Saturday, October 1, 2011

Book Review-The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime by Mark Hadden

Its raining here, again!   We were supposed to go on a hike by the beach but that is not going to work.   So since a rainy day is a good ay to read a book, here is another review.  Courtesy of Bob.

 Above a dog in the nap time (or more specifically Baby Bob at nap time, pictures taken four years ago).   A good segue way to our latest review, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time,   by Mark Haddon.

Like our last review this is not a traditional "dog" book.  In fact dogs play a pretty small character role, despite appearing in the title, but they do sort of permeate the spirit of the whole book.   The story is about a 15 year old, an extremely intelligent boy, named Christopher John Francis Boone who loves math and has some issues that seem to fall within the realm of Asberger's syndrome, though that is never specifically stated in the book.   The title of the book comes from a quote in the Sherlock Holmes Story, Silver BlazeChristopher dislikes most fiction but enjoys Sherlock Holmes stories because he admires the characters logical approach to crime solving.

Christopher also likes dogs because he finds them less confusing then people who don't always say what they mean.  One day Christopher discovers the murdered body of his neighbors dog and he decides that like Holmes he will investigate the dogs death, which he considers a murder on par with the murder of a person.   (I have to say I would agree).   

Most of the book focuses on how Christopher views the world and how he struggles within the confines of his disability to try new things and solve the mystery.  Haddon does a very good job of getting the reader inside Christopher's head and the book is an excellent example of character development.   Though the book has some sad parts, it has a great uplifting ending that dog lovers will definitely appreciate.

The book won the Boeke Prize  and the 2003 Whitebread Book of The Year  award.   In some circles it has been touted as an excellent portrayal of autism which annoys Haddon who says he never set out to write a book about autism.  Others have criticized the book as being an inaccurate portrayal of Autism and Aspberger's.   The whole debate seems fairly silly to me and I sympathize with the author as firstly, Autism is never mentioned in the book, secondly it is a work of fiction and not some medical text book, and thirdly last time I checked  people with Autism and Aspberger's syndrome are as unique as anyone else so I am not sure what an "accurate" character portrayal would consist of.   Overall, I really like the book and would eagerly recommend it.  Bob found it mildly interesting and said he preferred napping to listening to the story.  We compromised on a 3 and a half paw rating.

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  1. baby Bob sure is a winner, cute!
    Benny & Lily

  2. Wow! Investigating a dog's murder? I gotta read that!

  3. I've been meaning to read this one for a while now... might have to borrow it from my parents next time I'm round! =^..^=