Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Mark Haddon)

Author: Mark Haddon

Published: 2003

Language: English 

Genre: Mystery, Family Drama, Murder Mystery

Rating: 4/5

Note: No Spoilers! Read Away!

Once in a while, I find a book that has perspective to offer. It’s not the kind of perspective that puts me in someone else’s shoes, but the kind that shows you a pair of shoes you didn’t know existed.

I didn’t know of Mark Haddon when I saw this book, but the title was a winner. It did all that a title is supposed to do: it made me stop, made me pick up the book, and I fell in love with the cover, too. As usual, I didn’t read the blurb until the moment I began reading the book, and I was in for a surprise.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time isn’t a book written by Mark Haddon; the author is, in fact, Christopher John Francis Boone, a 15-year-old boy with ‘behavioural problems’, as he describes himself. There is no mention of what causes these problems, which leaves us to focus on Christopher and his narration.

I instantly fell in love with the way Mark Haddon paid attention to details to write a novel from Christopher’s perspective. At no point in the novel did I think of Haddon as the author; I believed in Christopher. The novel revolves around the murder mystery of the neighbour’s dog which makes Christopher write a book in order to solve it. There are other hairy details that I’ll leave you to read!

This child has an autism-spectrum disability that isn’t named in the whole novel, but you do get to understand the effects through Christopher’s eyes. He understands that he has special needs, but that he is smarter than other students with special needs in his class. He prepares for A-level exams in the book and describes concepts in Math that were beyond my capability. There are certain everyday interactions, like telling jokes or making small talk, that he can’t seem to carry out, but his analytical skills are incredible. The fact that he is aware of what he can and cannot do is most definitely my favourite bit about the book.

In addition, I forgot about his special needs as I read. It takes time to understand and settle into someone’s logic bubble, but once you do, you won’t notice the differences like you did before. It is all a matter of making something so common that it doesn’t seem alien anymore. Christopher’s world felt unique, at first, because I had never experienced it, even though I do read up on learning and behavioural disabilities. It’s one thing to know the theory of it, but a whole other world of real experiences exists, and it’s too vast to be recorded.

Haddon has cleared out a space in the reading chamber of my heart, and he’ll be there to stay. I’ll be looking forward to more of his books and I hope this review has sparked an interest in you to give The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time a shot!

[Photo Credits: Fictionographer <– Click here to view more of his amazing photostories!]

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DreamingAtMyDesk View All →

Reader. Learner. Dreamer.
I am all about the little things in life!

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