Friday, June 29, 2007

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night time by Mark Haddon

One night, 15 year old Christopher finds a dog dead in his next door neighbour's garden. Thus begins the unraveling of Christopher's world. Yet Christopher is no ordinary boy. He's highly intelligent, a skilled mathematician, but he's autistic. Join Christopher on his journey through the world as he sees it. How he tries to understand people and events and just what makes him tick.

I have heard so many people praising Mark Haddon and raving about The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time' that when I saw it on the shelf in the library I thought I'd try it. Yet on finishing the book I wondered what all the fuss was about.

Yes, it is a different and clever take on writing a novel. It is completely written from Christopher's point of view, misunderstandings and tangents included. However it did mean that the book was rather child like in some ways. When I finished the book I realised the story that had taken up the entire book might only have filled half or ever quarter of a book written in a more normal style. Whilst there was progression for some of the characters I didn't feel this applied to Christopher. Maybe because of his condition it can't.

I guess I was coming at this book from a very personal angle. I've had a bad experience with someone with this sort of difficulty and have ended up frightened and questioning how I interact with others (how do you explain to someone who can't understand social interaction and personality like other people can that when you're chatty and smiley with them thats because thats who you are and you're chatty and smiley with everyone, that you didn't highlight your hair because of them, but because you wanted to and therefore their belief that you have feelings for them and their declarations of love and their insistence on having their possessions when they die are incorrect and overstepping the invisible line of what is acceptable which they can't see ).

Despite all of this Haddon is a good writer, ingenious in fact. I won't let this book put me off trying other books he writes, although I'll steer clear of any on this subject matter.

*3 stars*

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