Thursday, 23 March 2017

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

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time


Mark Haddon

This book was lent to me by my colleague Paddy. He knew I was a Matthew Quick fan and said that this book is very similar on how it deals with Mental Health and I should try it. The name of this book I knew I had heard of before but could not remember where at all. Then, one day walking through the west end of London I walked passed a theatre which currently had this play showing. I then made some weird noise as I now remembered why the name was so familiar. My wife gave me a strange look as to what on earth I was doing o realising I was so loud..

"Wonderfully written and so clever. Funny, upsetting and mysterious all in one"

Précis (taken from the cover):

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a murder mystery novel like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone. Christopher is fifteen and has Asperger's Syndrome. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns and the truth. He hates the colours yellow and brown and being touched. He has never gone further than the end of the road on his own, but when he finds a neighbour's dog murdered he sets out on a terrifying journey which will turn his whole world upside down.


This book did not take long at all to get into. You just fell into the story straight away. You picked up the style of writing within the first page or two and I felt then that I would enjoy this book. As stated before, Matthew Quick is one of my favourite authors and each book of his I have read deals with Mental Health in a different way. Christopher the lead character and narrator of this book has Asperger's Syndrome which is part of autism. The book is written as though it was actually done by someone with Asperger's so you have drawings, questions that Christopher would ask in real life as well as each chapter number being a prime number because he knows them all, all the way up to 7507.

The story itself is very clever. A dead dog has been found in the street. Christopher, who is saddened and angered by this sets upon himself to found out who the killer was. Now I love a good murder mystery and if you have read my reviews before you will know it is one of my favourite genre's to read. This book was so different to what I had ever read before or even watched on TV, which made it so intriguing. I read this book in a week which is really quick for me and reading this has helped me get on target for my year goal.

The character numbers in this book is short. You have Christopher and his dad who he lives with and then you have his teachers plus a couple of people who live on the same street. There are a few others but I won't mention them as it may ruin part of the book for you. Sometimes you don't need to have many characters in a book for it to be a hit. The less they are the more in touch with them you become. I don't know if the author Mark has someone in his family or friends that has Asperger's but you can tell even if he has that he has studied this subject very hard.

Now for the bit I did not enjoy.... I say not enjoy but it is more of a.. I found frustrating... The main story (who killed the dog) finished half way through the book and then a different story altogether finished the second half. I understand why the second half happened but for me it could have been included with the main story to keep you guessing longer. Apart from that this was a very enjoyable read. I found it so clever. It was funny, upsetting and mysterious all in one.

I scored this book a 4 out of 5. The only thing stopping it from being a 5 for me was the end of the murder mystery half way through. This book is an easy read so if you re looking for something to read whilst traveling or for some light evening reading then this is for you..

I would love to know what everyone else thinks who has read this book. Do you agree with me or not? Let me know.

Speak soon,


Thursday, 9 March 2017

Book Review: The Doll's House by M.J. Arlidge

The Doll's House


M.J. Arlidge

The Doll's house is book three of the DI Helen Grace series written by M.J. Arlidge. The previous two books Eeny Meeny & Pop Goes the Weasel I have read and really enjoyed so it was only a case of when rather than if I was going to read this. You can read my reviews of these other two books in "My Book Reviews" above..

"Each book gets darker and darker. It's another hit for me"

Précis (taken from the cover):

A young woman wakes up in a cold, dark cellar, with no idea how she got there or who her kidnapper is. So begins her terrible nightmare.

Nearby, the body of another young woman is discovered buried on a remote beach. But the dead girl was never reported missing - her estranged family having received regular texts from her over the years. Someone has been keeping her alive from beyond the grave.

For Detective Inspector Helen Grace it's chilling evidence that she's searching for a monster who is not just twisted but also clever and resourceful - a predator who's killed before.

And as Helen struggles to understand the killer's motivation, she begins to realize that she's in a desperate race against time .


