The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is the tenth or so book from Mark Haddon. Haddon, who is known for writing children's books and also recognized for working with autistic kids, has written a classical adult novel which depicts the life of a kid, Christopher Boone, who struggles with Autism and the way he overcomes challenges that he faces in his daily life. Haddon has made Christopher the narrator of the story and starts off the novel by saying, “I stroked Wellington (the dog) and wondered who had killed him, and why,” (Christopher 2) which all together starts him wondering and wanting to investigate this mystery which in the end will turn out to destroy somethings in his small yet a bit complicated life.

Christopher lives with his father because his mother passed away two years earlier from a heart attack at a very young age. He didn't even get to go and visit his mother at the hospital because of many reasons such as that he had to be at school and that his father didn't give him the chance to. Christopher not being able to go to the hospital may have been a good thing because Christopher is not very good with strangers and adapting to new places. “The policeman took hold of my arm and lifted me onto my feet. I didn't like him touching me like this. And this is why I hit him.” (Christopher 8) Not only does he not like to be around new people but he really dislikes people touching him and has the tendency to get out of control. Christopher is not intact with his emotions and doesn't know how to express them in a proper manner. When things get overwhelmed, he crawls up into a ball, screams and groans. His mind works differently then ours. He will not eat food if they are touching each other and he doesn't like the colors yellow and brown. If there is a speck yellow or brown in anything, he will not touch it, be next to it, or even eat it if it is food.
Christopher is the narrator of the story which allows us to see the world through his eyes and point of view. We can conclude that Christopher's understanding of the world is very different then ours, in that he thinks that the most unrealistic thing can happen and that life is always going to be easy no matter what. Whereas in reality, things like being spoon-fed throughout your entire life is not ever going to come true. But there is one thing that we must all learn from him, and that is telling the truth. “I do not tell lies. Mother used to say that this was because I was a good person. But it is not because I am a good person. It is because I can't tell lies.” (Christopher 19) Christopher is not able to tell lies which gets him into some trouble at times, but he doesn't have to worry about the guilty feeling of lying and also saying the truth makes you be a trustworthy person like him, whereas most of the people you see are not like Christopher. Christopher was told by his father not to investigate the murder of the dog and to specifically not ask any questions to any person because it is not right to get involved in other people's businesses. However, Christopher has a way of thinking outside of the box and getting what he needs to get done without breaking his promise. Christopher has his own unique way of looking at the world. He doesn't recognize and understand it through the perspective of children his age as the world being harsh and unfair, but he sees the world as an opportunity waiting to unfold and that people act a certain way for a certain reason.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is an interesting novel which is written in a style which you do not normally see. It provides the view of the world and life from a perspective unknown to the normal human being. It shows the world through the eyes of an autistic kid who has big goals and ambitions which will guide him to succeed.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time won the Whitbread Book of the Year in 2003 and in the next year it won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for being the Best First Book. I was introduced to this book six years after it was published and I regret not knowing of it before now. This book clearly describes and illustrates the life of a kid with difficulties and we can all learn from that. This book is a one of a kind and it should not be thrown away into the darkness.





Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

Rahim said...
Oct. 28, 2009 at 8:26 am
Robert Pattinson <3333
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback