Book Review: The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night Time, The Crossing Places & Villette

Winter is the perfect time to stay snuggled indoors with a good book, so for the last weeks, I have been following my own advice. I bought a ton of books back in October and am slowly making my way through them. Here is what I thought of my most recently completed.

The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon

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This book has been absolutely everywhere for the last year or so. It was recommended to me a few times but there was something about the cover which put me off buying it. Then I saw it at the Mauerpark Flomarkt for €3 and decided to give it a go without evening knowing what the plot was about.

In short, it is about a boy named Christopher who has Asperger’s Syndrome, and who decides to investigate the murder of his neighbor’s dog. For me, there was no really likable characters in this book, nor did I find the storyline very compelling. There were no real moments where I felt I had to go on and see what happens before I could continue to live my life properly again. However, I did find this book pleasant enough to read. While it didn’t grip me and give me the thrilling experience I look for in a fiction novel, I felt that it did teach me a lot about Asperger’s Syndrome, something which I had very little knowledge about prior to this book. It was interesting to read something from the point of view of the sufferer.

The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths

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I bought this book solely because it was €3 for Dussmann. I wanted something that wouldn’t take much effort to read last week so decided to give it a go even though I had predicted it would be lost on my bookshelf forever.

Ruth Galloway is a forensic archaeologist who lectures at the local university. When human bones are discovered in the salt marsh, she is brought on board by DI Nelson to determine whether or not the belong to a child who went missing ten years ago. Naturally, she gets caught up in the case and finds herself deeply involved.

This is the kind of book you find yourself sitting down to open, and not getting up for hours later until it is completed. I wouldn’t say it is because this is the most compelling story, but because it is easy to read, with just the right amount of suspense. The characters are distinct enough to have favorites without there being too much character development. While at first I thought the story would be somewhat predictable, there were enough red herrings thrown into the story to keep me on my toes. The ending was pretty good and there were some surprise elements thrown in there which I am eager to see how they willpan out in the books which follow.

One thing that did irritate me, which I hope doesn’t occur in the next books, is that it was wrote in the present tense. Something about this threw me from time to time when reading.

Villette by Charlotte Bronte

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I will keep this short and sweet: I didn’t like Villette at all. I tried but I just could not get into it. So much so that I actually gave up reading it halfway through. This is a decision I did not make half-heartedly as I pride myself in completing all books I start. However, life is just to short to waste on a bad book. I guess I just don’t like books from this era. The way in which women behaved back in those days just really rubs me the wrong way. I understand this is a classic and a much-loved one at that so my opinion will most likely be unpopular, but I just can’t recommended this.

Have you read any of these books? I would love to get into a debate in the comments!

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