Friday, April 18, 2008

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

This will not be a funny book. I cannot tell jokes because I do not understand them. Here is a joke, as an example. It is one of Father's: His face was drawn but the curtains were real. I know why this is meant to be funny. I asked. It is because drawn has three meanings. ... If I try to say the joke to myself, making the word mean three different things at the same time, it is like hearing three different pieces of music at the same time, which is uncomfortable and confusing and not nice like white noise. It is like three people trying to talk to you at the same time about different things. And that is why there are no jokes in this book.
The narrator of this book by Mark Haddon is a 15-year-old autistic boy. Late one night Christopher discovers that his neighbor's dog has been killed by a garden tool, and he sets out to find the murderer. In the course of his investigation, he must step outside his comfort zone over and over again, and he discovers all kinds of frightening and confusing information. Christopher is also a mathematical genius, and he works through his world by processing events in a logical, mathematical way--as much as he can.

I stayed up way too late for two nights reading this book. It was absolutely fantastic. The author is never sentimental about Christopher. He leads us into Christopher's world immediately, without commentary. it really is Christopher's book--not a book about Christopher. Thanks to Kristina for suggesting this book. I'd absolutely pass on the recommendation.


Katie said...

Oh yeah- wasn't this a great book? I too stayed up late a couple of nights to finish it.

Rachel said...

I loved this book, too. The author had so much respect for his protagonist, didn't he? Skip Mark Haddon's latest, "A Spot of Bother." It was a real disappointment after reading this gem.
(PS--I like your blog! I found you from Semicolon.)

Anonymous said...

Eeek! I thought I commented on this one. I really enjoyed this one. It was insightful to get into the mind of Christopher and the story pulled me along as well. I'm glad that I read it.

Unknown said...

I really enjoyed this book too.

SSQuo said...

This is one of my favoritest books of all time! I love how he dissected phrases and casual slang and made them literal, and found no sense in them.