Chapter Summaries
Chapter 37

Though his Mother says it's because he's a good person, Christopher claims he does not tell lies because he is unable to do so. This is because a lie is when you say something that did not occur, but for him mentioning something that did not occur at a certain time and place will make him think of everything that did not occur at that certain time and place. Using an example of breakfast, he explains how these meanings occur to him and how they hurt him. This is another reason why he doesn't like novels: they are about things that didn't happen and are therefore lies, which are painful to him.

Notes - The notion of novels being elaborate lies has long been a convention of literary history and theory. Christopher's view on this, however, adds a damaging physical component to this truism and not just the moral consequences sometimes invoked by writers.

Chapter 41

Christopher apologizes to his father about having to fetch him at the police station and Father says its OK. Christopher adds that he didn't kill the dog and Father says he knows. Father then asks Christopher to stay out of trouble and keep his nose out of other people's business. Christopher says he will find out who killed Wellington, which prompts Father to ask if he was listening. Christopher was, but insists when someone gets murdered he has to find the person responsible so they can be punished. Father gets angry; Christopher can tell because he was shouting, so he didn't say anything else for the rest of the ride.

Arriving home, he feeds his rat Toby and played Minesweeper 76 times. Before going to sleep at 2:07 a.m. he gets a drink of orange squash and sees Father watching TV and crying. He asks Father if he's sad about Wellington's death and Father replies, "You could very well say that." Christopher leaves Father alone since that's what he would want in such a situation, and returns to his room.

Notes - Clues to Wellington's murderer are evident here, but only if one knows Father did it. Otherwise, one would only assume that Father is either lonely or upset about what happened to Christopher this evening. Part of it may be because Christopher is so insistent as a truthful narrator that it's more difficult to note any prevarication on the part of other characters, especially those who see to his well-being.

Chapter 43

Christopher's mother died two years ago. One day he came home from school and nobody was home. He let himself in and later Father came home from work, asking where Mother is. Father placed some calls and went out, returning 2 1/2 hours later with the news that Christopher won't be able to see his mother for a long while. When Christopher asked why, he was told after a long while, because Mother had gone to the hospital. Christopher asks if he can visit and, when told no, asks if it's a psychiatric hospital. Father explains that Mother has a problem with her heart. Christopher insists on bringing food to Mother, since hospital food is not very good; Father says he will handle it, even though he can't cook. Christopher says he will make Mother a get well card and Father says he will take it to her the next day.

Notes - Again, one does not suspect the duplicity of Father's behavior until after the truth is revealed.

Chapter 47

Back to the present, the following morning Christopher sees four red cars in a row, which means that today will be a good day. He has a system by which to measure how good or bad a day, based on the number of cars of the same color he sees: four red cars is a Good Day, three red cars is a Quite Good Day, five red cars is a Super Good Day, and four yellow cars is a Black Day. On a Black Day Christopher speaks to no one and takes no risks. The school psychologist Mr. Jeavons is surprised that Christopher should follow such an illogical system since Christopher himself is so logical. Christopher, however, believes that there are other ways of putting things in order besides logic and that other people do illogical things as a matter of routine. Mr. Jeavons tells Christopher he is clever but Christopher insists that he is merely being observant; he then asks Christopher if he likes things in order, which he does. When Mr. Jeavons asks Christopher if he doesn't like change, Christopher states that he wouldn't mind change if he became an astronaut; Mr. Jeavons says that it's difficult to become an astronaut, which Christopher already knew, but that it's possible to still want something even if it's not likely to happen. Terry, the older brother of his schoolmate Francis, says spazzers don't get to drive rockets; Christopher is not a spazzer and believes he will go to university to study physics and mathematics, but Terry won't. Returning to the main topic, Christopher says that since today is a Good Day he will try to find out who killed Wellington. When he tells Siobhan, she tells him that today they were supposed to write stories, so why not write about events related to this.

Notes - The creation of the story - that is, the reason why Christopher is giving his account of events in the first place - is explained here.

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