“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon
Genre: Adult/Young Adult Fiction, Mystery
Summary from Goodreads:
Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.
Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, fifteen-year-old Christopher is autistic and everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. He lives on patterns, rules, and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbor’s dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructive universe is threatened. Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favorite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes. What follows makes for a novel that is deeply funny, poignant, and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally.
The story walks the line of Adult/Young Adult. It doesn’t have to tone or feeling of a young adult book but it is a story of a young adult. Even though Christopher might not realize it, it is a coming-of-age story. I really liked that it would appeal to adult and young adult readers.
I initially was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t more of a mystery.The big mystery is
solved relatively early on. Can you say it’s solved if the killer just admits what happened? Oh well. It’s made up for because Christopher’s story is interesting. He just wants to solve a murder because it’s a puzzle and ends up finding out a lot more than he bargained for.
Christopher is hard to relate to but I did end up liking him. I’m not sure how authentic his problems are but you can understand why others in his life have a hard time with him. At the same time, you can see why his father loves him and stuck it out and continued to struggle with him. The book doesn’t try to sugarcoat other people’s feelings for Christopher. The book simply presents the feelings and lets the reader deal with the rawness. That definitely made the book more realistic for me.
The bottom line? Enjoyable!