Dr M's Reviews > The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
by Mark Haddon
by Mark Haddon
Mini-review: Sometimes framed as a mystery novel, this book is rather a family drama, where the viewpoint character is a boy somewhere on the autism spectrum. (The cover says that Christopher has Asperger's syndrome, but this is actually never stated in the book, and Haddon himself has said that he did not have any specific autism-spectrum disorder in mind when he wrote the book.) The book's premise is excellent: telling a story from the point of view of an autistic person. The problem is that while Haddon does a good job of getting inside the autistic mind, he seems to forget that he also needs an interesting and engaging story to tell. I was expecting an interesting take on working through a murder mystery (who killed the neighbour's dog?) in the mind of an autistic boy, but not much is ever made of this, and half-way through the book we are simply told who did it, in order to make way for a painfully drawn-out description of Christopher attempting travel to London on his own. The descriptions of all of the quirks of Christopher's mind are certainly interesting and well-made, making use of typography and figures to show us how things and concepts arrange themselves in Christopher's mind, but after a while it simply gets tedious and I felt like shouting at the book that I got the point and please move on with the story already! Nevertheless, this is a book well worth reading, if only for the few really brilliant passages here and there, like the one describing how new situations put Christopher in a state of information overload and he has to "press Ctrl-Alt-Del" by "doing groaning".
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