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.)