Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident with the Dog in the Night-time

Mark HaddonWow, this is a very special book. Special in several ways. First, the way I’ve got it. Do you know Bookmooch? If you don’t, you have to check it out at bookmooch.com. Bookmooch is a community where book-lovers exchange books. I won’t explain the way it works in this blog but when you’re found a book you really would like to read, you can ask if someone who’s got the book will send it to you. I did and Liene Ancite from Latvia sent it to me. Isn’t that nice?

Second, the book itself. I’ve never read a book like this. The narrator is Christopher John Francis Boone. He is 15 years old and has Asperger’s Syndrom. He can’t tell lies, he hates the colours yellow and brown and being touched. Cristopher wants to write a murder mystery novel. The novel is about the dog from a neighbour that is killed although his father told him it’s strictly forbidden to investigate the incident.

While Cristopher is telling us about his investigation, his feelings and everything he experiences whe learn a lot about him and the way he thinks. His’s mind is logical and literal in the extreme. Let me give you two examples.

For instance. Christopher likes prime numbers. He thinks “prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away. I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them”.

And, after explaining what a methaphor is and that metaphor is one in itself, he uses a simile. In the footnote he explains “this is not a metaphor, it is a simile, which means that it really did look like there were two small mice hiding in his nostrils and if you make a picture in your head of a man with two very small mice hiding in his nostrils you will know what the police inspector looked like. And a simile is not a lie, unless it is a bad simile.”

It’s a moving book, heart warming and funny. Yet I can imagine that living with a 15 year old boy thinking the way Christopher does can be very tiring. It makes you smile and puts tears in your eyes at the same time. The angle on life seen through the eyes of a boy with Asperger’s Syndrom is fascinating. From the first page I was the drawn into it and just couldn’t put it down. Believe me, it is fun to read. The way Haddon is telling the story through this boys eyes is miraculous. He isn’t using any medical terms and yet Christopher tells us all we need to know about his condition. One of the best books I’ve been reading this year. Five stars.

The official Mark Haddon Website can be found through this link. And if you like it some more reviews, the Guardian and The New York Times.

2 Reacties to “Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident with the Dog in the Night-time”

  1. In 2011 las ik deze 49 boeken « JannyAn's Blog Says:

    […] de komende dagen bij Orlando Uitgevers. Op de tweede plaats het bijzondere boek van Mark Haddon, the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. A Visit from the Goon Squad van Jennifer Egan eindigt op de derde plaats. Naast de boeken die ik […]

  2. Brasil Says:

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time Christopher’s main goal is to find the murderer of Wellington, his neighbor’s dog. While investigating who killed Wellington, Christopher learns more and more about his family, neighbors, and himself. Throughout the book he learns how to deal with bigger and bigger tasks out in the real world, and not just in his house or at school.


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