Karan Raikar, 16, hated the book, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
On Friday as the first gathering of the HT Education Book Club was held at Crossword bookstore Kemps Corner, Raikar was in a minority as fans of the author Mark Haddon gushed about the book that won the 2003 Whitbread Book of the Year award. Readers were invited to participate in the book club, which they responded to enthusiastically by turning up in all shapes and sizes to discuss the aforementioned book.
Raikar, a Class 10 student of Jamnabai Narsee School, had come “fully prepared to take on those who thought the haphazard narrative or the random protagonist were interesting.” Though Raikar didn’t convert any fans, he won a book voucher worth Rs 1,000 for his well-argued opinion.
Author Margaret Mascarenhas, who hosted the event, gave the second book voucher to Devika Lakhote, 17, a Class 12 student at St Xavier’s College. “Lakhote’s arguments were well-thought out and expressed from a literary point of view,” said Mascarenhas, who flew in from Goa for the event and spent time sharing writing and publishing tips with aspiring writers in the group.
The group of 25 readers aged between 14 and 40 years, discussed several aspects of Haddon’s feted novel, such as whether it falls under the genre of humour or mystery, and if it is a book for children or adults.
“I enjoyed the book more when I read it again this year, than I did when I was 12 because I uncovered more layers to it,” said Aadya Shah, 18. Prav Kuchroo, 16, a Class 10 student from Jamnabai Narsee School, disagreed, “I didn’t like it as much as I did when I was 13 years old. But I do appreciated it more after hearing the various opinions today.”