Lynne'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
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's review
Oct 21, 09

bookshelves: ya
Read in October, 2009

Christopher Boone does quadratic equations to calm himself in new or chaotic situations. He knows his prime numbers and their cubes up to the 7,000's. He hates to use public restrooms and won't let his own parents hug him. He screams in department stores if the crowds are too big. He listens to white noise on the radio. He groans and rocks himself as a physical release for the stimuli that constantly bombard him and which his brain cannot sort out nor prioritize. It doesn't matter that brown is the color of chocolate--brown is also the color of poo, so Christopher won't even try chocolate. He hates the color brown and everything that is brown.

He likes to lie out on the grass and look at the stars, many of whose names he knows. He thinks that Orion's stars could just as easily be the shape of a dinosaur, and illustrates the fact by drawing it for us in his book. Humans are not logical beings, for the most part, something Christopher finds bewildering in the extreme. Christopher is autistic.

So when a neighbor's dog is murdered, Christopher decides to "detect" and find out who killed Wellington. Christopher's journey leads him to discover new information about his family, his neighbors, and himself. And as the reader journeys with Christopher, we discover some information about autism and are left to wonder if understanding and compassion might not be all that is needed to bridge the gap between our perceptions of "disabled" and "gifted."

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