The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2003) – Mark Haddon

This book has been sitting on my ‘to be read’ pile for a while, but it felt like now was the time to dig into it, and I was delighted to do so.

Haddon introduces us to fifteen-year-old Christopher. He is autistic, has his likes and dislikes, and is brilliant at math and problem-solving. He turns that ability to writing a mystery novel, a mystery he finds himself at the heart of. Someone in Christopher’s Swindon neighborhood has killed Wellington, Mrs. Shears’ dog.

Finding a strength in himself, applying logic and intention to himself, he pushes at his comfort zone as he speaks with his suspects and works to find out what happened, and who killed the poor dog.

But he won’t be ready for everything his investigation brings to light, but it will set him on a course of self-discovery and lead him to truths about his family, and himself.

Haddon imbues Christopher with depth and honesty, bringing him to vivid life as Christopher guides us through the events of his life, the mystery, and his relationships. It’s a beautifully told tale that takes the reader in completely. Christopher is so honest and open in his storytelling that it allows us a look at the world in a way that many of us have never had the opportunity to before.

Christopher may not be ready for where his case leads, but he will stand up to the challenges that confront him. He doesn’t like to be touched, hates certain colors, can name all the capitals around the globe, has problems reading social situations, hates metaphors, and very much wants to sit his math A-levels.

Haddon delivers a beautifully told tale, which was also his first novel, and the adventures of Christopher, with his rat Toby in tow, is in parts exhilarating and terrifying as he goes beyond what he’s prepared for or even thought possible.

The story races along, honestly, if I hadn’t had to work I would have read it all in one sitting, it was that captivating. And while I wouldn’t have liked to live in Christopher’s world, I can relate to a lot of it.

I love the way Haddon through Christopher tells his story and brings the world he lives into life. He allows the reader to experience what it would be like to live with autism, and it’s beautifully told. Christopher is a wonderful character, and I loved spending time with him, sharing his discoveries, and his journey.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a fantastic read, and I can’t recommend it enough to those who haven’t read it.

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