Friday, April 5, 2013

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

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

Genre: Fiction

Synopsis: Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, Christopher is autistic. Everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. Routine, order and predictability shelter him from the messy, wider world. 

Then, at fifteen, Christopher’s carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbor’s dog, Wellington, impaled on a garden fork, and he is initially blamed for the killing.  Christopher decides that he will track down the real killer and turns to his favorite fictional character, the impeccably logical Sherlock Holmes, for inspiration. But the investigation leads him down some unexpected paths and ultimately brings him face to face with the dissolution of his parents’ marriage. As he tries to deal with the crisis within his own family, we are drawn into the workings of Christopher’s mind.  And herein lies the key to the brilliance of Mark Haddon’s choice of narrator: The most wrenching of emotional moments are chronicled by a boy who cannot fathom emotion. The effect is dazzling, making for a novel that is deeply funny, poignant, and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing is a mind that perceives the world literally.
From the publisher

Review:  This book has such a unique point of view-told from the perspective of a 15 year old boy with autism.  The author is able to describe how Christopher thinks about things, his mental processes when in a new situation, his coping strategies and what he does when he is overwhelmed.  Since the book is narrated by Christopher, the boy with autism, we can see first hand how having autism affects his day to day life.  There were parts of the book that really intrigued me-mainly seeing his coping strategies in various situations and seeing what set him off.  But there were other parts of the book that were completely uninteresting-all of his math, physics and astronomy knowledge.  I was incredibly bored during those parts.  I just skimmed those parts trying to get back to the plot, although there was very little plot.  I do think that you need to know that Christopher fixated on various topics as part of his autism but I didn't need to read pages on solving a math problem.  I think this book was a good look into the life of someone with autism.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars

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