The Curiouse Incident of The Dog in the Night- time by Mark Haddon

December 16, 2009
“My name is Christopher John Francis Boone. I know all the countries of the world and their capital cities and every prime number up to 7,057.” When I first met Christopher John Francis Boone, I knew I was about to embark on no ordinary journey. The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Nighttime, by author Mark Haddon is a mind and soul opening story, told solely through the eyes of an Autistic young man named Christopher.
When his neighbor’s dog Wellington dies, Christopher is determined to be a detective like his hero Sherlock Holmes and discover the murderer. Before he knows it, his mission escalates into an adventure far greater than he ever imagined.

The plot of this story holds many secrets and moments of suspense for the reader. Yet, what is even more unusual and memorable is the voice and personality of Christopher. Mark Haddon does a very remarkable and important feat by transforming us into Christopher’s mind, and his inner thoughts.
Christopher’s voice and personality are the true driving forces behind this story. He is a master at mathematical puzzles, and solves math problems in his head in order to calm himself down when he is nervous. His mind has the powers of a time machine, having the spectacular ability of remembering conversations that occurred many years ago perfectly. Christopher has difficulty understanding human emotions, can not stand to be touched, and has a fear of new people and places. He is fascinated by the stars and space and dreams of being the only creature on earth along with his best pal pet rat Toby. He detests the colors yellow and brown.
As the story progresses, it is very suspenseful to get inside the mind of Christopher as he faces a world that is often unpredictable and confusing. To some characters, going through a subway station would be a very ordinary event, but to Christopher and the reader it is filled with suspense, dread and worry. Christopher is a character who became a part of me, just as I became a part of him. I learned a lot both about Autistic individuals and about the world through Christopher.
One brave choice in style that the author made to help understand Christopher was to include Christopher‘s explanations of things he feels very passionate about, such as math problems, space and the confusion of jokes. The author also included many drawings and diagrams created by Christopher such as a near perfect recollection of the zoo, or a map of the stars, a choice in style that was one of the most unique and fun features of this story.
By writing the story in 1st person narrative, the author created an unforgettable voice, that goes beyond labels such as “autistic” (It is never even stated Christopher is autistic), to create a strong, and realistic portrayal of a unique hero.

"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime" is was a life changing story for me, because it made me think of the world from a different perspective. The story’s greatest strength is its offbeat style. I believe this story goes beyond usual coming of age novels and characters into a world often uncharted by authors. It is a world that is both one many readers can relate to, and also a world of discovery. I would rate this story beyond the 5 star system, far into the galaxies of stars, yet to be discovered. Once you enter, you can never completely forget or let go.

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