Saturday, October 27, 2007

Mark Haddon on the Police and My Mind as a Bread-Slicer

Christopher Boone, the fifteen year old narrator in Mark Haddon’s novel, The Curious Incident, has these things to say about the police and his mind:

“Then the police arrived. I like the police. They have uniforms and numbers and you know what they are meant to be doing. There was a policeman and a policewoman.

The policewoman had a little hole in her tights on her left ankle and a red scratch in the middle of the hole.

The policeman had a big orange leaf stuck to the bottom of his shoe which was poking out from one side.” (p7)

Christopher is then interviewed by the police about the murder of Mrs. Shear’s poodle:

“He was asking too many questions and he was asking them too quickly. They were stacking up in my head like loaves in the factory where Uncle Terry works. The factory is a bakery and he operates the slicing machines. And sometimes the slicer is not working fast enough but the bread keeps coming and there is a blockage.”

“I sometimes think of my mind as a machine but not always as a bread-slicing machine. It makes it easier to explain to other people what is going on inside.” (p8)

Christopher is taken away by the police in their car and he writes:

“The police car smelt of hot plastic and aftershave and takeaway chips.” (p11)

Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (London: Vintage, 2004), 7, 8.

Images: Police and industrial bread-slicer.

Other stories from this book can be found at:
Cultivating the Observant Eye
Mark Haddon on Timetables and France