I decided that the dog was probably killed with the fork because I could not see any other wounds in the dog and I do not think you would stick a garden fork into a dog after it had died for some other reason, like cancer, for example, or a road accident.
Christopher introduces the central mystery and driving impetus of the novel: the murder of a dog named Wellington. Christopher’s deduction about how Wellington was killed reveals the unique way in which Christopher’s mind works. Through his observations, he determines that the dog has been murdered. Readers note, however, that this conclusion would be immediately apparent to another person looking at a dead dog stuck with a garden fork.
Mostly I read books about science and maths. I do not like proper novels.
Christopher explains that he doesn’t like fiction because the stories contain language that isn’t straightforward and direct. Christopher struggles to interpret figurative language, especially idioms and colloquialisms that have no literal meaning. Christopher prefers texts on science and math, subjects in which he demonstrates extraordinary ability.
I think people believe in heaven because they don’t like the idea of dying, because they want to carry on living and they don’t like the idea that other people will move into their house and put their things into the rubbish.
Here, Christopher reflects on the topic of death. Christopher’s disorder provides him with has a unique sense of reality. He believes that people have come up with the idea of heaven simply so they don’t have to face reality. His idea, while possibly true, shows Christopher possesses a degree of emotional insensitivity that will create challenges for him in life.
I always tell the truth.
Christopher reveals this part of his personality to Siobhan when she asks him if he feels sad after learning about his mother’s affair. Despite Christopher replying no, readers believe otherwise. Christopher may not be able to tell lies, but the concepts of truth and deception become complicated. As a result of this complication, Christopher finds ways to manipulate the truth by telling white lies.
I was excited. When I started writing my book there was only one mystery I had to solve. Now there were two.
Christopher reflects on the two mysteries dominating his mind. When Christopher first finds his mother’s hidden letters, surprisingly, his logical mind doesn’t immediately arrive at the most obvious conclusion that his mother never died. Instead, Christopher compares the discovery to Wellington’s murder, another mystery to be solved. He comes up with outlandish reasons to explain the dates on his mother’s letters eighteen months after her death, such as the letters being put in the wrong envelope. Christopher uses convoluted logic to avoid a harsh emotional truth.
Lots of things are mysteries. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t an answer to them. It’s just that scientists haven’t found the answer yet.
Christopher believes there is an explanation for everything, which functions as a kind of hubris to blind him to truths. Christopher puts his faith in logic to the ultimate test as he decides to leave his father’s home and go out into the world. Christopher must face that not everything can be explained, and some matters are inherently complex.
Then I stopped reading the letter because I felt sick.
Christopher explains his physical reaction to reading his mother’s hidden letters. In this instance, the reader gets one of the first glimpses into Christopher’s emotional landscape. Clearly, Christopher experiences emotional shock, but interestingly, this shock derives from Christopher’s new fear of his father, not general anger and sadness.
If I am in a place I know, like home, or school, or the bus, or the shop, or the street, I have seen almost everything in it beforehand and all I have to do is look at the things that have changed or moved.
Christopher frequently gives the reader insights into the unique ways his brain works. He explains how his brain catalogs instances and occurrences and weighs them against each other to make meaning. If everything is in the same order, he’ll easily be able to tell which things are out of place. Christopher uses factual relationships to navigate through life and maintain emotional balance.
People believe in God because the world is very complicated and they think it is very unlikely that anything as complicated as a flying squirrel or the human eye or a brain could happen by chance.
Christopher interrupts his narrative of his chase with the police on the train with a digression on the existence of God. He believes people create God as a logical construct, but sees the belief as irrelevant: If considered logically, one would see that human beings are just animals who die out just like any other animal. The reader notes that Christopher might be once again trying to calm himself with logic, except this time, with higher stakes he’s contemplating more serious questions.
And I decided that I didn’t like policeman so much anymore, so I got off the train.
Christopher decides he no longer cares for policemen when they attempt to reunite him with his father. Before his change of mind, Christopher found comfort in policemen due to their straightforward actions, uniforms, and clearly stated intentions. By the end of the book, his position changes. Christopher now views policeman as a threat. This change in position represents Christopher’s increasingly complex relationship with the world as he decides to forge out on his own.