the curious incident of the dog in the night-time

title: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

author: Mark Haddon

genre: Fiction, mystery, aspergers

dates read: April 14th – April 15th

review: 5 out of 5 stars

summary: Christopher has aspergers and when his neighbor’s dog is murdered, he decides to find the killer and write a book about it.  He has social phobias that make it difficult for him to interact with other people, and isn’t able to read people well and so often misses the subtleties of non-verbal (and sometimes verbal) communication.  He likes his world to be logical and in order and so finds prime numbers and mathematical equations soothing.  He also discovers that he’s been lied to by someone he trusts, which causes him to step outside his comfort zone and take him on a new adventure.

personal thoughts: I thought this was brilliantly written.  Christopher’s voice is so unique and his perspective is wonderfully portrayed.  I first heard about this book in a child development class I took years ago.  We were talking about autism and the teacher mentioned this book.  I’ve been curious about it ever since and am so glad I finally read it.  I think Haddon is very respectful in his portrayal of Christopher and honors the way his processes information and thinks about the world.  I highly recommend this.  Also, there are quite a few math problems throughout and if you’re into that thing, you might like this book even more.

favorite quotes:
“Prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away.  I think prim numbers are like life.  They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.” p. 15

“I find people confusing.  This is for two main reasons.  The first main reason is that people do a lot of talking without using any words.” p. 18

“I think people believe in heaven because they don’t like the idea of dying, because they want to carry on living and they don’t like the idea that other people will move into their house and put their things into the rubbish.” p. 43

“But I don’t take any notice because I don’t listen to what other people say and only sticks and stones can break my bones and I have my Swiss Army knife if they hit me and if I kill them it will be self-defense and I won’t go to prison.” p. 56

“And because there is something they can’t see people thing it has to be special, because people always think there is something special about what they can’t see, like the dark side of the moon, or the other side of a black hole, or in the dark when they wake up at night and they’re scared.” p. 148

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