Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time begins as a mystery told from the point of view of Christopher John Francis Boone, a very unique teenager. Christopher finds the neighbor’s dog dead in the yard and decides to write a book about his investigation into the matter. After his father repeatedly tells him to mind his own business, a secret is revealed to Christopher that sends him off on an even bigger adventure. His quest brings him to new places, creates new experiences, and redefines his life as he knows it.

While I can’t recall the author ever directly saying what makes Christopher so different, it seems clear to me that Christopher has autism. This book is an interesting, and I believe amazingly accurate, look inside the head of a person with autism. The glimpse inside Christopher’s mind is fun, quirky, and somewhat maddening at times. His skewed views of the world make the most mundane daily tasks seem like terrifying and exciting adventures.

The book is uniquely written and refreshing. This book breaks the mold of a typical novel by numbering the chapters with prime numbers (because those are the numbers Christopher likes), and using mathematical formulas, sketches, and charts throughout. While I laughed out loud at the oddities of the book in the beginning, I did find it to be a bit tiring by the end. Being inside Christopher’s mind was exhausting and I was glad when the story was over. Altogether an interesting read, though not one of my favorites.

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