The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeIt’s not easy to be born like Mark Haddon’s hero, the intelligent, but suffering teenager, Christopher Boone.

It’s difficult enough to grow up with one parent, that much I know. But to have the condition that Christopher has is equivalent to being a perpetual outsider: You’re in constant fear for your life in new situations and new places.

Inspired by Sherlock Holmes, this mystery novel is as much about the story behind the murder of the dog called Wellington, as is about a young man’s decision to be brave. For to be brave, one must Take Risks. And to the order-dependent, timetable-loving, yellow-hating, Christopher, taking risks is a dangerous adventure.

I couldn’t go to sleep and I just had to sit there and there was nothing to do except to wait and to hurt.

I love Christopher’s drawings—–the alien, the bus, the street and train station maps, and the dinosaur-shaped constellation. I can feel the steadiness of his hand when he draws these objects inserted in between his narrative. But I loved him more when he told the joke about the economist, the logician, and the mathematician.

Believe it or not, despite the hopelessness of his condition, Christopher is one funny, fifteen-year old, high-functioning autistic.

His explanation about the stars is also riveting that it’s no surprise how much he wants to be an astronaut and to command his own spaceship.

My heart breaks though when this talented young man reveals his deepest secret, which is impossible and destructive, yet pure and melancholy. Everyone wants to feel safe and to be able to do what he wants. But for Christopher, that kind of longing is achieved only in his dreams.

Told in Christopher’s perspective, The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-Time is one of the best modern novels I’ve read that is not dystopian, science fiction, fantasy, or romance.

It has all the things that I want in a novel—-a young, intelligent and lovable hero, a mystery, and an adventure.

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