory. He understands maths. He understands science. What he can’t understand are other human beings. When he finds his neighbour’s dog lying dead on the lawn, he decides to track down the killer and write a murder mystery about it. But what other mysteries will he end up uncovering?
Pre Read Thoughts
This is one of November’s group reads for my Goodreads group and that’s pretty much the only reason I’m reading this. I had heard of it before, it’s just not a book that I’ve ever been interested in. I found this in my local Scope charity shop for £1.50. It’s not in the best condition but since the money goes to charity I think I can live with that. The cover I have is very eye-catching and I really like it. The synopsis is interesting and I can’t wait to see if this book lives up to the hype that it seems to have gotten.
Post Read Thoughts
I wasn’t a massive fan of this boo to be honest. The POV that draws you in pushes you away with constant onslaughts of information. My brain is exhausted from all the mathematical and scientific stuff that my brain just didn’t understand. Things that other people loved about this (the graphs and the chapters being prime numbers) I detested. The graphs broke up the story and the prime numbers took away the sense of order that normal chapter numbers bring. Something which I don’t normally complain about but feel compelled to do so with this is the language. Now, I’m all for swearing, I do it all the time but there’s a lot in this book and it’s billed on the cover as “children’s”. I was absolutely horrified to see the C-word at one point! That’s a word I haven’t seen in adult books. It’s just not written in books, it’s disrespectful. That by itself really affected my view of the book.
I didn’t really feel anything for the characters, but then again neither did Christopher. I get that he finds emotions difficult to understand because he only thinks in a logical way with science and numbers but the lack of emotional depth held back the book in the sense of character development. I didn’t like Christopher’s father. His actions weren’t right but the consequences were well portrayed by the author.
Overall I didn’t find this book to be anything special. It’s a contradiction for me, it’s everything I love about a book but it reads like everything I hate. I liked some parts of the story but just as I was starting to get into the flow of the story there’s be another page of either maths or science that I didn’t understand. The book made me feel stupid and I don’t appreciate that. I know I’m probably in the minority when it comes to not enjoying this (I normally am when it comes to these things) but there was something lacking for me.
2 stars – I should be giving this three but some of the language used was extreme and I’m making a point of my objection by taking away a star. Other than that this is one of those books that people rave about reading. I won’t be raving though as it failed to entertain me. I recommend this if you’re a fan of books with an interesting lead character. That fact that Christopher is autistic intrigued me and I thought that looking inside the head of an autistic was interesting, though slightly confusing.
A Final Note
The language isn’t good. So I wouldn’t give this to a kid or a young adult. I’m sorry but I’d hate for a kid to read this and then go to school saying that word.
On a lighter note, this contains spoilers for Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles. So if you want to read that then you should give this a miss until afterwards.