Rating: 3/5 stars.
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.
I loved how Mark Haddon maintained the consistency of Christopher’s voice and how he didn’t sacrifice the integrity of his character to make him any more likable. There are times when I wished I could snap Chris out of his stupor, but those moments made the book more realistic. I also liked how Haddon incorporated subtle details in the story to exemplify Chris’s character even more – like the prime-numbered chapters and the appendix at the end.
While the book made me think, I felt like the second half of it floundered in that it didn’t have a point. It showed Chris’s character and thought process, but what else? The story was okay but in terms of broader theme or proceeding beyond the baseline intellectual appeal I didn’t think it was mind-blowing.
Mark Haddon deserves all of his accolades for writing a book that delves deeply into the mindset of someone who doesn’t fit into society. I would recommend this fascinating read to almost everyone, even if it is arduous at times. Can’t wait to discuss this one at book club – there are myriad things to talk about.
Also, for those interested in a fantastic story about a character that has a form of autism/Asperger’s, I highly recommend Marcelo in the Real World. That book touched my heart and I think it’ll appeal to fans of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.