The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time revolves around Christopher, an autistic teen who discovers his neighbor’s dead dog one night. He is a genius in that he knows all of the prime numbers up to 7,057 and can solve logic puzzles quickly and efficiently; however, he can’t stand the colors yellow or brown or the thought of different foods touching on his plate. As Chris investigates the death of the neighborhood dog, he stumbles upon something that may change his life.
The first half of the book is about Christopher trying to solve the mystery of who killed Wellington. But as you progress further into the book you find out it’s really not about that mystery at all but about Christopher’s character, how he sees the world and how his autism affects him and the people around him.
The book is written from Christopher’s point of view and as said above he has autism and sees the world in a very different way than you and I do. He can pick up on the smallest details and that also affects the way he thinks.
The experience of reading a book from the point of view of an autistic boy was quite jarring, disorienting and reorienting. Even though Haddon really made a point with that there were too many facts that didn’t really relate to the story.
So on one hand, Mark Haddon is able to convey Christopher’s character so well. Because of the narration we really get to see how Christopher thinks. You feel connected with Christopher’s character and really get a sense of who he is as a person. We get an insight on how autism can affect people and I think this book is very real, autism-wise.
But on the other hand, I sometimes felt disconnected to the actual storyline. Because of all the facts and details the story was slow in the beginning but once Haddon revealed some things, it all went quite fast-paced.
Even though this book is supposed to be a mystery, there wasn’t quite a mystery at all but what pleasantly surprised me were the humorous parts in the book.
All in all, I think that Mark Haddon does an excellent job of portraying Christopher’s character. It was a realistic, sad and at times even fun story. Worth the read.
Overall Rating: 4/5