i got the novel for my 26th birthday from my husband. first time reading it, i didn’t get a good hang of it. probably because my mind was oddly occupied by being pregnant, working, and trying to adapt to living in a whole new environment. i read the whole of it half blank-minded. like when one’s daydreaming and listening to someone speaking at the same time, it ended up “huh? what was it?” so if anyone had ever asked me what the novel was about at that time, i wouldn’t have known what to say. just being a sad smart-ass like always, maybe.
now i feel like i’m sensible enough to re-read it and glad that i have the english version this time. the first book i read from Mark Haddon was -of course- The Curious Incident Of The Dog in The Night-time. but i read the translated version. gladly it was skillfully translated. really, you have to be skillful and brilliant to translate Haddon’s writings. otherwise it will be a very, very dull and boring book of translation to read. if you’ve read one of his writings, you’ll know why.
Haddon reminds me a bit of Chuck Palahniuk. they have similar interests: personality disorder, mental disturbance… you know those kind of thing. and they get in them deep. what makes them sound different is that Haddon is British and Palahniuk is American to the core. they tell jokes in their own ways. Haddon loves details. you can picture each scene crystal-clearly. much like watching a movie. a very dramatic movie. this is why his novels are slow and flat. The Curious Incident is obvioulsy written from an autistic point of view and so it is supposed to be strange and slow and dragged and flat… (this is where the skillful brilliant translator is strongly wanted), while A Spot of Bother is more colorful. like all the critics say; it is so comical. i laugh a lot because of George’s lebay way. he’s a funny guy. well, funny in a sad, desperate way. probably like when you say, “saya berencana gantung diri di pohon cabe.” roar! people laugh while you actually really want to die. well, you get the picture dontcha? the rest of the characters are pretty much normal, or at least to me they are. other than being detail, Haddon can make you feel. my eyes went narrow and my heart beat faster over and over again reading the romantic chapters. the stories never happened to me, but somehow i felt like i could relate to them pretty smoothly.
reading Haddon’s books can’t be called a vacation, but it’s worth every minute you spend to read them. they take your mind on a long, deep journey where in the end you come up in the entrance allover again but with a new feeling.
there will be a third time for me diving with that bothering spot again. you should try it too. you’ll be entertained 🙂