Sunday, January 08, 2006

From Charlie's Point of View

Finished it this morning. I thought it was pretty good, with a few things I would have changed, if I were the editor. Charlie is in 7th grade, and is blind. On the first day of school, his father is wrongfully accused of a rash of ATM robberies, and Charlie, with the help of his two friends, Bernadette and Lewis, have to find out who the real bandit is. It's a mystery, see, but it's really about being blind, like the way the curious incident of the dog in the night-time and Al Capone Does My Shirts are about autism. It's sneaky that way.

The author does an excellent job of presenting Charlie's point of view, with descriptions of the audio and tactile cues the rest of us take for granted (how the wind or the echo from his cane changes when he gets to the end of a hallway, for instance).

I also enjoyed the mystery. It was almost like an episode of Scooby Doo, with, "So it was YOU, all along!" "Yes, and I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for those darn kids!"

I didn't like the extraneous stuff. I feel like it could be 100 pages shorter if we didn't have to deal with Frank the bully and Gideon the angel. They seemed to be in there as a distraction, but they didn't act as red herrings, and then at the end Gideon had a completely unnecessary time-manipulating function.

The worst fluff was how Bernadette kept thinking her French teacher was her dad. Honestly, I know she's messed up. Her mom passed out drunk in the kitchen. Yes, she's messed up. I don't need to know that she misses her dad.

There were also some confusing typos or badly constructed sentences. For instance, I wasn't clear whether the cab driver and Detective Perry were women or men.

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