Book Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

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Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.

Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, for fifteen-year-old Christopher everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning. He lives on patterns, rules, and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbor’s dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructive universe is threatened. Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favourite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes. What follows makes for a novel that is funny, poignant and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally.

Author: Mark Haddon

Rating: 3/5

Honestly it took me a while to figure out what to say about this book. I read it a few years ago, and  it only took me a few days, but I didn’t feel satisfied with it when I was done.

I enjoyed the beginning of the book, and was pretty sold on it being a good book until the end. I don’t really have a specific reason for it, but I just didn’t really like the ending that much. I guess i was unsatisfied with it.

The book has a really interesting concept, and I’ve never read a book that was from the persepctive of someone with a behavioral disorder. Despite that, I thought it did a really good job.

My whole life I’ve interacted with people that have Autism or Aspergers, so I’ve had some experience with those, and I thought this book did a really good job of putting the reader into the mind of someone with a behavioral disorder.

The book follows Christopher, a 15-year-old boy with an unspecified behavioral disorder as he investigates the killing of his neighbour’s dog, despite his father telling him to stay out of other people’s business.

It’s a bit of a mystery novel, but at the same time we get to see Christopher’s life and how he interacts with the world around him.

Seeing the world through the eyes of someone with a  behavioral disorder isn’t something I’d ever thought about really, but that was one aspect of the book that I really enjoyed.

I’d really enjoy reading another book like this, but I understand that it can be a bit of a slippery slope if the author isn’t careful about how they portray their character.

Next week I’m gonna take a look at a book about a man and his monsterous other half.

Since it’s New Years I want to hear what everyone’s New Year’s Resolutions are. If I get 5 I’ll make a tweet about what mine is.

Channel Update

Alright so I originally started this blog as a school assignment but I really started to like it and spent some free time during the term figuring out whether or not I should take the blog full time, and how I would be able to do that.

Well good news is I figured out how I can do both of those. I’ve got new ideas for the blog and plan on updating it every day, but I’m not guarenteeing anything with school going on.

So here is the updated schedule of what the posts will look like:

Monday: Book Review

Tuesday: Type it Out Tuesdays (post different writing prompts for people     interested in writing themselves)

Wednesday: Book related news (books being adapted to movies/tv shows, new books coming out, etc.)

Thursday: Thursday Thoughts (different thoughts I have on book related things ex. My Top 10s, Book related life stories, seasonal book topics, writing challenges etc.)

Friday: Quote of the Day (from the book I reviewed that week)

Saturday/Sunday: Taking a break to relax

I also have some channel updates coming out too. I want to update the books I’ve read/want to read  and throw in alphabetical shortcuts so it’s easier to find the author.

I’m also gonna make a Facebook group book club so theres an easier platform for more people to chat about a book. The book club will be one book a month to start instead of every week.

I’m also going to update some pictures and minor pages on the blog itself.

I hope everyone is as excited as I am for this update.

QOTD: Dr. Seuss

Since this weeks book is more of a scholarly book that really only talks about the history of torture, I thought I’d share a happy quote for everyone.

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it’s happened”

–Dr. Seuss

Book Review: The Devil in the White City

So to be honest, The Devil in the White City really took me by surprise.

Erik Larson—author of #1 bestseller In the Garden of Beasts—intertwines the true tale of the 1893 World’s Fair and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction.

The above quote was all I knew about the book when I started to read it, and I wasn’t too sure how the 1893 World’s Fair and a serial killer could be in the same story.

What was really surprising is that having both of those things in the same books somehow works!

Both aspects were keeping me on the edge of my seat, and surprisingly at times I was more interested in the World Fair aspect rather than the serial killer.

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Since it’s telling two mostly unrelated stories, I’ll review each part as its own.

First we will look at the construction of the World’s Fair.

This part of the book actually taught me a lot both as a PR student and a histroy lover. Being a PR student and learning about event planning made me think of how this fair was planned and some of the things that could have been done to make it run smoother. (CRITICAL PATH!!!)

It’s also a non-fiction book, so a lot of what’s inside is true, or close to the truth. One of the many things I learned from the book: Walt Disney’s dad worked at the “White City” as the World Fair was called, and Disney World is inspired by the White City as well.

There are plenty of other cool historical treats in the book too, but I don’t want to give them away.

The book is actually quite the history lesson though. At the time of the book, America is still a relatively new country in the world and is jut leaving its mark. I’d say the book shows one of, if not the, defining moment that put American culture on the map.

I’m Canadian so I’m not too concerned about American culture, but as a lover of history, I would say this was when America adopted their “narcissism” that many of us know them for today.

Again, I don’t want to ruin the book at all so I can’t say much else, but I’m sure you’ll notice the same things if you read it too.

Now let’s get to why most of you are probably here. 

For whatever reason a lot of people have some weird fascination with serial killers. Theres a lot of books, movies, and Netflix shows dedicated to dozens of different serial killers, and people gobble it up like its food.

I personally don’t get the fascination but who am I to judge.

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H.H Holmes, the serial killer in the book, is considered to be one of the most horrific serial killers in US history. I’m sure many people know a lot more about him than I do, but he basically built an entire house that was designed just to kill people.

It is messed up! He killed his wives, employees, and even random strangers. He would lie about who he was, change his name, and pretend to be people he had killed, and would use that to bring more people into his home and kill them.

I think it would have been really cool to see his house, or Murder Castle as it’s now known, but it’s now a post office… To see the hallways that lead to nothing, the secret rooms, the gas chamber… Oh the explorer in me is jealous!

The Murder Castle has actually gone on to inspire some modern adaptations. One that comes to mind are American Horror Story: Hotel. The Hotel itself has a lot of comparisons to what the Murder Castle was at the time.

Obviously it’s impossible to know everything that Holmes did, but I think the book does a pretty good job at making the reader understand H.H. Holmes and the processes he went through for killing people.

If you want a brief overview of what he did the History Channel has a good webpage about bim here.

Verdict: Worth the read. The mix between the building of the World Fair and H.H. Holmes killing people somehow works nicely, without taking away from either aspect.

I honestly don’t understand people’s fascination with serial killers, but maybe you guys can help me understand. Lemme know why they interest you so much.

Next week I’m gonna keep going with the theme of killing and review a book all about torture. Hope you’ll enjoy!