Mark Haddon (no significant spoillers)

hannibal at hannibal at
Sun Feb 15 18:12:25 EST 2004

> I read it this afternoon (there was a copy there, and I was letting someone
> I had given a lift to a place have her hostess' attention all to herself).
> I wasn't all that struck. Given the options I had available, that or a
> stack of old magazines mostly about rebuilding one's house and improving
> it, I'd probably make the same choice again, but it would be a toss-up: I'm
> quite interested in the idea of building a bread-oven.

Chacun a son gustibus non est disputandem, and all that - though I'd be interested in trying the bread.
I can see what you mean about the book's not getting anywhere - perhaps it's not that far from what I meant when I mentioned its monotonality - but I think that's part of the effect Haddon's aiming for, and part of the technical challenge he set himself in writing it. But I didn't read the final para as an 'author's message' at all, so much as the protagonist repeating some of the 'positive self-image' messages he picks up at school: we've no reason to accept his assessment here more than at any other part of the book. That was my take, anyway.
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