#07 ~ The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

February 10, 2007 at 3:24 pm | Posted in Amazing Narrator, Books, British Comedy, Culture, Family, Reading | 2 Comments
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The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night-Time by Mark Haddon

This book is incredible. It is the story of a high functioning autistic teenage boy who decides to write a book about his attempt to detect who really killed his neighbors dog. The entire book was written from Christopher’s perspective. His narration is poignant and is the perfect way to put you in the mind of an autistic person. Christopher does not like to be touched. To show that they love each other, they open their hands like palming a basketball and touch fingertips. When I think of all the time I spend cuddling my children, I can’t fathom how big a hole parents must feel in their hearts when they can’t be physically affectionate.

It is also interesting to read what non-autistic behavior is interpreted by Christopher. He goes into explanations of white lies and other commonalities of life that will first crack you up and then make you think about what you are subconsciously telling other people.

Christopher gives you full and entirely factual accounts throughout the book. His level of honesty is refreshing and heartbreaking, especially when he is talking about a subject that would tear another child up inside. He just doesn’t understand. Is that good? It definitely has an impact on how Christopher looks at the world.

This book is funny, realistic, and thoroughly enjoyable. I did read quickly through the math equations he worked on to calm himself down in uncomfortable situations. Still, it was interesting that there are people for whom working out such problems makes them feel better. I wish that I knew exactly what I needed to do to relax the way that Christopher does. This book should definitely be on your “to read” list if you haven’t already done so.

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  1. I just finished reading this book this morning. I loved it. I’ve been interested in autism/asperger’s syndrome because I have a friend who works with autistic children, and I think another friend of mine might have Asperger’s – and I also blame my mother for making me watch Son Rise when I was 10. (I think that was the name of the made-for-TV movie).

    I loved this book – it really takes you into how the mind of a person with Asperger’s Syndrome works. Things that we take for granted, social cues that we pick up on so easily, being able to filter out all the unnecessary details when we look at a field – all these and more were things I never really thought about. I can imagine how difficult it is for a person with Asperger’s Syndrome to live in a world built around “normal” people.

    One reviewer said that she was troubled that things were fine from Christopher’s point of view even though his parents were divorced and his pet had died as long as his schedule wasn’t disruptive. I’m not sure how I feel about that – with everything that goes on in his head, I’m glad that he isn’t made up to deal with grievances that affect the “normal” people – sometimes, I think he has it right – he’s very matter-of-fact when it comes to beliefs in God and relationships – it may sound cold, but if one actually thinks about it, it’s also true on many levels.

    And I loved some of the math and logic – like the probability question and the spiral method of finding a place when you know you’re really close to it.

    (I’ve been taking exams, that’s why I dropped out of sight for a while. But with vacation – I’m ready to start reading some more!)

  2. I understand where people might think that Christopher would be upset about a divorce no matter what. I think that adults tend to put children’s reactions to things in a box and are shocked when they don’t fit (mental condition or not). I can imagine situations where a divorce would seem like heaven to children because there would finally be some peace and quiet.

    I hope that your exams went well!!!


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