The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Read Yes
Length 226
Quick Review A look into the psyche and thought process of a teen boy with Autism. He goes on an adventure to solve a mystery but solves a much larger one.

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Christopher Boone is a fifteen year old boy living in Swindon, England; he is an autist. Late one night, he goes for a walk only to find his neighbor’s dog has been murdered. He loves dogs because they do not lie, so he is devastated by the murder. Christopher decides to solve the mystery of who killed the dog because detectives use logic and facts to solve problems, and he is very good at solving problems with facts and logic.

Mark Haddon does fantastic work creating a world inside the mind of an autistic boy allowing the outside world to better understand how autists perceive the world around them. Christopher is telling the story. He is unable to lie and is fairly impartial spectator in the world and even his own life. He is very logical preferring science, facts, and numbers to everything else. He prefers prime numbers, so the chapters are labelled with prime numbers instead of the more common numerical order.

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This is an incredibly important novel because autism is a highly misunderstood part of society. Haddon is able to convey this through how Christopher views and interacts with the world around him and his comments on how people interact with him. Society does not view autists as capable contributors to the world, when in fact they can be if we took extra time and effort to understand and help them. Christopher is incredibly intelligent, but he functions differently in perceiving and interacting with social cues in the world. Christopher is demanding because of his autism, and that affects those around him. Haddon is not afraid to show the difficulties his caretakers go through emotionally to help him have a better life.

I think this book should be read far and wide because it raises awareness for a population that is under-served and misunderstood.

Memorable Quotes
“Also, dogs are faithful and they do not tell lies because they cannot talk.”
“…maths wasn’t like life because in life there are no straightforward answers at the end.”
“It is difficult to spot a rhetorical question.”

Title: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Author: Mark Haddon
Publisher: Vintage Books (Random House)
Copyright: 2003
ISBN: 9781400032716

 

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