Thursday, 8 January 2015

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

From the book blurb
Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.

Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, for fifteen-year-old Christopher everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning. He lives on patterns, rules, and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbor's dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructive universe is threatened. Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favorite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes. What follows makes for a novel that is deeply funny, poignant, and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally.

Mark Haddon is a British novelist and poet, best known for his 2003 novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. He was educated at Uppingham School and Merton College, Oxford, where he studied English.

In 2003, Haddon won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and in 2004, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize Overall Best First Book for his novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, a book which is written from the perspective of a boy with Aspergers syndrome. Haddon's knowledge of Aspergers syndrome, a type of autism, comes from his work with autistic people as a young man. 

What I think
The book’s title is single-handedly responsible to drawing any potential reader towards it. It is long and arouses interest. The book blurb, however, talks about a completely different type of protagonist - a fifteen year old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome presumably.

The story begins in a night when the Christopher’s neighbor’s dog is killed. Then, Christopher decides to play the role of a detective, find out who killed the dog and write a book on this experience. Being a big fan of prime numbers, he decides to use Prime numbers for each chapters.

Christopher speaks about his life, parents, school and pet rat Toby. He also mentions about his love for Mathematics and dream to become an Astronaut.

The entire story is written in first person narrative which flows with ease. Being a compilation of Christopher’s thoughts, it often digresses a lot until it comes back to the point. Some are funny and some makes you think.

In the story, it is never mentioned that Christopher is Autistic. We get to know that from the instances mentioned in the book. I am appreciate the author for this because Christopher is shown as any normal person with an extraordinary brain.

The story carries a positive tone throughout and Christopher’s enthusiasm for Maths is so contagious that you will think of restudying if you are not a big fan like me.

There are too many details. I understand that this was intentionally given because a person with Asperger’s Syndrome, generally, have a knack for details. Yet, as a reader, it tends to bore us.

Should you read it?
This is a very different book. Christopher’s thoughts are different too. His reasoning is practical and unique.

In short, this book will let you feel something that you have never experienced book.
Go for it! It’s a tiny book and you will not regret a few hours spent on it.


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