It was great to be back with DI Helen Grace. As I have previously stated on my reviews for the other two books she is one of my all time favourite leading characters in books. She takes no crap, is strong willed and does what she has to do to get the job done. The Doll's House is no different. The story line for this one is very dark and I believe that each book just gets darker and darker. Part of me really likes this but then part of me is worried that I like the darker crimes better haha.

The reason this book is so dark is because of the evil monster that is killing these women. It has been wonderfully written which puts you there on the pages with these women. This makes it a very scary but believable read. I have said it before but I just keep going back to one of my favourite TV shows Criminal Minds and know that this "baddy" would fit straight into one of these episodes.

For most of this book it flowed very well and the pages turned themselves. Although for me not as much as the previous book Pop Goes the Weasel which I really loved. For me this was the only thing I could find fault with really. Maybe because I loved the previous book too much that this one was not as strong even though it is a great book. I have had this before when reading James Patterson's Unlucky 13 which I thought was brilliant but then the following book 14th Deadly Sin I was not as hyped.

The characters in these books I really enjoy. I like how they have been written and how their lives follow on from previous books. This does not stop you understanding them if this was say the first book you have read but I would recommend that you start at the beginning (Eeny Meeny) and read them in order.

I scored this book a 4 out of 5. Again mainly because I really enjoyed the previous book so much. Liar Liar is book four in the series and I will definitely be reading that very soon.

I would love to know what other people think. Are you a fan of this series? do you agree with me or not. Let me know.

Speak soon,


Thursday, 2 March 2017

Book Review: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

A Little Life


Hanya Yanagihara

A Little Life was a book I came across in my local bookstore whilst me and my wife were on one of our many browsing visits. I really liked the sound of this book but was ooing and rrrring whether to get it or not because of the size. There are 720 pages in this book. I know I have read books with more, but the writing is very small and if this book was by a lot of other authors you could probably double that page number. I went for it though. Did I make the right decision or not??

"Brutal, absolutely brutal...... You will never forget this story as long as you live"

Précis (taken from the cover):

When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.


Although I am writing this review now, I did finish this book in 2016. I apologise for this but I am still playing catch up. I found this book very tough to get into at the start as it took me a while to get used to the style of writing as this was my first Hanya Yanahihara book that I have read. It was also setting the scene a lot and found it tough getting my bearings. I know someone else who has tried reading this and gave up as they could not get into it. Once you do you will start to understand and pick up where and how the story will go going forward.

The story itself is Brutal, Absolutely brutal. You will never forget this story as long as you live. Without giving away too much as I don't like to on my reviews the book is about four guys. Willem, JB, Malcolm & the main character Jude. They move to New York after college and take on the big world together. You follow their lives through their early twenties all the way up to their fifties. Along the way they all deal with their own problems ranging from mental health, depression, addiction, career & family choices, child & adult abuse and what is important to a lot of people, fitting in, in life. If you are someone who gets hurt or upset over these subjects I would probably give this book a miss. Jude who you follow a lot more is the most damaged and you get to the point that you are literally in tears for him. I am not afraid to admit I am a bit of a crier but not normally when it comes to books. This one however got me a few times. The way Hanya has written this book and the events that happen with all the characters is so detailed and as scary as it is very believable. I can understand why this was nominated for the Man Booker Prize in 2015.

I would say if you are going to read this book then make sure you have time. It is not a book that you can pick up and have a 5 or 10 minute read here and there and get back into the story line. You do need to concentrate otherwise you will lose where you are.

I do love the fact that it is set in New York which is one of my favourite cities. I do like it when you are reading a book and you know where they are as you have been there yourself.

I scored this book a 5 out of 5. Out of all the books I have read, This I found the hardest to score. I mentioned above that it did take a while to get into this book and that you do have to concentrate a lot. I would normally have scored this a 4 based on this, but when I think about the writing and the fact that this story will stay with me forever and the fact that you just sit there just gobsmacked as to what is going on, I had to score it a 5..

Would I read another Hanya Yanagihara book? Yes I would, although if they are along the lines of this one I may leave it a few months.

Has anyone else read this book?? Do you agree with me or not? I would love to find out. Let me know....

Speak soon,