The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Dogs die and people lie.  Essentially, that’s the moral of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon.  Though the book also has a lot more to it than that, it does at first seem as simple as that.  In a quick and easy narrative, the reader is taken on a journey of discovery and change.It may take some people some time to get used to the narrator’s point of view.  But I felt it was an amazing wonderful and sweet portrayal of a person diagnosed with an autistic spectrum condition.  Christopher’s condition seems to be a lot like Asperger’s but as Haddon is confessedly, by no means an expert on the syndrome, it will go as an unnamed autistic condition.  Also, by all means, the book is not about his condition.  The book is mostly about a young boy’s relationship with his father, and his growth, and the mystery surrounding all of it.  Christopher’s ability with numbers, and inability to cope with certain things, both help and hinder him as he ventures to solve the great mystery around the center of the book.

While the reader may think this is about the eponymous dog, it isn’t.  The dog, Wellington the poodle if you must know, is only the beginning of a series of mysteries which unfold.  I won’t ruin it for you, because I feel like you should never hint or reveal clues of a ‘mystery,’ but I will go on to say that this is definitely not your usual mystery.  The Curious Incident has a much more interesting take on the mystery theme.  Part of this, is because Christopher is narrating this mystery, and his inability to tell lies or create fictional scenarios proves to be rather cumbersome, both to himself and those involved with him.

But despite these inhibitions, Christopher is able to grow immensely as a person, and he finally realizes what actually has to happen in “real life.”  Through the novel, his relationship with his father also grows, and he manages to actually, for once, make his own decisions.  Christopher’s relationship with his father is a subject greatly touched upon throughout the book, and it is something that keeps the reader glued to each page.  But in the end, it’s Christopher’s sweetness and sincerity, and search for honesty and truth that keeps those pages turning.

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