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

Summary: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a murder mystery novel like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone. Christopher is fifteen and has Asperger’s Syndrome. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns and the truth. He hates the colours yellow and brown and being touched. He has never gone further than the end of the road on his own, but when he finds a neighbour’s dog murdered he sets out on a terrifying journey which will turn his whole world upside down. 3437 Review:

This is one of those books that is raved about, and I can understand why, but I didn’t LOVE it. I didn’t dislike it either, I felt a little ambivalent, and that disappoints me. I really wanted to read it and be able to rave about it to everyone I spoke to, marching them to the nearest bookshop to buy it immediately, but I can’t.

What I did enjoy was how well Christopher, the main character, was written. He has Aspergers, which is never identified by name, and Haddon has captured this brilliantly. As someone with an autistic family member, I could relate to specific parts of the story and the way Christopher’s thoughts are rushed and extremely random and varied, yet he remains determined to find out the answer to his mystery. The diagrams, emboldened words intensify how Christopher copes with his environment and goes about his everyday life, as well as the interjections he relays from Siobhan, who is clearly a support worker at his school, to keeps his book interesting.

What I didn’t like, I am unable to put into words, which may seem as a bit of a cop out. I was about 50 pages in when I made the statement, “I don’t know if I like or dislike this book” on Facebook and twitter. I can pinpoint what I liked, but not what I disliked.

It’s not very often I have little to no reaction about a book, especially one that has done so well, but this one has me stumped. It’s well written, but the story itself did nothing for me.

Haddon has, since the book was released, has stated he did no research into Asperger’s and Autism, but in all honesty, I couldn’t tell. It’s common knowledge the difficulties that people with these conditions suffer and that each person is very different from another. He hasn’t generalised, but parts of the story did feel a little stereotypical and a little cliche, BUT it didn’t ruin it for me, it merely didn’t enhance.

I may well re read the book at a later date to see if I enjoy it more, or get more from it, but for now, I can honestly say I didn’t.


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Filed under British, contemporary, Detective, Mystery, Review, Suspense, YA

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