Wednesday, July 13, 2011

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

Basic plot

Christopher John Francis Boone is brilliant at maths and physics but he just can't figure out people. Even animals are easier to understand. When he finds the next door neighbour's dog, Wellington, murdered with a pitchfork, he decides to emulate his favourite logical detective Sherlock Holmes and find the killer. What starts as a test of boundaries for this special 15 year old autistic teen turns into a truth seeking journey in a world he does not really understand.

What I liked about this book

Seeing the world through the eyes of a gifted autistic child certainly opened my eyes to things that I have always taken for granted. Simple concepts such as inter-personal relationships, affection and social skills that come naturally to most seem more precious after seeing how the young protagonist struggle with them. It also revealed how often as "normal" people, we sweep things under the rug, blur the edges of truth and are sometimes dishonest just to conform to societal norm. I also developed a lot of respect and empathy for parents of special needs children, the struggles they must face in accomplishing the already mammoth task of raising a child, especially not having their love and affection reciprocated in the usual way.

What I disliked about the book

In terms of writing style, I found the book very refreshing and easy to read. The puzzles, in addition to giving an insight to Christopher's mind also were fun to challenge myself with. My only qualm is perhaps the supporting characters seemed quite 2 dimensional. However, I am uncertain whether or not this was intentioned by the author.

A quote I liked in this book

You have to learn to trust me. And I don’t care how long it takes. If it’s a minute one day & two minutes the next & three minutes the next and it takes years I don’t care. Because this is important. This is more important than anything else.

Rating: 4/5



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