The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time By Mark Haddon
Reviewed by Steve Rudd
I think people believe in heaven because they don't like the idea of dying, because they want to
carry on living and they don't like the idea that other people will move into their house and put
their things into the rubbish.
This strangely endearing novel is one of the most originally-styled that I've ever read.
Revolving around a 15-year old boy called Christopher who has autism, the narration comes direct
from his mouth and the reader is left in little doubt as to what living with autism must be like.
In fact, everything sounds so authentic that it's natural to assume that either the author himself
is autistic, or that somebody close to him is.
Otherwise, Mark Haddon has clearly undertaken much research into autism and how it affects people.
The crux of the actual story comes from the fact that Christopher's parents are split up, and Chris
lives with his father. Chris has been brought up to believe that his mother is dead, when in fact
she's living down south - in London - with another man.. a fact that Chris' dad has chosen to keep secret.
So when Chris discovers that his mother is really alive & kicking, and has been writing letters
to him every week for some years, the logical thing to do - especially upon having just had a
massive falling out with his dad - is to head for the nearest train station and to London in
search of his mother.
The style of Haddon's writing is flawlessly effective and logically executed.
The narrative is masterfully 'interrupted' by numerous mathematical problems that serve
to illustrate Christopher's amazing capabilities in the subject, as though Dustin Hoffman's
autistic character in the movie Rainman has been more than just a celluloid inspiration.
Christopher concedes, mid-yarn, that his teacher 'Mr. Jeavons said that I liked maths because
it was safe. He said I liked maths because it meant solving problems, and these problems were
difficult and interesting, but there was always a straightforward answer at the end.
he meant was that maths wasn't like life because in life there are no straightforward answers
at the end. I know he meant this because this is what he said.'
Far from being a sentimental story, The Curious Incident.. is firmly rooted in a wholly believable
tract of reality.
Face it, Mark Haddon wouldn't necessarily have won two BAFTAs for his work as
an author, illustrator and screenwriter if the tales that he spins couldn't be related to.
This could quite possibly be the most startlingly original and subtly touching novel you read this
decade, and there's little wonder that it proudly spent mucho time topping the Number One
best-selling book slot.
ISBN 0-385-60587-0 (first published by David Fickling Books; 2003)
Reviews, Films - Bring me Sunshine - Eternal sunshine of a spotless Mind By Lee Cassanell
I believe that it's much easier to make people laugh than it is to make them cry and if you look back over all the films you've seen in your life, I'll wager that the ones you shed tears over are your secret favourites.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is one of those movies and although I wasn't quite blubbing like
Reviews, Special Events - Simon Armitage at PAVE 22nd March 04 by Elsie Creek
It seemed that, until this event, I was the only person in existence not to have heard of Simon Armitage.
Nowadays, the writings of this ex-probation officer, from the small West Yorkshire town of Marsden, are apparently even studied at GCSE.
I'm sure that is the final proof of success for even the most
Reviews, Films - Here comes the Bride - Kill Bill Volume 2 By Lee Cassanell
Juicy junior..real Juicy..Joe Cabot (Reservoir Dogs)
For those of you who've been holidaying on the sun for the past few months, Kill Bill is the latest offering from
Quentin Tarantino who as far as I'm concerned is the most important and influential director of the last
Reviews, Films - Are you Passionate? By Lee Cassanell
I recently saw The Passion of Christ; the Mel Gibson film that portrays the last 12 hours of the life of Jesus of Nazareth who Christians believe was the Messiah of ancient prophecy.
The film was beautifully shot, highly stylised, Jim Caviezel born to play Old JC and it had the added bonus of Monica BellucciRead more...
Reviews Films - Slack Video at the Lamp - Monday 12th April 04 By Gail Anthony
This is the third Slack Video night I've been to.
And the best, in my opinion. And what do I know? Slack Video is where a bunch of local film makers show off their skills.
Slack is all about the audience's views on local films. Everyone will have their own favourite.
They are organised once a month at
Reviews, Theatre - Fusion @ Hull University - 1 March to 1 April By Michelle Dee Clark
Contemporary multimedia art from Hull: art-music-film.
Tearing through the traffic on a cold Monday evening, anxiously watching the big hand tick by quarter past seven.. We were supposed to be at the Middleton Hall on the Hull University grounds for Fusion.
Reviews, Books - Top Ten Books By Darren Sant
Not exactly an original idea but I thought I might share my top ten favourite books with you. They are listed in no particular order of preference. Maybe you have a top ten to share with This is 'Ull?
Lord of the Rings, J.R.R Tolkien
Superlatives don't do this justice so I won't even try heaping praise on this one. Suffice to say that this classic grips your imagination
Reviews, Theatre - ConPromise by Mal Williamson, Directed by Mathew Smith
EICH Gallery, Hull
By Michelle Dee
I shall start with no preamble but immerse you straight away very much the same way that the 30+ audience were.
Last Friday night at the EICH Gallery in Hull I was sat in the front row, watching and listening to the reading of ConPromise by Mal Williamson.
For the first 5 minutes I tried desperately to understand the ..
Reviews, Films - The Renegade Writers Recommend...Festive Film Releases by Jane Foster.
When Addy met Saddy ( U )
This is a tale of two moustaches.
A tale of two hardcore dictators, united in mutual follicular admiration.
Adolf is a young dictator with a genetic disorder, which means that his moustache extends no further than his Cupid's bow.
His secret wish is to own a large, bushy moustache.
Review of 2003 - By Nick Quantrill
In the festive tradition of polls, surveys and what have you that all the best magazines and websites carry at this time of the year, you'll have to settle for some things I liked in 2003 and some things I didn't..
1 Gigolo Aunts - Pacific Ocean Blues 2 Jesse Malin - The Fine Art Of Self Destruction Read more...
Reviews, Films - "Love Actually" (15) by Shelly Dee
Wednesday night I went to see Love Actually. It is a fantastic feel good movie. Yes, it is Richard Curtis of Four Weddings fame again doing English romantic comedy but it's really good.
Hugh Grant, as the man at No 10, gave a typical Hugh Grantesque performance.
However, his dance to "Jump" was a real eye opener and raised a laugh or two in the auditorium.
Reviews, Books - "A Man Named Dave" by Dave Pelzer By Darren Sant
By Darren Sant A Man Named Dave is the third and final book in the memoirs of Dave Pelzer.
See this website for reviews of the first two books:
A Child Called "It".
The Lost Boy.
The first two books cover the authors early years and detail the abuse he suffered at the hands of his Mother.
The third book details Dave's life from late teens to the present day.