Paperback Perils: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

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Title: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Author: Mark Haddon
Publication Date: 2003
Publishing House: Doubleday

I picked this book up a couple of years ago at a Half-Price Books sale and then it sat on my to read shelf. I’m glad that I decided to read it.

Synopsis from Goodreads

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.

Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, for fifteen-year-old Christopher everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning. He lives on patterns, rules, and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbor’s dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructive universe is threatened. Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favourite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes. What follows makes for a novel that is funny, poignant and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally. 

If you are not aware of the perspective this book is written from, reading it can come as a bit of a shock. I had a bit of an idea going in but even still I was unprepared. This book is written from the perspective of a boy with autism. What a brilliant mind it is too. He looks at the world differently, and it holds more terrors for him in the everyday. Christopher is unashamed to be different. He learns how to navigate the world in a way that fits his needs. When his world falls a part, he fights through his fears to do what is best for himself.

Haddon wrote this book from the perspective of a teenage boy and the reader learns so much about how his mind works. However, this book also illustrates how adults handle children, and people in general, that are different. Stress and frustration causes people, parents even, to do things that they would have found inconceivable before that moment.

I suggest that everyone read this book to gain a better understanding of how those with autism see the world.

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