The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
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 colors yellow and brown. As a fifteen-year-old boy with Autism / Asperger's Syndrome, he lives with his father and was told that mother died two years ago. He discovers the dead body of Wellington, the neighbor's dog, speared by a garden fork. Mrs Shears, Wellington's owner, calls the police, and Christopher comes under suspicion.
He decides to investigate the dog's death, despite his father's orders to stay out of other people's business. However, he is severely limited by his fears and difficulties when interpreting the world around him. Throughout his adventures, Christopher records his experiences in a book: a "murder mystery novel". During his investigation, Christopher meets people whom he has never before encountered, even though they live on the same street, including the elderly Mrs Alexander, who informs Christopher that his mother had an affair with Mr Shears and had been with him for a long time.
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. It's as if you're seeing the world through Christopher's eyes.
In my geeky, science, math-loving way, I thoroughly loved this book's story as well as the way it was written. I would suggest this book to anyone who wants a very personal portrait of the life of an autistic boy processing detective work to solve a crime, that ends up with a very unexpecting twist.
I do not have Autism nor have, to my knowledge, ever known anyone Autistic. I do however work with many Doctors at the hospital, at times I do truly believe my boss is included in this category on the very mild end, who have Aspergers. I'm always mesmerized trying to decipher how their minds work in that they are so brilliant, true geniuses, yet they have difficulty looking me in the eyes, or even keeping a coherent conversation going. They memorize books in full, and can perform surgeries (literally) with their eyes closed, but they don't comprehend chewing with their mouths closed or that it is inappropriate to tell someone that they are obese in public. Where many, understandably, feel sympathy or empathy for the plight of those with these syndromes, I sit fascinated by it, and I think that is what drew me to this book even more. There are certainly times where I feel awful for Christopher, but for so much of this book, I admired his strength in keeping after his detective work and never giving up, even when it is far more difficult for him than it is for most of society. I also very much admired Christophers father in this book. It must be a very challenging and at times daunting task to raise a child with emotional impairments, but clearly as you read through the pages, it is shining so brightly how much his father loves him, regardless of it all.
I really enjoyed the pace of the book as well as the path the reader got to follow with Christophers thought-process and action. The only part that at times wore on me was how many tangents Christopher took in his explanations. It was less grinding however when I realized that there are many people in our society that go through this mental process on a daily basis. I enjoyed the book very much.