“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime”
$9 on Amazon.com
What it’s About:
“The Curious Incident of a Dog in the Nighttime” is a murder mystery novel with a new twist: Instead of a witty sleuth investigating the murder of some notable victim, this novel features an autistic teenager investigating the murder of his neighbor’s dog.
Christopher John Francis Boone finds a pitchfork sticking out of Wellington, his neighbor’s poodle. He removes the fork and picks up the dog. When the owner of the poodle finds Christopher holding the dog, she immediately accuses him of committing the murder. Wrongfully accused, Christopher dedicates himself to finding the true murderer.
The entire novel is told from Christopher’s point of view. What makes the narration interesting is that Christopher is autistic and unable to understand the emotions of the people around him. This disability makes his investigations twice as hard.
Christopher must battle against great odds to solve this mystery, and his investigations lead him to discover dark secrets about the world around him.
Why You Should Read it:
Although the premise may sound absurd, this novel is hugely entertaining and reads very quickly. Not only is it suspenseful, but it is deeply emotional and offers great insight into the lives of people who have autism.
Before writing “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime,” Mark Haddon spent time working with autistic children. This novel benefits greatly from Haddon’s insights into the world of autism, and it takes a very sympathetic look both at Christopher and at the people who have to take care and deal with him.
This is Haddon’s debut novel. Before writing it, he wrote a number of children’s books. So, like the novels of Kurt Vonnegut, this novel features lots of cute illustrations. All in all, it’s a worthwhile read.
– Daniel J. Kristie