Warnings: swearing, mild domestic abuse (?)
Author: Mark Haddon
‘The dog was lying on the grass in the middle of the lawn in front of Mrs. Shears’ house. It looked as if it was running on it’s side, the way dogs run when they think they are chasing a cat in a dream. But the dog was not running or asleep. The dog was dead. There was a garden fork sticking out of the dog.’
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a murder mystery novel like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone. Christopher is fifteen and has Asperger’s, a form of autism. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns and the truth. He hates the colours yellow and brown and being touched. He has never gone further than the end of the road on his own, but when he finds a neighbour’s dog murdered he sets out on a terrifying journey which will turn his whole world upside down.
I wouldn’t say this was a terrifying book, but it certainly was emotional. Haddon did a really good job of writing inside the mind of a emotionally dissociated 15 year old, and the way his father deals with Christopher all by himself.
Christopher’s thoughts about the way he sees things are interesting and endearing, as well as the way he understands the environment around him. It’s eye-opening to read about how people react to mental illnesses like Asburger’s, but also seeing how Christopher reacts to other students in his school with mental illnesses.
All in all, this was a book that was really sweet without being cutesy, and I think there’s a little bit of Christopher Boone in all of us.