George Hall is an unobtrusive man, not quite at ease with the emotional demands of fatherhood. When a lesion appears on his hip, George is convinced he has cancer and rather than make a fuss, he politely descends into madness.
I will confess, I’ve never actually read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. I did help with an English class at a local secondary school for a few months and it as the book they were looking at but unfortunately I never got past the first few chapters.
I want to start by saying I absolutely loved this book.
I didn’t know what to expect and was amazed to find that I just couldn’t put it down. I took it on holiday with me to Croatia and was so grateful that I was able to spend a couple of days by the pool where I could simply devour the story.
The most amazing and awe inspiring thing about the way Haddon writes is the capability to turn the boring, mundane, every day happenings into something you want to know more about. I loved the character George and how his descend into madness is carefully covered. Haddon rationalises the thought process so well creating a gripping and believable read.
Perhaps I sing too many praises for books like this one, but I literally couldn’t fault anything. Okay, I lie – perhaps the beginning was a bit slow. I did find it hard to remember who was who and how they were related. But apart from that, there really isn’t anything to complain about.
George’s storyline is brilliant and the interaction he has with the rest of the family is almost humorous with an underlying sense of something more serious is happening. The notion that he’s convinced he has cancer, is probably something that an awful lot of people can relate to, at least the fear of it. His attitudes and the generation he comes from mean that his mannerisms and behaviour are very comical at times. The notion that he couldn’t possibly inconvenience anyone whilst he’s in the midst of a breakdown.
In and amongst this we delve behind the scenes of what can be described as a normally dysfunctional family and begin to learn why no-one seems to paying any attention to George, they all have their own problems. I love the normality of life and the seemingly plain and bubble like story that Haddon creates.
I think I surprised myself by simply how much I enjoyed this book and how easy I found it to read. The story was pretty simple which made it a perfect easy-read book – something I know we all need once in a while. And after glimpsing a few chapters from The Curious Incident, I know that I will definitely want to be reading that at some point, after I’ve worked my way through the 60+ books still waiting to be read…