Review: ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ by Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon is a book that most people assumed I had read before, but for some reason I just wasn’t interested until this year. I think it was partly due to the hype (it’s a book that shows up on a lot of book-club lists) and partly due to the fact that I absolutely hate the cover because the cutout of the dog is constantly getting ripped on the shelves at work. I know, weird reasons, but that’s it.

Synopsis: A young autistic boy searches for the killer of his neighbour’s dog, forcing him to face his fears by speaking with strangers and visiting to new places. But as the mystery unfolds, he is faced with truths about his family and his life that might be too hard to handle on his own.

I’m glad that I finally read this book so that I can say with all honestly that it was just okay. I can definitely appreciate that it has opened people up to learning more about autism, but I think that it shows a very narrow view of the autism spectrum. There are so many people who think that people with autism are just like Christopher, when the reality is that some people are better at functioning in society and others are much worse.

I found most of the other characters in the book to also be very narrow in scope. Maybe it was intentional, as Christopher doesn’t understand people very well, but I thought that his parents and neighbours were all very one dimensional. The only person that felt entirely real to me was Siobhan, one of the teachers at Christopher’s school. I wanted to know so much more about her, and wished that she played a more important role in the story. She seemed to be the only person in the entire book who treated Christopher with any level of understanding and respect as a person.

So, now I’ve got that book checked off my ‘to be read’ list, which is a bit of a weight off my shoulders, to be honest.

LC rating: three-stars (liked it)


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