Book: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Author: Mark Haddon
Type of work: Fiction
Why Did I Read This Book: I worked briefly at a used bookstore (waves to all my awesome coworkers at the Half-Price Books in Round Rock, if any of them ever find this review site) and a woman told me she had read it for her book club and wanted a copy for her daughter because she liked it so much. Her daughter worked with special needs children and despite the number of times I had seen copies of the book in new stores, I had no idea the book revolved around a “special needs” kid. On the basis of that woman’s like of the book and tantalizing premise of an autistic teenager writing a book, I decided to give it a try.
Availability: Published in 2003 by Vintage Books, this book is still widely available. You can get a copy here:
Comments: I do my best not to be an armchair psychiatrist because invariably such endeavors show my utter ignorance in the realm of psychiatry and the workings of the human brain, but I wonder what my extreme love of the spare style used to write this book says about me. The trope of the book is that Christopher Boone, a 15-year-old autistic savant, discovered a neighbor’s dead dog, stabbed to death with a pitchfork, and decided to write a book about his attempts to solve the dog’s murder. As he writes his book, Christopher uncovers a shocking family secret and is forced to crawl outside the extreme limits his autism place upon him. Of course, I won’t spoil the ending but the plot, while at times a little obvious, is overshadowed by the experience of spending time in Christopher’s head, a time that is nerve-wracking, saddening, frustrating and amazing.