The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
My friend K had chosen this book for October’s Book Club (ummm, how long ago did I read this now? I don’t even want to think about it. I’m seriously [A] that far behind in my reviews and [B] that far behind in my reading goals. November has been a horrendous month for many reasons) and even though I’d read it eight or nine years ago, I was delighted to give it another shot. I’d remembered reading it and really liking it, and faintingviolet’s recent favorable review on CBR and Goodreads gave me extra motivation to re-read it. I was delighted by the book, and I’d forgotten how much I truly liked it.
Our protagonist is Christopher John Francis Boone, an adolescent boy who is also autistic. One night, he discovers that his neighbor’s dog has been murdered, and in cradling her and moaning/rocking (one of his self-admitted strategies for processing information), he unwittingly attracts the attention of a police officer, whom he assaults for touching him without permission. Thus, he sets off on a journey to discover what happened when his mom died and why the dog’s death is tied to his own and his father’s fate.
This book is colorful, poignant, and moving. Christopher is a painfully honest but touching hero, and his journey towards discovery is one that you will root for. The way he sees the world becomes clear, and it was also informative to think about how we must treat others who view the world in a different way. This book also took on a personal note for me: my brother is on the autism spectrum. He was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome when he was six years old. He’s had more than a few struggles along the way, but he’s never given up on himself. It’s been a pleasure to watch him grow independent and self-aware throughout the years. Watching him graduate from college this last May gave me so much joy.