Posts filed under ‘Mystery’
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a book (deemed a mystery novel by the book’s narrator) written from the point of view of a 15-year-old autistic savant named Christopher. During the course of the book, Christopher demonstrates his photographic memory in detail. He uses a DVD as an analogy of what he is able to do, being that he can easily remember specifics, including what his mother was like when she was still alive, and even what she smoked, wore or read at a particular moment, as well as the exact words she said. Thus the narration resembles a transcript rather than a proper narrative, with more emphasis on the actions and words of others instead of their emotions. This uniqueness also stems from the fact that early in the book we find out that Christopher has difficulty understanding facial emotions and cannot describe feelings very well.
Despite his photographic memory, we also find out that the “mysteries” depicted in the book are indeed, from his point of view, mysteries, due to his inability to come to conclusions easily. For example, when he discovers a letter to him from his supposedly dead mother, he wonders if it was sent to the wrong person, while ignoring the possibility that his mother is not dead.
In general, the narration of the book may repel certain readers who prefer their narration to be more straightforward and less long-winded, due to a lot of sidetracking and anecdotes brought up in the story. However, it can also be viewed as insightful, since the narrating style used by Christopher is very uncommon due to his emotional disabilities. The information overload he experiences is also an insight that shows how he is able to analyse things that we normally do not pay attention to or take for granted.
This novel is a recommended read for those who like twists, no matter how minor they might possibly be, as there are numerous twists, both foreshadowed and unexpected, throughout the story.
Watchmen by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons
Reviewed by Jason Erik Lundberg
Possibly the best graphic novel ever written. An incredible deconstruction of the superhero genre, and a smart and fascinating murder mystery. Moore accomplishes things impossible in any other form, and does so with intelligence and phenomenal writing. Gibbons’ artwork is the perfect complement, and is wonderfully crowded with incredible detail. Powerful and full of symbolism, and a must-read for any mature comics fan.
Further graphic novel recommendations:
- The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman
- The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
- The Absolute Sandman (four volumes), The Absolute Death, and Black Orchid by Neil Gaiman et al.
- V for Vendetta by Alan Moore et al.
- American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
- It’s a Bird by Steven T. Seagle and Teddy Kristiansen
- The Fountain by Darren Aronofsky and Kent Williams
- Blankets by Craig Thompson
- Laika by Nick Abadzis
- Bone by Jeff Smith
- The Arrival by Shaun Tan
For the months of March and April, KC Library will be focusing on the literary genre of Mystery.
The above display (with titles from Agatha Christie, Ruth Rendell, Max Allan Collins, Dean Koontz, Elizabeth Peters, Joan Lowery Nixon, James Howe, John Grisham, and Thomas Harris) will last until the end of April, and in just a few weeks, we will post book reviews of Mystery titles.
Following is our Genre Focus schedule:
- January: Science Fiction
- February: War Stories
- March/April: Mystery
- May: Fantasy
- July: Horror
- August: Singaporean Literature
Faculty and students are welcome to visit the display and discuss genre-specific titles here are the blog.
So what is your favorite Mystery novel?
Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
Reviewed by Leon Tay (2P3)
The story begins with Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Dr Watson being visited by Dr. Mortimer, who has come to seek their help in investigating the sudden death of Sir Charles Baskerville. He apparently died of natural causes but Mortimer suspects that the “curse” of the Baskervilles is to blame; a demon hound hunting the Baskervilles for generations.
With the death of Charles Baskerville, the family title and lands are inherited by the young Henry Baskerville, who has been living in Canada. Dr Mortimer is worried that Henry is in danger and asks Holmes to meet him and try and solve the mystery of the curse.
When I first started reading the book, I did not understand many of the clues until I had read to the middle where Sherlock Holmes explains the mystery. My only advice to all readers is to read the whole story and do not skip any parts as even trivial sections usually contain the most important details.
I also like the author’s style of using a Watson’s point-of-view as the narrator. Watson is the perfect narrator because he is not as intuitive as Sherlock Holmes and if Holmes were telling the story, readers would have little opportunity to solve the mystery themselves.
The setting for the story came about from the author’s visit to the English moors. While there, he frequented prehistoric ruins and heard tales about escaped prisoners and a local legend about a dog. From there, he developed the “curse” of the Baskervilles.