I try and read as widely as I can (because I enjoy it but also because I want to understand various writing styles and continue to improve my literacy as much as I can). So naturally I had to try reading a book that many other people have loved and that many have equally found concern with. I personally found myself liking aspects of the book and disliking aspects of the book.
'Good writing' in my opinion is the ability to write in the style that suits your story. There are many books I have hated the writing in because the writing did not match the story (and often those stories were terrible anyway). I do not view gimmicks or cliché necessarily as bad writing unless they exist to dominate the story. I had heard that this book was very gimmicky from several sources but I felt that it was actually written very well. The style adopted suited the first person narrator and the plot perfectly even if it was annoying to read at times.
The book's plot followed Christopher, a boy with an unnamed condition somewhat resemblant of autism. As a result the narrator, though he is fifteen, is a very emotionally detached individual and has several particular behaviours. He is exceptionally talented when it comes to mathematics as the way his mind works means he needs structure in his life and what is more structured than logic and maths? The narrator often takes time to explain then that how people tell lies (when they don't say directly that 'you look terrible' but rather 'you're looking nice today') is stupid and that he doesn't ever lie except to tell white lies. Christopher tries to make sense of the death of a neighbour's dog, trying to be a detective, like the near sociopathic Sherlock Holmes. As a result some of the secrets his father has kept from him start to come into the open and all is revealed to be very different than Christopher thinks it is.
While many people think this is a story about autism I didn't read it that way. For me it was a story about how we view the world. Though Christopher had a condition which affected his perspective of the world through his narration the adults in his life were also revealed to be very weird and nearly crazy. The idea being prompted is that though we often see people with conditions as invalid humans (or even insane) often the craziest individuals are those we consider perfectly sane.
I do have one point though. I did feel that though Christopher had his condition his parents were not properly there for him while they were around. Though I can understand that he may see things differently (he did not like being touched for instance) the fact that he threatened people who tried to touch him with his knife and with a fist made me dislike his parents immensely. Though he may have that condition it was still his parents' job to inform him that using violence in such a way is never okay. He had a condition, yes, but his dad treated him like he couldn't do anything and as a result his parents did not discipline him properly. That was how I felt anyway... I still recommend this book as an interesting novel and a relatively fast read.