The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has one of the most authentic narrators of any novel. Christopher Boone is an autistic 15-year old trying to navigate the world around him. He tells his story in the form of a book he is writing; the book you are reading. And if that sounds confusing, it actually works quite well.
Christopher comes across a crime scene and decides he is going to do some detective work. This leads him down a road he is not prepared for. With autism, many seemingly simple tasks are excruciatingly difficult for Christopher. By hearing these experiences from his own voice, you can feel the tension and struggles he faces.
Throughout the novel, it is easy to route for Christopher. He is genuine and kind and persists even though many of the people he encounters are not only unhelpful, they are disgustingly rude. Rarely does anyone actually understand that he has autism.
I don’t want to give away the plot but The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a combination of coming of age and adventure story. By completing his task of traveling by himself to London, Christopher proves to himself that he can do anything. Maybe even become an astronaut.
This is the first novel I’ve read where the main character as well as narrator is autistic. I have a much greater interest to learn about autism as one of my sons is on the spectrum. Each individual is different and Haddon provides an excellent example of what it is like to be autistic.