The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time – Mark Haddon

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time is an interesting insight into the mind of a teenage boy with Asperger’s syndrome, a variation of autism. Christopher tells the story of Wellington, the neighbourhood poodle who is murdered as he sets out to find his killer. He is caring, extraordinarily smart and quirky with his understanding of the world.

Written as a book by Christopher, the reader gets a first-hand portrayal of the thoughts of a boy with Asperger’s Syndrome. It is an interesting concept as the majority of the time what people know about children or adults with Autism is what they see in their movements or emotions but this story allows a look at Christopher’s thoughts and more importantly why he acts in certain ways and the thought process involved. Due to Christopher’s unbelievable mathematical skills he structures the book in chapters but headed as prime numbers rather than the usual consecutive 1,2,3… another trait of autism. His justification throughout the plot and his abilities make him an unconventional character but one that was enjoyable to follow throughout the book.

This book doesn’t just tell the story of a 15 year old boy with autism but uncovers the relationships he has and how difficult it is for him to form new friendships not only because he finds it unnerving but because of other people’s misunderstanding of his process when meeting new people. This book uncovers the lack of patience the general public has to individuals with Autism and the sheer dismissal of their needs, wants and difficulties within public places. As well as this, it unveils the issues that arise in families, and it is an intriguing look at the relationships Christopher has with his father and mother. The way love is expressed was beautiful and the thought processes Christopher has of fear, trust and lies.

This book is a real eye-opener and is well worth the read. It is something new, individualistic and great for anyone who works with or volunteers with individuals with a learning disability. I particularly enjoyed learning about autism through Christopher and understanding how he sees the world. I am giving this book a 4 out of 5 stars on goodreads as I have said before I like a book that steps outside the usual formalities of literature and into a new topic. I definitely recommend it if you are looking for something a little bit different.

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