The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-timeThis book is famous. But I had no idea what it was about. My copy is a World Book Night edition, offered free of charge by my local Waterstone’s long after World Book Night had passed.

I reckon they should have been giving copies away like mad, since The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is set in Swindon. We meet Christopher Boone, who we can tell almost immediately is autistic. He lives with his dad and goes to a special school. But when he discovers a dead dog one night and decides to play detective, the story really takes off.

As I’ve mentioned before, I reckon I’m sort of borderline on the autism spectrum, so while I don’t have a full understanding of autism and its effects, I kind of get it. Mark Haddon drew a map of part of Boone’s home on Randolph Street, and before I had the chance to check if it was fictional, I was almost incensed that it was a series of semi-detached houses. Most streets in Swindon (at least in the town centre) are flanked by terraced houses. The only street named Randolph in Swindon is certainly not full of houses. It did actually really bother me. And I was much happier with the map of the railway station platform, because that was pretty accurate.

… where was I? Oh right, I’m writing about a book I read.

It was a memorable, yet quick to read, novel. It’s hard not to read it in one sitting, and it plunges you into the world of someone not-quite-normal, but he has qualities we all recognise. I enjoyed it immensely, but this novel shouldn’t make anyone feel happy at the end of it — it’s too real.

(And by the way, I’m not very good at maths.)

3 thoughts on “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

  1. Yes. I, too, enjoyed this novel–engaging, hopeful, and sad.

    Not at all the same genre, but if you have not read Nabokov’s Lolita, you would probably enjoy that: Another character who is not “normal”, but has qualities that we can relate to.

  2. Earth Abides was the first book I read where I looked at the location setting critically, because it was set in a neighborhood fairly close to where I was growing up. That was a long time ago, like 7th grade. My local library has The Curious… I might go see if it is available.

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