Jeane, February 13, 2008 (view all comments by Jeane)
This book is not about a dog. Nor is it a mystery story. It is a monologue with many digressions into mathematical musings, from the point of view of an autistic teenager. It have a very unique voice. But the story is rather simple: Christopher finds his neighbor's dog dead in her yard. He determines to find out who did it. His investigations lead him to discover not only who killed the dog (halfway through the book) but to uncover a hidden family secret that throws his orderly life into chaos and unsettles his already dysfunctional family. The most poignant aspect of it all is that he relates the most emotionally wrenching incidents with no hint of emotion at all, or even understanding. A very poignant description of what it might be like inside an autistic child's mind.
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Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (03 Edition)
Used Trade Paper
0 stars -
Penguin Random House Canada -
An autistic math genius sets out to solve the murder-by-pitchfork of a neighbor's dog. The narrator's autism gives a terrific, interesting depth to his voice. Incredibly well done, Mark Haddon's debut novel is sweet, original, and moving.
Narrated by a fifteen-year-old autistic savant obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, this dazzling novel weaves together an old-fashioned mystery, a contemporary coming-of-age story, and a fascinating excursion into a mind incapable of processing emotions.
Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, Christopher is autistic. Everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. At fifteen, Christopher’s carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbour’s dog Wellington impaled on a garden fork, and he is initially blamed for the killing.
Christopher decides that he will track down the real killer, and turns to his favourite fictional character, the impeccably logical Sherlock Holmes, for inspiration. But the investigation leads him down some unexpected paths and ultimately brings him face to face with the dissolution of his parents’ marriage. As Christopher tries to deal with the crisis within his own family, the narrative draws readers into the workings of Christopher’s mind.
And herein lies the key to the brilliance of Mark Haddon’s choice of narrator: The most wrenching of emotional moments are chronicled by a boy who cannot fathom emotions. The effect is dazzling, making for one of the freshest debut in years: a comedy, a tearjerker, a mystery story, a novel of exceptional literary merit that is great fun to read.
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