The Curious Incident, Animal Farm, and A Room with a View

These three arrived from the library and so they were the next trio!

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

My introduction to Mark Haddon was actually a short story from the Granta literary magazine which was okay, for me. But I really enjoyed this novel.

The Curious Incident... (the title itself being an excerpt from a Sherlock story) is labeled a mystery novel where the murder victim is a dog called Wellington and the detective β€” an autistic fifteen-year-old, Christopher Boone. That sentence thrives with expectation, but this novel isn’t really a mystery novel, Wellington’s death is only a catalyst, and Christopher Boone is probably not what you expect.
This novel isn’t a masterpiece from a stylistic perspective, but it is wonderfully written because Christopher is the one writing it and his voice is apparent at all times throughout the narrative. Everyone can relate to Christopher, autism or not. I loved loved loved how this novel showed just that: Christopher is very much like everyone else, except with more quirks. He overcomes his fears to get where he has to get and his reasoning is brilliant and heartwarming.

Most of the scientific diagrams and explanations in the novel went straight over my head, and I didn’t even bother with the appendix, hah. Otherwise, I thought it a very honest, relatable, and real novel, and Christopher a very truthful, flawed as any, realistic hero.

a4Animal Farm

Ahhhhhhhh… Political allegories just happen to be two of my favourite things put together. Allegories are like puzzles (except Animal Farm isn’t very puzzling, but straightforward) and anything that scorns flaws of politics is just a cherry on top.

Animal Farm is the breakdown of a revolution…but with animals.

George Orwell intended the novella (A Fairy Tale, in subtitle) to be “primarily a satire on the Russian Revolution” but with a wider application. And the former intention becomes obvious fairly soon β€” I mean, a flag with a hoof and a horn… just punches you in the face. But the latter is also apparent: Orwell goes through each stage of a breakdown of an idea which starts off as an ideal. It is applicable to any revolution, and Orwell stated that the moral was meant to be that revolutions provide any “radical improvement” only when the “masses…know how to chuck out their leaders as soon as the latter have done their job”.

Another tidbit of information: Orwell described Animal Farm as “contre Stalin” and practically confirmed that Stalin is represented by the character of Napoleon, the pig. Now, what I find funny (but not in the least surprising) is that the French edition conveniently renamed Napoleon to CΓ©sar. πŸ™‚

Animal Farm is short and to the point. If you are interested in this type of novel, Animal Farm is a must-read. And if you are not, it is still a must-read because the perspectives Orwell provides must be known to all masses, lest they are still, unfortunately, unknown. The silent masses give way to tyrannical leaders.

Oh and finally, a quote, what I like to call the true motto of (the corrupted ideal of) communism: “All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.”

a5A Room with a View

Sometimes I read books that I don’t enjoy that much but have a lot to say about. And sometimes I read books that I quite enjoy … but don’t know what to say of them! This is one of them.

This triplet is composed of firsts: first Haddon, first Orwell, and yes, first Forster.

A Room with a View was quite different from anything I’ve read before. I don’t really know why or how yet, but different.

Each chapter is an episode. The whole novel is rather detached, yet connected by these ‘episodes’. In that way it almost resembles a diary, especially considering the chapter titles.

Between the lines or in plain view, there’s much discussion of social class and position, how people differ and what barriers restrain each. The barriers are thickest among the older generations (ex. Charlotte, Mrs Honeychurch), but Forster shows that the youth wish to strike them down (ex. Lucy’s attraction to Emersons, Freddy and George’s bath in the pond, etc.).

But A Room with a View is primarily a love story β€” a story of how love is shaped by our own, as well as social, barriers.

I expected an unfortunate ending, and was pleasantly surprised. The ending was sweet, much like the whole novel; and the whole reading experience was lovely!



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