It may have been a coincidence that I finished reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and almost immediately went out and bought myself a puppy – or maybe it wasn’t. One thing’s for certain: that was one fabulous book. I’ve already done a little research into getting author Mark Haddon for an interview, but his website states he’s had to put a hold on that for a while, so I’ll chat up his story a little instead.
First, if you’re looking for an Unboxed Read, you must, must, must read this book. Haddon hooks from page one and for several reasons. Here’s the first line:
It was 7 minutes after midnight.
Okay, it’s nighttime; what’s going on? I’m also curious as to why Haddon wrote “7” as a digit instead of spelling it out. And why does the book start with chapter 2, then move on to 3,5,7 and 11? Is there missing information? Did Haddon tell the story out of sequence ala Niffenegger’s Time Traveler’s Wife?
As you learn fairly early on, the story is told as it is because that’s how Haddon’s 15-year-old autistic protagonist, who loves prime numbers, would write a book. And this book is told exclusively from Christopher’s uniquely fascinating POV.
Here’s a good story synopsis from Haddon’s agent’s site:
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a murder mystery novel like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone. Christopher is fifteen and has Asperger’s, a form of autism. He knows a great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns and the truth. He hates the colours yellow and brown and being touched. He has never gone further than the end of the road on his own, but when he finds a neighbour’s dog murdered he sets out on a terrifying journey which will turn his whole world upside down.
I was fascinated by Haddon’s adept handling of Christopher’s character growth throughout the book. [Read more…]