Monday, February 28, 2011

Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

The strength of this book lies in Christopher’s first-person voice. The reader is able to see the world through the eyes of one with Autism. I understood Christopher’s strange actions better because he explained his reasoning. But the point of view was also a weakness for me. The repetition became tiresome. I already know he doesn’t like yellow or brown. I don’t need to be reminded of it over and over.

Christopher’s story is not the only one being told. The Curious Incident examines what it is like living with and caring for someone with Autism. I found myself more interested in Christopher’s parents as the story continued. Professionals are trained and choose to work with special needs populations. Parents are not usually trained nor do they choose the child they get. Christopher’s parents are flawed, make mistakes, and I really felt for them. They want what is best for their son but are people with needs, too.

I’ve known autistic kids and while I saw some similarities to Christopher there were significant differences. The term autism covers a wide spectrum with vastly different manifestations. No one voice can even remotely represent it. If you’re looking to educate yourself on this disorder you’ll need to go beyond reading this book because truly, it does not represent the spectrum.
Summary: "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. And he detests the colours yellow and brown. This improbable story of Christopher’s quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years. Mark Haddon make this an excellent book for children and adults alike." "

I enjoyed the charts and diagrams which Christopher uses to explain things. Some readers find them distracting. I think they added to the story and helped me follow along. The humor is dark. It is funny but is tempered by Christopher’s serious situation. Overall, the book didn’t do much for me. However, I think it is an important text. It discusses a serious disorder that is increasing in our population and manages to make the reader laugh while making him aware.

Publisher: Vintage, 2004     Pages: 226
Rating: 3 Stars     Source: IC Public Library

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed this book - I like dark humor. I agree that it doesn't begin to encompass autism spectrum disorder, but for people who don't know much about the disorder, it's an interesting introduction.