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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Posted - Oct. 11, 2004 at 4:22 a.m.



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THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME By Mark Haddon

What an interesting and unusual book this is. Mark Haddon’s debut novel is told in first person from the perspective of an autistic 15-year-old boy named Christopher John Francis Boone. Christopher can do incredibly complicated math problems but has no idea what the expression on someone’s face means. He doesn’t like to be touched, hates the colors yellow and brown, doesn’t like public places where there is too much stimuli to process.

The book is a murder mystery of sorts. Christopher discovers that his neighbor’s poodle has been killed. Chris likes dogs and lies down next to the still bleeding animal to comfort it when the neighbor spies him, screams and thinks he killed the dog. The adventure begins from there as the boy tries to discover who the real killer is.

The novel is tender as it describes the love, the failings, and triumphs of Chris’ parents and teachers. It’s fascinating to read how a young autistic boy sees the world, tries to understand what’s happening around him, and tries to have the courage to face the things he thinks he cannot face. Haddon does an incredible job of staying in Christopher’s voice.

The read is very quick, under 300 pages, but is still a little fatiguing because of the voice it’s written in. With that slight caveat, I heartily recommend The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. On the Book Beat for KSL Newsradio 1160, I’m Amanda Dickson.

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