I’ve been reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon. It’s a book I’ve put off reading, because for a while there everyone seemed to be reading it, and also, every time I read the blurb on the back cover it seemed, well, gimmicky.
Anyway, I’m about halfway through the novel and I don’t see it as gimmicky anymore; I’m liking it. But the narrator is a distinctive one (autistic 15-year-old boy) and I find the voice alternately endearing/wonderful and tiresome. There are paragraphs here and there that are the kind of imaginative, flawless paragraphs you read and then wish desperately you had written. And then there are entire chapters (numbered only in prime numbers) that seem to be digressions (to be fair they probably aren’t, I’m not done with the book yet, so I don’t know) that I can’t wait to get through.
I was struck by this passage, more for the imagination in it than anything else, and dog-eared the page:
People think alien spaceships would be solid and made of metal and have lights all over them and move slowly through the sky because that is how we would build a spaceship if we were able to build one that big. But aliens, if they exist, would probably be very different from us. They might look like big slugs, or be flat like reflections. Or they might be bigger than planets. Or they might not have bodies at all. They might just be information, like a computer. And their spaceships might look like clouds, or be made up of unconnected objects like dust or leaves. (p. 69)
I love the idea that some forms of life out there might be reflections, or information, or dust.