Chapter 7

We're back to the dog scene.

The policeman looked at me for a while without speaking.

I bet he had an expression on his face. I wouldn't have known what it was either.

Then he said, "I am arresting you for assaulting a police officer."

This made me feel a lot calmer because it is what policemen say on television and in films.

He's just been told he's arrested and it makes him feel calmer. What is wrong with him? He seems out of touch with reality.

Then he said, "I strongly advise you to get into the back of the police car, because if you try any of that monkey business again, you little shit, I will seriously lose my rag. Is that understood?"

He may end up making me "lose my rag", too. I haven't heard that idiom before. It makes me think of periods.

He goes to the police car and gets in the back seat, and the policeman calls the policewoman who is still in Mrs. Shears' house. Christopher is still showing no sign whatsoever of caring about the situation. I'll skip the exchange between the police officers; we don't learn anything noteworthy from it except that the policewoman is named Kate. I like how distinct the policeman's speaking style is. Haddon does know a thing or two about writing. It's too bad he didn't put his knowledge to use on a more worthwhile project.

The police car smelled of hot plastic and aftershave and take-away chips.

Setting the scene with sensory details is always good. Here we have another example of polysyndeton, which Christopher seems to be fond of.

"Take-away chips" are fries. I had to look that up.

Christopher watches the sky as he's riding along in the car, and he sees the Milky Way because it's a clear night. This prompts him to go on a long digression about how cool the Milky Way is. Christopher, you've just been arrested after stumbling on a dog pitchforked to the ground. This should be a very upsetting turn of events. Don't you even care?! I know this is being written down after the fact, but still.

I wouldn't mind the Milky Way stuff if it weren't written in the usual simplistic style. It's all like this:

And then I thought about how for a long time scientists were puzzled by the fact that the sky is dark at night, even though there are billions of stars in the universe and there must be stars in every direction you look, so that the sky should be full of starlight because there is very little in the way to stop the light from reaching earth.

Then they worked out that the universe was expanding, that the stars were all rushing away from one another after the Big Bang, and the further the stars were away from us the faster they were moving, some of them nearly as fast as the speed of light, which was why their light never reached us.

I like this fact. It is something you can work out in your own mind just by looking at the sky above your head at night and thinking without having to ask anyone.

I'm not sure you can figure that out just by looking at the sky. Maybe he can because he's so smart, but I have my doubts about anyone else. You can't figure it out once you already know it.

The chapter ends with a discussion of how no one will be alive to see all the stars collapsing inward, and I'm not bothering to quote it because there's nothing much to say and this book makes me not care about its contents.

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This page was last modified on 28/06/2016 (dmy).