Second Time Around

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This book is outstanding. It is amazing how much you can learn by changing your approach to reading a certain material. When I read the book earlier this summer I hadn't had much experience at reading for reasons other than pleasure. As we've already talked about in EL 250 Drama as Lit., I never knew that I could analyze material like I'm able to do now. The skills that I've learned in two short semesters have really enhanced my understanding of this book in a sense that I know what to look for now and can pick out agenda items. It's a great feeling.

Reading this again really brought back some memories. For example, at the very beginning, I realized how much I enjoyed reading "Christopher's" perspective even if it was really written by Mark Hadden. It must have really taken a lot for him to be able to act as another person. There must have been so much research and experience needed that we can't take anything in it lightly.

I really like how Hadden makes Christopher so emotionless. In Christopher's world, he sees a bloody dog; not breathing. He sees a garden fork pinning it to the ground and instead of feeling sorrow for the dog, he notices that the fork must have went through the dog the whole way because it was standing straight up.

Haddon also really uses the idea of showing instead of telling in examples throughout the first half such as this. In chapter 47 Christopher starts to explain his situation with the colors and the cars. I find it interesting how this is perfectly normal to him and Haddan really never comes out and says that he is autistic and autistic children tend to do things like this. We have to figure it out for oursleves. I didn't realize how much I like this book.

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4 Comments

It's true that Christopher doesn't express sorrow for the dog in the same way that you or I might, but when you consider how confusing he finds the outside world, his desire to get to the bottom of the mystery shows that he really does care about the dog. But you're right -- Haddon shows where a less skilled author might tell, and that really makes the book more engaging, since we have to figure so much of it out for ourselves.

Great post, Andy.

Andy, isnt it amazing how you dont realize he is autistic, yet you can figure it out on your own. I think that Haddon did a great job trying to hide the autism but to also show that there is something different about him than the others around him. I think that the book is also amazing and I think that i enjoy it more now then when i had to read it during the summer.
Along what with Dr. Jerz said, it is more engaging since we have to pay attention to everything that happens in the book and we have to figure out what is going on for ourselves. Maybe that is why we all think it is such a good book.

I definitely agree.. Christopher comes off very unemotional. And it makes sense, since emotions aren't logical. Chris is much more interested in what makes people feel emotions, and if there isn't a reason, he creates one. Like the colored cars. People decide how they feel in the morning without any reason... so it made it rather objective.

Andy,
I was going to say pretty much what Jerz said, but I'll say it anyway.
I felt the same way when Christopher only noticed the fork standing upright in the dog. I had to stop and wonder how someone could only notice how the fork was standing when there's a dead poodle with blood and who knows what everywhere. And then he actually picks it up! Egh, I thought I was going to faint. I think that scene is a great indication early on that shows just how different Christopher thinks. I think Haddon places that scene perfectly becuase the reader finds out early in the book what Christopher's character is going to be like.

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This page contains a single entry by Andy published on April 2, 2006 9:46 PM.

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