Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Haddon, Mark "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time"

Haddon, Mark "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" - 2003

"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a murder mystery novel like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone. Christopher is fifteen and has Asperger's, a form of autism. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns and the truth. He hates the colours yellow and brown and being touched. He has never gone further than the end of the road on his own, but when he finds a neighbour's dog murdered he sets out on a terrifying journey which will turn his whole world upside down."

This was one of our most discussed books - because of its contents. We all agreed that we liked the book, it was well written, the style technique was very good, you could really feel with them, understand the issue now, some shed a tear at the end. The author tries to highlight that autistic figure/feel and accomplishes it very well. The book was written very discreetly, you could notice that he worked with children.

One would have thought Mark Haddon had the syndrome himself. Someone read it twice and noticed different things as the first time.

We also admired the ability the British have to take these families and put that into perspective, make a dysfunctional family seem funny at times and so make them look "normal". The author made it easier to read about these problems with his comical side.

It was interesting to discuss this with people looking at the situation from so many different levels, members with experience or no experience with autism, social workers, nurses and members who never worked with children. One of our members studied early childhood education and could explain a lot to us.

Some of us were surprised that we liked it because we didn't anticipate that. Someone said she wasn't prepared to enjoy it. But we all did.

We agreed that every child is so unique and has different needs. It's rewarding when they trust you and so disturbing if they can't get close. If there was a solution to heal autism, should we use it? These people see the world with other eyes and can contribute a lot if we let them.

We discussed this in our book club in May 2008.

From the back cover: "'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time' is a murder mystery novel like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone. Christopher is fifteen and has Asperger's Syndrome. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns and the truth. He hates the colours yellow and brown and being touched. He has never gone further than the end of the road on his own, but when he finds a neighbour's dog murdered he sets out on a terrifying journey which will turn his whole world upside down."

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