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My Take : The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

WYP Numerous reviews have been written about Mark Haddons’s award-winning book ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time’. Yet, I was so moved after reading this elegant and poignant tale of a 15-year old’s detective story, that I feel compelled to pen a few words.

The book presents the view of the world through the eyes of a 15-year old autistic boy. It presents in a non self-deprecating manner the difficulties that a person suffering from autism has to go through in this world.

Christopher Boone, the protagonist in this book, has a keen sense of observation and logic. He breaks down complex concepts into simplistic building blocks and builds on them through reason. Yet, the ordinary matters of human life, where logic and reason often have no place, baffle him. The manner in which he tries to stick to the rules of book writing as laid out by his teacher is particularly endearing. He cannot comprehend the difficulties his special requirements may have put on his parents and like any teenager, struggles to cope with the realities of his dysfunctional family. Born into a world where everything is as they seem and emotions have very little role, he is unable to understand why his parents behave the way they do. Faced with difficult situations, Boone find it within him to conquer his fears to get to places where he wants to go and to run the proverbial extra mile to achieve the ambitious goals he has set for himself. Autism or no autism, he is a fifteen year old with true grit and admirable strength of character.

This book is bound to make you reflect on how far we often are from reason and logic, how much of what we say do we really mean, just how much assumptions do we make in our daily conversations and conduct, how many wonderful details in the world have missed our observation, and how complicated we often make matters out to be when often there may be simpler answers. This book will open up your minds to people who are different from us – in no way lesser, just different. Despite the deceptive simplicity of the topic – a murder mystery narrated by a 15 year old – this book is very engaging and is ‘unputdownable’, from the beginning to the end. Of the many qualities that this book may possess, what shines through the most is the tone of optimism and determination that is prevalent in this book.

Rating : Must Read

Ratings range through ‘Waste of Time -> If you have time -> Good Read -> Must Read -> Crème de la crème.’

Posted in Books on February 21, 2005

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