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Past Group Book Discussions > The Curious Incident of the dog in the night time - Discussions / Spoilers

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Simon (Highwayman) (highwayman) | 4698 comments

I have had to dig this back out so I can read it again. I will be back to talk about it later....

Simon (Highwayman) (highwayman) | 4698 comments I had forgotten he numbered the chapters with prime numbers...

message 3: by Kath (last edited Jun 02, 2012 05:26AM) (new)

Kath Middleton | 25061 comments I made a big deal of our 37th wedding anniversary because it was a prime number (and I couldn't be mithered to wait till the 40th for a blow-out!)

message 4: by Rosen (new)

Rosen Trevithick (rosentrevithick) | 2273 comments I loved this book. I particularly liked the way that the author managed to convey the emotions of the adults, even though the narrating character didn't understand them.

However, somebody once attacked me, saying, "How can you list that as one of your favourite books when you're a psychology graduate?" She obviously thought it was a terrible portrayal of Aspergers, but I didn't see a problem with it. Having said that, my course syllabus included very little about autistic spectrum disorders, so perhaps I'm not qualified to comment.

Simon (Highwayman) (highwayman) | 4698 comments Hi Rosen, I think some people can get a bit anal about where a novel and reality are supposed to match. For most lay-men (lay-people?) it is not important that a story is technically 100 % accurate (is that even possible in a condition like this). The story conveys a feeling that gives an insight into a very peculiar condition.

I love books that are written from a first person perspective.

I once read a book called Freefall by Tom Read. It is sadly not available on Kindle but he wrote it as an autobiography while he was suffering from the most terrible depression. The author later jumped out of an aircraft in Oxfordhire without a parachute. Very sad. I keep clicking to request it on kindle....

message 6: by Rosen (new)

Rosen Trevithick (rosentrevithick) | 2273 comments Simon (Highwayman) wrote: "I think some people can get a bit anal about where a novel and reality are supposed to match. For most lay-men (lay-people?) it is not important that a story is technically 100 % accurate..."

It depends entirely on the context. To some extent, authors invite us to suspend our disbelief and doing so help us enjoy books. However, if for example, a book was propagating unhelpful stereotypes that make it harder for real people with the condition to survive, then that is a problem.

I'm not saying that that is the case with this book, as I explained above. However, as somebody with bipolar disorder, I find the sheer quantity of books that use the condition as an blanket explanation for violence and antisocial behaviour, to be extremely damaging to society in general. In that sense I'd say either match reality, or find another explanation for why your heroine set fire to a school whilst wearing a nappy.

Simon (Highwayman) (highwayman) | 4698 comments I can't disagree with that Rosen. I think labelling is very dangerous at times. It is a sign of a society that needs everything in neat classifications....


message 8: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments (I'm randomly in here to comment also on the use of OCD in popular culture. EURGH.)

Anyway. I'm intrigued to read this even more now I've read your thoughts Simon & Rosen. I did quite a bit of my 2nd year in Psychology focusing on different types of autism so I'm really excited to read this.

message 9: by Rosen (new)

Rosen Trevithick (rosentrevithick) | 2273 comments I'm interested in your opinion Louise-Lesley. I'd have liked to study autism is a bit more detail but never had the chance (the Abnormal Psychology module was oversubscribed.)

And yes, portrayals of OCD in popular culture are often infuriating. They're used to provide humour too often. They focus almost exclusively on cleanliness rituals. And don't get me started on adverts that intentionally propagate germ obsessions.

message 10: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments Ha, I could rant for hours on the subject but I've learnt to just hold my tongue.

Simon (Highwayman) (highwayman) | 4698 comments Don't hold your tongue Elle (you will get germs).

message 12: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25061 comments Simon (Highwayman) wrote: "Don't hold your tongue Elle (you will get germs)."

Just when you think there's a bit of intellectual debate going, Simon spills his beer on it!

message 13: by Simon (Highwayman) (last edited Jun 04, 2012 10:28AM) (new)

Simon (Highwayman) (highwayman) | 4698 comments You are right ignite, this is a really interesting subject. I just couldn't resist the gag.

I have a bit of a thing about aspergers. I work in I.t. and I reckon many of the people I have worked with over the years would now be classified as borderline (and sometimes well over the border). We used to just call them geeks. I wonder if certain professions attract people with certain brain characteristics. If computers had not been invented what would all of us borderline aspergers have done for a living.....

Simon (Highwayman) (highwayman) | 4698 comments And that is not me being flippant....

message 15: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments It does seem certain professions attract certain types of people!

I would argue that I.T in general would attract such types because of comfort in knowing a computer doesn't have a terrifying personality and they can assert some control (in theory....)

Simon (Highwayman) (highwayman) | 4698 comments The biggest problem with have in IT is communications. Talking to users. It was the same thirty years ago. We have job roles specifically to translate from geeks to users.

message 17: by Karen (new)

Karen Lowe | 2335 comments C'mon. Surely the advice is 'switch it off and on again'
(and my little lad is an IT expert too)

Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments *grabs her expounding plank*

I, personally, have a deep dislike for labels. There a huge fixation on labelling in education, mainly due to funding.

Thankfully, it's not as big a problem in ex-pat schools as it is in government run schools.

message 19: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments I have the issue too, hence I normally hold my tongue a lot on those kind of subjects or you'll be likely still listening to me next year!

message 20: by Jud (new)

Jud (judibud) | 18537 comments I think while labels can be detrimental there is no avoiding it. We all label everyone we meet, I don't think it is the labels that do the harm but how people treat those with said labels.

I just thought a lot of IT people (but not all) were a little bit socially stunted from too much exposure to computers in their youth and not enough actual interaction with people.

Simon (Highwayman) (highwayman) | 4698 comments It is all about cause or effect though isn't it jud? I was in the first generation of IT geeks. None of my generation were exposed to computers as children but there were the same characteristics.

message 22: by Jud (new)

Jud (judibud) | 18537 comments I guess so, I never thought of that.

message 23: by Aunty Janet (new)

Aunty Janet (janetauty) | 297 comments I agree about the over use of 'labels', but unfortunately the way our Education system works, sometimes you need to have a 'label' in order to get extra help if it is needed, especially in some state schools.
It's a difficult one.....

message 24: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Kennedy (laurenxo) In Christopher's case I think labels work because he is in what he calls a 'special' school to get extra help. But also, the fact he takes A level math proves he's not stupid. But since everyone is obsessed with labeling people, if he went to a 'normal' school he would get severely bullied. I'm sort of 50/50 on the labeling. It's needed to a certain extent but only the 'professionals' need know about your so called 'condition'.

Also, the asperger's in this was depicted perfectly. There is more severe and milder cases of asperger's so I'm guessing this was a 'middle level' case of it. I know someone who was told they had 'mild' asperger's and they're not as childish as Christopher acts but they do have most of the other symptoms but to a lesser degree.

message 25: by Rosen (new)

Rosen Trevithick (rosentrevithick) | 2273 comments Lauren wrote: "the asperger's in this was depicted perfectly."

That's good to hear. This is one of my favourite books and I would have felt disillusioned if Aspergers really had been badly depicted.

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