The Book Mark

Books that make the grade.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

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So this review is a bit behind my reading but several weeks ago I re-read a phenomenal book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (A+) by Mark Haddon. I had to read it again because it had been a long time since I read it the first time and we will be discussing it at our monthly book club meeting. I usually don’t like reading a book over, mostly because it slows me down and I have so many I want to read. However, I was so pleased that I was forced to read this again.

Haddon’s main character Christopher is autistic and he is writing a book and the book we read is his. Christopher likes to wander around his neighborhood at night when he can go undetected. He doesn’t interact with anyone at the hours that he wanders. One evening he comes across a dead dog…a dog that was killed with a pitchfork. He knows the dog and knows who it belongs to and is very concerned that someone has done this. It becomes his mission to find the murderer. Since he avidly reads mysteries he goes about his investigation with skills he’s learned from those books.

His father repeatedly tells him to stop his investigation and “to keep his noise out of other people’s business” and so while trying to keep his promise to his Dad he continues investigating in a different fashion.

What is so remarkable about this novel is that Haddon nails it. His mind and consequently his writing becomes as if he himself were autistic. His portrayal of Christopher is accurate and unforgettable…the story isn’t too bad either!!!

Now on Broadway as a play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime cannot be ignored. While I have not seen the play (but those who have say it’s incredible) I highly recommend that whatever way you can come to know this story that you do. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to come to understand what it is like to be autistic in today’s world. I am eager for our club discussion and I am sure that there will not be anyone who wasn’t touched by this memorable novel.

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